Book review: Endworlds by Nicholas Read

Note: My review copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. I can no longer seem to find the publisher’s website, so unfortunately I can’t link to it.

Another note: This is actually a series, so “book 1.1” won’t get you the whole story.

Amazon blurb:

Billionaire industrialist Raef Eisman loses his daughter on an airliner in midair after flying through a strange electrical storm. With no body, no ransom and no explanation, he embarks on a crusade to find her . . . which sees him ousted from his company, stripped of his fortune and vilified by the world press. Only his faithful assistant, retired special forces colonel William Hills, stands at his side as they uncover primitive legends of ‘skypeople’ in the clouds, the trafficking of humans between dimensions, and a worldwide conspiracy of revisionist history that obscures our race’s true origin and purpose.Thought mad by his peers, Eisman inexplicably disappears as his vehicle plunges into the Thames. Instead of the 50-year old corporate raider emerging from the depths, a soggy 15-year old amnesiac rises in his place. A boy with no identity and no past.Dubbed “Eastwood” by those who find “the boy with no name”, he is conscripted by an underground army of teen refugees in the tunnels below Waterloo. Wards of an ancient organization intent on protecting the world from an increasing alien and inter-dimensional threat, these “Longcoats” induct Eastwood into a new life, with new allies and deadly enemies: the Fae’er of the First Age; the ageless Cassandrans; the shadowy Dae’mon; and a covert military junta known only as GRID – all on a collision course.

So…okay. This book has an interesting premise, that’s for sure. Raef’s disappearance early on was a little weird, especially considering an amnesiac teenage boy seemed to take his place. (Although that whole process was interesting, too.)

It took me a long time to read even a small part of this book. That in itself is usually not a good sign (well, for me, anyway; YMMV). I only got a quarter of the way through before I stopped reading.

I couldn’t find anything mechanically wrong with this book–the writing is okay, the premise is interesting, and it’s got an actual plot. So why didn’t I finish it? The short answer: I just couldn’t get into it.

The long answer: I felt that it took quite a long time to get the story going–and it was too long for me. Now, I understand that Raef Eisman’s grief and eventual possible madness is central to the plot; after all, there would be no Eastman if Raef hadn’t driven into the river. But at the same time, I felt that we spend too much time with Raef, which just slowed down the story for me.

Basically, I wanted to get to the action. And it took a while to get there. By the time we do get to the action, I’d lost interest and couldn’t really get invested in the story.

This is, of course, just my opinion. What didn’t work for me might work for you, so if the book interests you, I encourage you to give it a try. Download the Kindle sample and see how you like it. You might just love it.

Since I didn’t finish the book, I don’t feel I can give it a proper review.

Rating: DNF

 

char

I’m Canadian, which according to movies and TV means I’m part of the group that’s almost always wiped out during the apocalypse. I’ve watched too much Star Trek and Stargate over the years and spend too much time at my computer. Now, I’m waiting for the arrival of (and human enslavement by) the Borg or the Goa’uld. That is, if my computer doesn’t swallow me first.

5 Replies to “Book review: Endworlds by Nicholas Read

  1. Hi Char, a very factual review. But I wonder if it’s fair. Your review is based on having read one quarter of one third of one novel in a six novel franchise. There’s a massive story arc to set up, the same as Martin does in Game of Thrones. I’m not sure reading such a short amount qualifies as a review. You didn’t reach the strong female lead characters, the hero ensemble, or the main action arc which is satisfying in its own right and sets up an entire universe. But that’s ok, I couldn’t get into the first chapters of The Lord of the Rings either. Even though I love the films, the book seemed too dense to penetrate. I wouldn’t think myself qualified to write a review on Tolkien’s books as a result. Maybe your review on Endworlds, which is a non-review at best, would be best taken down in the interest of both fact and fairness.

    1. Okay…I was debating whether or not to reply to this–I deal with authors protesting changes and revisions every day at work, and I’m not particularly inclined to do it in my spare time. However, I decided to reply because of your request to have this review taken down.

      I will not take down this review–or any review, really. Readers and potential readers should be able to read all possible opinions about a book, and some of them won’t be positive. So no, this review will not be taken down.

