“Hands of Ruin” by Dylan Lee Peters

I recently reviewed a series of very short books, held together by a common setting and main character, but each a complete story in its own right. This book is exactly the opposite. It is one of a series of long stories, each an integral part of the group, none complete in itself. Each book contains within it several different stories, intertwining but not touching. This leads to a lot of backstory, especially in the beginning pages, slowing the action down. It also makes it difficult to connect to any character, because we are away from each one for so much of the story.

Likewise, the three plotlines are mostly separate from each other. They only begin to intersect at the end of the book, leaving us to wait for the second in the series to find out what is going on.

There are a few good action sequences, tense and well described, but few and far between. The main characters, especially in the part that takes place on Earth, are well described and realistically motivated, but we see too little of them to keep our empathy engaged.

The strength of the writing is in the sweeping scope of the setting and the detailed portrayal of the characters. The weakness is the wide gaps between the different story lines that prevent us from connecting properly with those characters.

This review demonstrates the problem an Indie writer has when depending on production service companies for editing. These “editors” have no interest in the quality of the writing, because it is not their duty to make the work more salable. They are competent proofreaders who find writing and grammar errors, but they do not feed back to the author the kind of comments you find in this review.

As such, the average reader will find this book competently written. Only the more perceptive will see the need for editing and understand how the story could be so much better.

Recommended for epic fantasy fans who are willing to delay gratification, go the whole route and read every book in the series.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

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