'The Heir' which is the second book in The Spinner Sagas series by KJ Moullen, follows the paths of Blaine and Elian, two who are entrusted with the safekeeping of the Book and the evil trapped inside it.
As the story opens, Blaine is a prisoner with no memories of her past. She doesn't even know her name until an unlikely rescuer tells her what she's called.
Both Elian and Blaine quickly find themselves in unfamiliar circumstances. Having traveled from their home land in an attempt to thwart an unknown enemy who will stop at nothing to free the darkness trapped inside the Book, the pair find themselves side by side with new allies and old foes.
From a world-building perspective, there's a lot to see. Interesting anthropomorphic races and mythical creatures with magic and wisdom to share, dot the landscape of this book. I especially liked the catrons, as I don't see them used often.. and the descriptions of them seemed lovely.
I found the bit of magic weaving the author shared to be a bit different from the norm in her explanations as to why the scope of power might vary from one world to another, though there really isn't a lot of detail as to how the magic system itself works other than it's this 'universal' connection.. sort of like Force magic.
In hindsight, I think the author could develop further. The writing feels overly simplistic and transitions are rare throughout. One moment Blaine and Elian are at a door talking to each other.. saying they'll meet up.. and the next they already have and they're entering a new scenario. Not so much as a sub-chapter break. Just.. mild scene whiplash.
Subtlety is another aspect of writing I feel the author could improve on, particularly in the use of foreshadowing. If you tell the reader enough times indirectly that something isn't the case, it's pretty obvious that it is. In my case, it took less than once.. because I'd already made the logic leap from the evidence in the story. By the time it was repeated again and again toward the end, I felt as if I was being hammered with the false fact and it seemed a bit insulting. Rule of thumb, misdirection isn't outright untruths.. and readers will often spot those types of gimmicks.
There was plenty of action though and even the downtime between scenes had purpose. She was definitely trying to develop her characters and her plot, she just relied a bit too much on another random character popping in to download information we needed to know or the character in pov doing so through thoughts.
This wasn't a love or hate story for me. The characters I enjoyed the most were actually Mitchell and Senna, though Mitchell is the one with the personality. Much of the writing felt stiff and didn't flow in my opinion. There's a lot of convenient magic problem solving that characters don't know they can do and far more telling than showing when it comes to plot and backstory.
Those few things are mild issues though and I did enjoy the book. Was it worth a read? Sure. There were fun moments. It's quick and light if you need something easy to breeze through. I'd just love to see this author continue to evolve her skill set.
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