by Gerard Bond
2/7 stars

Whenever I get a book by a relatively new author, I hope in my heart of hearts that it will blow me out of the water. Sometimes new authors surprise me and I am thoroughly impressed with the work. Sadly, this was not one of those times. Overall, I have more criticisms of this book than I do praises.

My largest and most consistent criticism is the lack of copy editing. Normally I do not call this out on newer authors, but I feel I have little choice in this instance. I am not exaggerating when I say that every page contained either a typographical or grammatical error. More often than not there were multiple errors. This made it very difficult to read and very slow going. The sheer number of editing problems constitutes the major reason why Nightclans has gotten such a low score from me.

The writing style itself, outside of any grammatical issues, felt unpolished. There was a strong tendency to tell me what the characters were feeling rather than evoking any emotion through their actions. Additionally, the author used a lot of English colloquial language which resulted in my fragile suspense of disbelief being shattered from time to time.

The plot felt far more like a prelude to a story than an actual story itself. The whole book seemed to be a set up for what would happen in the future. Only in the last 20% of the volume did anything significant really happen. George R. R. Martin might be able to get away with it, but he is not a good pattern to follow in this regard.

I did find the world building to be interesting. There are multiple sentient species, some of whom you meet and a few that you only suspect are there. There is a question in my mind of whether orcs count as sentient in this world or not (there are arguments to be made on both sides). Magic exists in this world but does not have a strong presence. I feel like Bond has something to work off of with his world, but again, it needs development.

I cannot in good conscience recommend this book until there is a corrected edition out. There is a kernel of something good there, but it needs a lot of TLC before it is ready to greet the world.

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