Sunday, June 19, 2016

Forestium (Portallas #1) by Christoper D.Morgan

Title: Forestium (Portallas #1)

Author: Christoper D.Morgan

Pages: 211 (kindle edition)

Formats:  e-book: 2.22£ paperback: 8.02£
hardback: 19.54£
Where you can buy it:

Plot summary: Joshua’s life is on the line, as he attempts to navigate through the magical world of Forestium to find the truth about his father. He and his companions will need to use all their cunning to stay alive and avoid the dark forces of the Goat. Will he find the magical orbs and open the Portallas, a magical gateway to other worlds, before he’s killed?
Joshua sets out to learn the truth about his father. Along the way, he finds friends, enemies, adventure, romance and himself.

The book follows the adventures of Joshua's as he and his friends travel through the magical land of Forestium on a mission to rescue his long-lost father. 
The clean and easy writing style of the author kept the narration flowing, all in all this is a book that lets itself be read with no particular issues. The plot wasn't bad but it was a bit too straight, with almost no twist; making it unsurprising. 
The world building was really poor, I really couldn't find any particular detail to distinguish Forestium from other woods in another two thousand books. The characters felt flat and inconsequential and the lack of detail just sharpened the feeling. 
We are told that different tribes wear different colors and people wear different outfits based on their profession but those aren't described, not even a little bit, not even to say if they are wearing a tunic,  trousers or whatever.  
The same lack of descriptive dept affected the characters as well. Apart from maybe Joshua and a couple of people all the characters our fellowship crossed paths with just felt dull and common. For example; of the Sarah's father, the elder, we didn't get to know anything except that he had an imposing figure...not even if he was really old or middle-aged! And what about Isabelle? The only thing told about her is the fact that she's a couple of years younger than Sarah but there was nothing to help me give her or anyone else a face! 
The lack of detail didn't help me to visualize the characters and prevented me from becoming fully immersed in the book.  In the end I just mentally dressed all the characters (primary, secondary and passing ones) with random outfits seen in various movies and other fantasy and high-fantasy books. I also gave them either a random face or blurry features with just a name printed above their head. This lack of specifics made everything - the whole book really - feel nondescript. It felt  like something I read before a thousand times.

Moreover, I believe names are an important part of the world building, in this case I found the made up names (e.g blood-bad, metamorph etc.) very bland. I really couldn't take seriously an all-evil antagonist that went by the name of The Goat. Nope, sorry I couldn't do it not even if he looked like the devil himself. Also, for some reason I kept mistaking the Valley of Moross for the Valley of Morons (but this was solely my own fault).

And now let's spend a moment talking about the romance. Oh the insta-love! The plight of almost every young adult!
Even tough I learned to overlook my annoyance toward it long ago, here - I'm sorry to say - it simply grated on my nerves. I'm not fond of line"They looked into each other and they fell suddenly deeply in love" Please?! Why countless authors have to play this same card? I'd rather not have romance at all. (Mind you I might pass love at first sight in the sense of being mutually attracted/interested, but from there to being deeply in love just after a short while---ugh I can't bear it).
Although I understand that this book might have been aimed to the younger age range of the young adult category; some dialogues felt way to childish. For example, when Sarah was speaking with her father, it sounded like a six years old girl not sixteen. And The elder? Oh boy! Let's talk about him. Isn't he supposed to be wise (as the name hits)? Well, he didn't sound too reasonable or wise to me. Another thing that really bothered me was how everyone in this seemed to cry and every given moment. I'm okay with boys and girls showing their emotion but--GOD! At some point everyone was crying or had their eyes on the verge of tears.
And to finish the things of "character's habits that annoyed me" we have the "giggling". Sarah giggles a lot. She talks and giggles, she giggles with Isabelle. Now, let's break this new to the world: girls don't spend most of the time giggling, we do giggle occasionally (or when drunk but that's another thing) but not always!I don't understand why in people's mind girls giggles all the time.

Furthermore, here and there I found some of the suggested images"dissonant" (or at least they felt that way to me) One example? The oracle's voice being triumphant. I don't know about other people but I hardly associate something mystic as an oracle to a triumphant tone of voice. Pleased maybe? But triumphant it feels like the oracle was gloating which given the circumstance and who was doing didn't feel right . Another example of this "dissonance" was the description of the elder's lip quivering at the mention of his wife death. I'd have rather seen a sign of emotion in a set jaw or even lone tear escaping him but a grown up and though men with a quivering lip? lame. 
And then we have *drum rolls* the "accidental stabbing"!Not once but twice (this is stretching it!)! Really? Are you kidding me right? Is there even such thing? (And by the way, what sensible person faced with a fight just walks straight into two warriors battling? Not. A.Smart.One)
Let's not get me started on what happened to Joshua's father at the end. That was a stinging blow sadistic turn of events.

So, in the end...Did I like the book? Well it was okay I suppose, but nothing too original... just another nondescript average book. 
Would I recommend it? (sort of) Yes. To those who are still new to the fantasy genre and  those that would like to read a "light"fantasy (without expecting too much of it.) or want a book to bring down to the beach during their sun bathing time.

To finish this review on a a sweet note, there was a thing I liked very much namely the sketches that accompanied each characters and the glossary(very artsy!).

Rating :
                                                      2 blossoms

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