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Review of Gift of the Destroyer by Jeroen Steenbeeke

Review of Gift of the Destroyer by Jeroen SteenbeekeGift of the Destroyer by Jeroen Steenbeeke
Series: The Hunter in the Dark
on 10/03/2012
Genres: Epic, Fantasy
Pages: 284


One man will devastate the world, and one warrior from the future must stop him. Arek is destined to turn the world into a desolate wasteland, draining the life out of everything on the planet. Future warrior Brenor must cross the Forbidden Lands to reach him, but no one's ever returned from such a journey. Only farm girl Lianna's powers can help him. First, he must convince her he's from the future not the madhouse, and that she can control her Gift, the Destroyer's mastery of the elements. But a predator stalks them, hungry for the energy Brenor's journey from the future unleashed. If Brenor and Lianna can't escape him, their mission will end before it's even begun.

I’ll start by saying that I’ve been in the mood for a quest book for some time. I like it when characters explore new places. Makes for an entertaining read. This book was free of political intrigue, haughty nobles, and scheming merchants. And the cover art is stunning. It’s right up my alley. However…

Unfortunately, this wasn’t as in depth as I like my quest books. I read in another review that this book felt like a lot of “tell” and very little “show.” Sadly, they were right. What could have been amazing scenes were dry and over in a few paragraphs. While on the other hand, there were pages of reflection. What kept me going were some scenes that were done well and an overall curiosity raised by the pages of musings.

I would love to see this book have more detail and less internal ramblings by Lianna. I think the length would have been fine if I was more immersed in the story. As it was, I was reading more of Lianna’s repeating feelings, curiosities, and sensations, which made the book slow when it had all the potential to be crazy fun. I’d have rather been subtly reminded of her emotions and given a more detailed fight scene, firing at all my 5 senses. While the musings did raise story questions, they seemed to drag on forever and were very flat. However, they made me curious and I wanted to figure out what was going to happen. There was a bigger picture that was coming into play as they went about their main goal. Like I said, it made me curious and Steenbeeke did a great job giving us hints here and there that built up a deeper plot.

Nestled in all these words is a neat story. I really wish it would have been more in depth; maybe some banter between the characters, a friendly talk around the camp fire, more sensory input. Instead, it felt very business like. The dialog was long and never really moved outside of two characters bouncing ideas off each other in a very distant manner towards one another. Shame.

The bad guys in this were done quite well, I must say. Our PoV’s with them were short and to the point and added good depth to the story. I usually grow bored when we hop over to evil guys, but these were over before I even got a chance to think about boredom.

Overall, it was short book and had a good storyline. For me, it just didn’t have all those fun details I want in a quest book. Also, the writing did feel repetitive at times and with all the repeated musings, it kinda wore down on me towards the end. But there’s some good scenes in there and, as I said, a good story.

About Jeroen Steenbeeke

Jeroen Steenbeeke (1983) is a fantasy writer from the Netherlands, and has been creating fantasy stories since the early nineties. Despite several attempts to write novels since then, it wasn’t until 2011 that he released his first novel Gift of the Destroyer.

During the day, Jeroen works as a Software Engineer, creating web applications for schools. In addition to writing he often spends his free time playing video games, working on his Warhammer 40K army and reading.

At night, Jeroen fights aliens, the Borg, goblins and carnivorous soup. You can read all about these dreams in his latest work The Troll Warriors of Sheepbane.

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