Tuesday, 14 July 2009

‘The Light of Heaven’ – David A. McIntee (Abaddon Books)


While I try and cover plenty of science fiction and horror on the blog, fantasy fiction is my main love and that’s what I always come back to. As well as being my main love, fantasy fiction is also my big weakness in that once I’ve started a series I have to keep going with it, no matter how bad it is. This will explain why I haven’t even tried reading certain fantasy series that are roundly slated by the internet community (especially that fantasy series that apparently isn’t fantasy at all...); I know that I’ll get sucked into finishing the whole series no matter how bad it is and life really is too short for that kind of nonsense! Having said that though, maybe I should stop listening to other people and give the books a try anyway. We shall see...
Abaddon’s ‘Twilight of Kerberos’ books haven’t really been doing anything new, so far, but there’s just enough there to keep me coming back for a light enjoyable read. The ‘not quite up to scratch’ cover for ‘The Light of Heaven’ was a bit off-putting but not bad enough to stop me picking up the book and giving it a go. What did I get? Well, more of the same...

Gabriella DeZantez, Enlightened Sister of the Swords of Dawn (I would say ‘trying saying all that when drunk’ but these guys never get drunk...), is in the right place at the right time to stop an assassin escaping after he has made an attempt on the life of a high ranking member of the Final Faith. Who is behind this vicious act? The Final Faith has many enemies... DeZantez finds herself part of an investigation that is digging up more schemes than a simple assassination attempt would suggest. And how does it all link to a mass migration of refugees and a legend of an island made entirely of diamond? Gabriella is about to find out...

‘The Light of Heaven’ is one of those books that will make a lot more sense in a few books time when the ‘Twilight of Kerberos’ series have become a little more established. While the most pressing mysteries are solved there are other mysteries that have clearly been planted there so they can be solved in another book. Nothing is really given away here, only that something foreboding is on the horizon... Although this approach has piqued my interest for what it is to come it also made reading ‘The Light of Heaven’ a strangely hollow experience at times. Series spanning mysteries are all well and good but the seeds planted in this book didn’t feel like they had much to do with the story at hand and this made things feel more than a little disjointed at times...

The promise of an eventual payoff, to come in another book, also leaves us with little more than another ‘medieval fantasy world’ that promises something new but has little to mark itself out in the meantime. Don’t get me wrong, I like goblins but I was left feeling that I’d seen it all before...

To be fair though, it was interesting to see the change in perspective from ‘The Clockwork King of Orl’ where the Final Faith was portrayed in a far more threatening light. What we get here is a look at the life of lower ranking members whose faith is more important to them than material gain. Unfortunately, although Gabriella is very good with a sword her limited viewpoint on the world doesn’t make her a particularly interesting character to hang around with for too long. Crowe is much better in this respect and I hope that we see more of him in the future.

The story itself can be a ‘stop start’ affair at times with the amount of travelling, that characters have to go to, making the pace rather choppy. It is worth sticking with though as the fight scenes and moments of spectacle are very well handled indeed. McIntee has an eye for a good scene and shows this off to good effect in ‘The Light of Heaven’.

‘The Light of Heaven’ wasn’t a great read but there was enough there for me to be willing to read the whole thing through. There’s also enough there for me to want to give the next book a try and see how that goes...

Seven and a Quarter out of Ten

4 comments:

David A McIntee said...

Ah, the first review I've seen of this.

Glad you liked the action and stuff.

Don't hold your breath for more of Travis Crowe, or the intended answers to the mysteries left hanging- I'm now not doing the two sequels I was supposed to do, and which I set up for.

Graeme Flory said...

Damn...

I really wanted to know how this all panned out. Sorry to hear that the work you did, setting things up, was for nothing... If you fancy dropping me an email I promise I won't tell anyone else :o)

David A McIntee said...

I may adapt the sequels elsewhere, so who knows.

I'll probably give the answers at some point, though, after enough time has elapsed for all those who want to read it to have done so

impossiblewriter said...

Fantasy-fiction...I agree with you; this is the ultimate genre...where you can go outside the box... :)

God bless,
Taylor J. Beisler
www.taylorbeisler.com
http://www.eloquentbooks.com/ArintSaratir-WarriorsLight.html