Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review: Catalyst by Marc Johnson

Today I am reviewing Marc Johnson’s book Catalyst, which is the first in a six book series called “The Passage of Hellsfire”.  The cover art and description are from Goodreads.

Title: Catalyst: The Passage of Hellsfire

Series: The Passage of Hellsfire (#1)

Format: eBook

Pages: 274

ASIN: B004SY5P68

Author: Marc Johnson

Source: I received this book from the author for my honest review
Description: For centuries, the kingdom of Alexandria has protected Northern Shala from the monstrous creatures lurking in the Wastelands. Now, a dark force threatens that fragile peace.
Far from home, Alexandria's princess is abducted. When a young villager named Hellsfire stumbles upon her and her captors, he rushes in to rescue her, alone and unarmed. His fear and fury unleash an uncontrollable magical force that grants him the power to save the princess-and change the world.
Hellsfire has never craved nor dreamed of power. But such magic as he now possesses has not been seen in Northern Shala for a thousand years, since the devastation of the War of the Wizards and the creation of the Wastelands.
Now Hellsfire must leave all he's ever known, and make a dangerous journey to learn to master this wild, ferocious power-power he knows he is not ready to wield. More difficult still, he needs to master his emotions. If he can't, the power will consume him, Alexandria will fall, and darkness will eclipse the land, destroying everyone he loves.
In the dead of cold, the spark shall burn..

My thoughts:
- The cover: I really like the cover image for this book, the way the flame is coming out of Hellsfire’s hands, is great and gives a preview as to what the main character is like.

- The characters: The story is told from Hellsfire’s point of view.  Normally, I like first person point of view stories because you can really get to know the main character’s thoughts throughout the story.  Unfortunately, in my opinion Hellsfire was a sort-of dry character, maybe “dry” is the wrong word, he’s stiff.  He’s very polite which is fine for a character, but it’s almost like he’s trying to be a business professional with his conversations and he’s only 14 at the start of the novel.  I guess my point is he’s a little too grown up, in my opinion, for a 17 (or 16?) year old boy by the end of the book.  I guess he had reason to be a little off since he was thrust into this life of being a wizard and having the war to deal with.
Krystal (the princess of Alexandria) is wonderful.  She’s not a huge presence in this book, but the times that she is in the story, she’s a strong female.  She knows what she wants and goes after it, as well as the fact that she is very perceptive and can tell when something is wrong about certain other characters.

- The story: The genre of this book is “fantasy” it’s VERY much a fantasy book, dwarves, ogres, wizards, elves & everything else in between.  My first thought when I started reading and the main character was named “Hellsfire” I was kind-of like “oh, what a weird name!”  Then on page 19 of the ePub version Krystal obviously thought the same thing because she said: “Hellsfire? What kind of name is that?” when she met Hellsfire for the first time.  I thought that was great that only a few pages earlier I was thinking it. 
Anyway, this story as a whole was good, but it was very slow and drawn out.  I don’t know how the series will continue for five more books.  The story starts out fine, but while Hellsfire is gaining control of his powers, it skipped ahead one year, then after another few chapters it skipped again.  I would have liked to read about the actual training Hellsfire went through.  I can’t really describe how I felt about this story too well without giving much away because there are a lot of different things about this book that surprised me and I liked.

- Overall:  I don’t know if I was just distracted these last couple weeks with school starting or if it was because I had to read this on my computer (I have no real eReader yet), either way, it took me entirely too long to get through this book.  I wasn’t super impressed with this book.  I was hoping it would pick up the farther I went into the story, but it was pretty slow for the most part.  Being that it’s the first book in the series, I will probably give the second one a try when it comes out, just to see where the story goes.  Overall, I enjoyed the story, if it had a little more action, and a little more teenage behavior I would have been happier though. 

Overall Rating:

Purchase Catalyst for $4.99 from Smashwords or Barnes & Noble

Onto my next read… The Lying Game (I think), or Soul Screamers #1, or Iron King, or City of Bones… Decisions decisions (please weigh in with your suggestions)!  

1 comment:

  1. Eh! I think a really good book should keep you reading until you are done. I like the sound of all the elements but I think I will wait a while before I check this one out.


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