      Another thing I would like to address is this: you say that this is a “non-review.” I’m not disputing that. In fact, I even say in my review

      Since I didn’t finish the book, I don’t feel I can give it a proper review.

      That means that this review is me explaining that I am not really reviewing it because I didn’t finish it. For me to review a book I didn’t finish would be misleading. Hence, why I state, very clearly, that I didn’t think I could review the book properly.

      However. Does that mean that it should be taken down? No, it does not. All it means is that there is at least one reader who just could not get into the story. That does mean the book is bad. It just means it wasn’t for me. I even say that

      the writing is okay, the premise is interesting, and it’s got an actual plot.

      As for the “fairness” part of your comment, I’m not exactly sure what kind of review you think is fair. Does fair mean the reviewer has to love it? Does fair mean that people who haven’t finished the book aren’t allowed to have an opinion about it? If that’s the case, then that’s unfortunate.

      Also, my thoughts on your book are just that: MY thoughts. In other words, it’s MY opinion. In fact, I also state in my review that

      This is, of course, just my opinion. What didn’t work for me might work for you, so if the book interests you, I encourage you to give it a try. Download the Kindle sample and see how you like it. You might just love it.

      I don’t know, that seems pretty encouraging. But maybe that’s just me.

      So, to sum it all up, 1) no, the review will not be taken down; 2) I am not giving it a full review because I did not finish it; and 3) this business isn’t always fair, and not every review you receive will be positive.

  2. Thanks Cherie, and thank you Char. Very good explanations and comments. I understand.

    I agree the story begins with a ‘slow burn’ in book 1.1, and an investment of time to read that first act right through is needed. It sets up the stakes for a cast of characters from several worlds every bit as complex as those in Game of Thrones. But I promise by the time you’re reading book 1.2 and especially 1.3 it’s flying along like a runaway freight train.

    Reading all three acts of the book then leads readers to a real-world adventure they can join in and be recruited as Longcoats, the central team of protagonists they’ve been reading about. They’re required to get off the sofa and into the world to complete a global treasure hunt. So in a way book 1.1 serves as something of a filter to find those prepared to make the appropriate effort. There’s a lot required of them in the real-world adventure, and big rewards too.

    This aspect had seen Endworlds go viral and become the #1 bestseller on Barnes & Noble this week. In fact all three acts (1.1, 1.2 and 1,3) are in the Top 20.

    A quarter million facebook fans are also scouring the planet this week for the lost treasure of the Longcoats. Those who find it get written into the sequel as characters – it’s kind of compelling to be able to walk ‘into’ the world of the book and be a player. No other book in the world is written with ‘fan inclusion’ as a motive. Some who have completed ‘special missions’ have been winning other prizes and giveaways like Apple iPads, copies of the soundtrack etc.

    So I guess two things drove my disappointment with the review.

    One is that you didn’t get further in and so completely missed the wider adventure going on in the real world which 250,000 others are now immersed in. More at:

    http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/?aref=1534&dref=2323%2C2341&pro=1223&sort=SA&srt=dd&store=EBOOK&view=grid

    http://www.facebooks.com/longcoats

    The other is, as I first said, it’s incomplete. Like someone writing a hotel review after standing in the lobby and then walking out without sampling the facilities. But I guess not every hotel is to everyone’s taste, and as you say, this book wasn’t to yours. I promise to write the sequel with more of a grabber in act 1!

    Nic

    1. First, the immersive Longcoat world you’ve created sounds pretty neat.

      I understand you’re disappointed with the review. However, I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, my review clearly states that I could not review the book properly because I did not finish it. This means, of course, that anyone reading the review will (or at least should) understand that it’s not a review in the traditional sense…because I didn’t actually finish the book.

      To use your analogy, that would be like me walking into a hotel, taking a look around the lobby, leaving, and then telling someone, “I didn’t like it, but I can’t really say much about it because I didn’t stay there. You’ll have to try it out for yourself.” Would that disappoint the hotel manager? Maybe, maybe not. Would the person I was talking to then try out the hotel? Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, they’d understand that my opinion was based on first impressions, and not an actual hotel stay. If they didn’t, then they weren’t paying attention.

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