This is not a horror story! Don’t be scared off by the cover. This is the latest in my spread out reviews from the “Find a New Author Challenge”
So, I read this story in about half an hour, and if you are into pirates or historical fantasy, I can’t reccommend it enough. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars, but I’m a tough critic. It’s probably a 4.4 on a more accurate scale. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I’ve since contacted Dylan on social media, and for being an introverted author type like the rest of us, he’s actually a pretty cool guy. But on with the review.
The story opens on the deck of the Sea Maggot, a sailing vessel under the command of a fierce female captain who’s had her own struggles to make her career in a field dominated by men: piracy. The druid sorcerer on board gives the protagonist, Timothy “Golden Boy” O’Connor, a sense of fearlessness as they sail into battle, no matter what they are up against, as long as he can hold tight enough to the rigging. His own story is hinted at as the story progresses, revealing bits and pieces of his past. He started off heading for a seminary, and found himself in the company of rugged pirates on the high seas, and recounts his “first time.” I won’t say more because it might spoil some of the fun.
Overall, the reading is good. The sentences aren’t overly wordy, but they aren’t as tight as I think they could be. Still, the reading is easy enough when it comes to the chosen words. The context, I felt, is lost in a couple of places. There were moments when I wasn’t sure if I was being told Timothy’s story, or the captain’s. A quick glance up cleared most of that up, but it did trip me up while reading. I consider these moments to be a lack of my reading focus rather than the fault of an author, but it happened a little more frequently in this story.
The story arc is tight, overall. I’m a fan of O’Brian so I can be a bit critical of poorly done sailing stories, but this one didn’t have any spots that set off my BS alarm. I also tend to like magicians that are a bit more subtle. I remember reading the Hobbit and coming up with an alternate story background that painted Gandalf as more of a trickster than a user of actual magic. That doesn’t hold for the rest of the LOTR books, of course, but his “magic” in The Hobbit was easily explainable by other methods, if you choose to do so. The magician in this story isn’t so. He’s using magic, and there’s no mistaking it. If you don’t like fantasy elements, the opening sections might trip you up a bit because of that, but I’d say, at least for this story, stick with it. Because that’s where the fantasy element ends. The rest reads like historical fiction.
One thing I noted on Amazon and Goodreads was how tight and satisfying the ending was. The last two pages on my phone kindle app gave me a warm tingle. I really liked it. For such a short story, and ending this satisfying is hard to find, and Doose wraps it up very nicely.
The best part, of course, is that the story is free on Kindle. I really don’t know why you’re still reading this post. Get over to Amazon and get a copy. No really, like right now. Before Dylan changes his mind and starts charging for it 🙂
Enjoy the story.