Reading level: Adult
Size: 352 pages
Publisher: Tor Book
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 1st in a series
Source: Audiobook from Publisher for Review
Rating: 2/5 stars
I got this audiobook to review from the publisher, MacMillan Audio, they thought I would enjoy it since I have enjoyed fantasy audiobooks in the past. Well this was more of a horror than a fantasy and I stopped listening to it 50% of the way through because I just didn’t understand the point and had had my fill of blood soaked carpets, putrid air, and torture in general. Definitely an adults only book.
There are Thirteen Hallows sent out into the world with thirteen children to be protected. Now the children are old women and men and something evil wants the Hallows awakened in the blood of their protectors. Drawn into this mess is poor Sarah who is pulled into the murder and mayhem when she helps an old woman being mugged. She tries to pawn her Hallow, a sword, onto the woman’s nephew named Owen and he also gets wrapped up in the bloody mess.
I listened to this on audiobook and the audiobook was very well done. The narrator was pleasant to listen to, distinguished between characters well, and did an overall excellent job. The packaging was decent and the transitions between CDs were nicely done.
The story itself is more of a horror than a fantasy. There is a bit of magic in here, but much more time is spent explaining the horrible torture of the old people that the evil meanie kills. So if you like horror this may be the book for you. If you like reading about the murder and torture of the eldery and a few children, you might love this book.
The book starts by introducing you to a wide variety of elderly people who are then systematically (in some cases they are made to look like accidents) tortured and killed in violent ways. We don’t actually meet the main character of the story, Sarah, until about 1/3 of the way through the book. We meet Owen even further along in the story.
While the concept of the story is kind of cool, I didn’t understand the point of introducing the reader to all of these characters and then brutally torturing them to death. I got sick of reading about putrid stenches, squishy bloody carpet, people with their eyes/entrails/appendages cut off and hanging from ceilings, strapped to tables, etc. Seriously there is only so much repetitive torture a reader can take. This could have all been described quickly and then we could have gone on to the story about Sarah and Owen but that’s not how it was done.
My other big beef with this book is the bad guy. He is always accompanied by a “bad girl sorceress type”. The girl is always naked and writhing on him. Um, okay this is just weird. The story cuts over to the bad guy a number of times and his bad girl is always naked and she is always ready to go. Is that all the bad guy and girl do all day? They just lay around naked and seduce each other while plotting evil deeds? I didn’t understand the point of it all. It wasn’t sexy, it didn’t add anyting to the story, it was just strange.
So finally after listening to 5 hours of torture (in more ways than one) and writhing baddies I gave up. Maybe at some point I will go back and finish this book but I doubt it. I didn’t like it, I didn’t understand why it took so long to set up the story, and I didn’t understand the point of the extremely graphic repetitive torture scenes of numerous characters. Ugh. I don’t know who to recommend this book for. I guess if you love graphic violence involving the eldery then this is the book for you. For an intriguing epic fantasy I would check out Brent Weeks of Brandon Sanderson’s works instead.