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The Fight Against the Dark (The Sylvan Chronicles) Paperback – April 16, 2021
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- Publisher : Kestrel Media Group LLC (April 16, 2021)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 404 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1950236145
- ISBN-13 : 978-1950236145
- Item Weight : 1.14 pounds
- Dimensions : 5 x 0.91 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #311,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This installment, as with other installments, repeats the themes of battles between the terrifying dark creatures and the forces that Thomas has organized and has been leading. The battles are now fought with the foregone conclusion that they will be won so they are not providing the action that was so very good in the first few installments. We don't see or feel their fear, their brushes with death, their injuries, their losses.
The repetitiveness of explaining the backstory, takes away from the intrigue of the story. While I understand with each book, some backstory is necessary, the author takes away from the story by rehashing things over and over. (Perhaps a prologue reviewing the history in the beginning of the book would be sufficient to help a new reader catch up, eliminating the necessity to add explanations throughout the book that are repetitive to the readers who have read from the first.)
Thomas's power continues to progress along with his relationship with Kalie--his love interest. The reader wonders whether she will be used against him as leverage. The evil forces do not seem to learn from experience the strategies that the boy has employed many times and so the evil forces continue to be dominated by his battle methods. The evil forces are very flat characters without imagination or strategic creativity. They simply believe they are too powerful to be vanquished. This feature does not add to the story or add any intrigue.
While this saga is written for teens, the lack of character development, repetitive passages, and predictable actions lead to a mediocre story in this installment. By keeping Thomas's growing power secretive, and then have other characters to simply say they are continued to be "surprised" by his power when he uses it, is lack luster. It just seems "matter of fact." Where is the emotion, the "edge of your seat" action, the intrigue, such as when Thomas threw himself off the tower?
I am hoping that the conclusion is exciting, unpredictable, and includes emotional passages that leads to a wonderful conclusion.
Until Book 7. I KNOW this is a YA novel, and I KNOW there is some inherent need to "catch the reader up" with the story as we follow story lines introduced in earlier books. That being said, there are only so many time I can read the same description of the character I have come to know and love before my eyes glaze over and I start skimming the pages. I WANT to read. I WANT to get sucked into the minutiae that makes this fantastic world so compelling. So it was very disappointing to sense the shift in the writing that was in this book 8 and the previous book 7. The depth and the struggle seem to be gone, replaced by repeated phrases and descriptions (and in one case, an entirely copied passage that I assume was supposed to be a flashback that only differed in a few pronouns and maybe a tense change). Also, if I never read the word inexorably, it would be too soon.
There is so much potential. The foundations laid in the beginning of the series have provided fertile ground for wonderfully compelling storytelling. Unfortunately, its recent decline has left a sour taste as I find myself trying to decide if I should even be on the look out for book 9 - 11 which would slowly but inexorably move the story to the conclusion in book 12 (or something like that).
The excitement of the earlier books has paled. This is not Hugh fantasy, as it purports to be, but a rather limited author trying, and failing, to present a solid work. There are far too many, disparate themes that are not cohesive my drawn, nor all that coherent. Without a truly grand vision, Wacht has to rely on unimaginative contrivance to try to refocus.
The major difficulty is in the stretching of the central theme: had he (or his editor) insisted on a shorter series, it would have maintained a good narration. Unfortunately, the resemblance to a Saturday afternoon serial has appeared.
The most telling grievance: I had the sense of reading a watered down Robert Jordan. Jordan achieved a good measure of quality, sustained over his work (though it, too, ultimately failed because of the incredible obtuseness of the characters in the realism of relationships. That stiffness would have fared better if resolved, than the compulsive insistence of dwelling upon it. Here, too, the relationship between Thomas and Kaylie doesn't speak of romance and maturity, but deeply flawed understanding. I suspect that a lot of Wacht's unexplored & unresolved "issues" (much like Jordan) have dominated. This flaw really does detract from the initial great possibility of decent entry into the genre.
Despite the flaws in Jordan's work, it was almost magisterial in presentation, because Jordan was a master of writing. Wacht is much like a high school wannabe: much promise, but ultimately incapable of the follow through (because he chose not to learn his craft).
There is another entry about to be released; one hopes that Wacht is gifted with a bit of magic, to redeem the series...and himself. Better if he took his time, rather than churning out the next episode.