I'm trying something different today at It's Not All Gravy. Instead of me writing a review, or having a guest who is a professional writer, today the review is by a reader and a fan of fantasy stories - Dany Russell, who is also my daughter and a wonderful cover designer. We both met the author of this book, Scott Roach, otherwise known as S. Cameron Roach, at the Take 190 West Art Festival in Killeen, Texas, and Dany bought his book. She wanted to try her hand at writing a review, and I came up with the idea of letting Scott ask her a couple of questions. Reviews don't normally have that kind of exchange between author and reader, at least not the professional reviews that are a step above some of what you see on Amazon, but I thought this could be fun and interesting. I'll let you weigh in on that after you read the review.
The Scrolls of Udanadar
S. Cameron Roach
Print Length: 575 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1466954639
Publisher: Trafford (September 20, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
This book portrays what could happen to a boy living in a suburban town who is so bored out of his gourd that adventure finds him. The Wandering Bug takes Bartholomew Fix to another world with kings, knights, wizards, and wayward wandering. He has no manual and while he has a host, in the beginning he has no guide.
I found this book an enjoyable read. After the first chapter or so, the story really picked up and took me for a ride. There are two other books I have read with “Game” in the title and they were slow starters for me as well, even though they have become immensely popular.
While reading this book, I became deeply involved with Bart’s life and travails. As he learned lessons in basic combat, teamwork, philosophy, or the Ka’uun, Bart steadily, and sometimes unsteadily, matured. The lives of the other characters and their skills intrigued me. How would Bart’s next lesson in the local magic called Ka’uun take place? How would Yuari, the teacher’s ward, respond to the diverted attention and uncharacteristic requests? Would Yuari’s people accept Bart?
Now I will answer the questions from the author:
SCR: Was the relationship development between the boy and girl paced well and authentic?
A: I found the interaction between Bart and Yuari to be believable and sometimes amusing. As with any relationship, trust takes time to become a bond. Sharing that time with them was a pleasure.
SCR: What about the author's writing style needs improvement or further development?
A: Frequently interchanging proper names like first “Bartholomew” then “Fix” was uncomfortable to read. Thus when you used “the boy” so close in another paragraph, I winced at the awkward word usage.
SCR: Was the growth of the boy realistic and was he easy to identify with?
A: For the most part he was very realistic. However, there are a couple of spots toward the end where Bart expresses knowledge or comprehension I thought was well beyond his teachings and growth.
SCR: Do you think a sequel is in order?
I hope you enjoyed this "different" review. Perhaps I might try this again sometime. Please do try to come back on Wednesday to meet Scott as Wednesday's Guest this week.
And finally, for all who celebrate Easter: