Review: The Evolutionite Chronicles Book One: Dagger and Shadow Ninja
This one gets three stars of five — a wholly respectable rating — and a big shake of salt. This is tasty, satisfying, squeak-between the teeth popcorn reading. It won’t stick with you, but it’s fun down to the last twist, like a matinee B movie. If you like traditional superheroes strutting their stuff in a four-color plot full of well-planned twists and turns, then pick this one up. You can’t get a movie ticket and kid’s popcorn for this price. Settle in for the show and start snacking. You’ll get a bag full of clever descriptions that waste no time on flowery language, plenty of sassy dialogue, broadly-drawn characters, and big sweeping ideas.
You won’t find groundbreaking originality here, any more than you will when watching the average Hollywood blockbuster. You get a couple of solid, entertaining heroes with colorful pasts, a rogue’s gallery of friends and enemies, and a great rapport with each other. You get a plot that takes you in one direction and then another, and another with as many jinks and twists as a roller coaster ride. You get a satisfying wrap up and a good launch right into the next plot. (Pause for grinding of teeth and muttered imprecations re: cliffhangers.)
I’m not going to sugarcoat things, because I’m not a fan of sweet popcorn, so I’ll say up front that it’s a lot like a B movie or a roller coaster in some of the not-so-great ways too. Some sentences set my teeth on edge, either through creaky construction, a painful scarcity of commas, or stray semi-colons popping up in odd places. Some of the dialogue was so sparsely tagged that it was hard to parse. Who was speaking. Can they please, please just speak, not huff, or smile, or turn their heads, or interrupt. Some of the action sequences had me going back for a second and third read because I just couldn’t suss out who was where doing what to whom. So to speak.
I watched Sharknado. On purpose. Twice. What’s my point? That I don’t require perfection from my fun times. I don’t even need the dialogue to be snappy or the plot to make sense. This book made me smile, it made me sit up and say, “Ooo, clever!” and I was rooting for the characters from start to finish.
I prefer my reading to have a little more polish, but to mix my metaphors horribly, this rock is shiny enough to keep in my collection, and I’ll be looking for more like it. Want a closer look for yourself? Find it on Amazon: Evolutionite Chronicles Book One Dagger & Shadow Ninja