ForeWord Reviews

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Good vs. Evil

Final Days

Clarion Review (2 Stars)

The world has been divided into two factions: the evil, dark demons; and the people whose “lives were created through the pureness of the energy. Their sole purpose was to survive and live in peace.” The story follows the linear path of a single story thread beginning with a teenage orphan, Orion, whose parents were savagely murdered.

While under the care of his clueless grandparents, Orion rushes through martial arts and pugilistic preparations in anticipation of a quest to hunt down the evil demon Hades, the one deemed responsible for killing everyone Orion loves. Along the way our hero gathers other “hunters” who serve as stereotypical mentors, love interest, friends, and double agent-type enemies. All have heightened or supernatural abilities.

Despite its title, there is very little “good” to be found in this novel. “Good Guy” Orion typifies the antihero archetype and justifies murder with a weak attempt at showing remorse using the “blood on his hands” cliché. Even when good triumphs, the dark mood continues unabated. Each chapter brings forth another encounter between Orion and the demons that haunt his world. With each victory Orion progresses along a dark path, turning away from peace and toward revenge.

The story moves from one bloody altercation to the next with minimal character development, scene setting, or attention to fictional techniques. Chapters begin with lengthy preambles that further bog down the story’s action and end with messages laced with such melancholy that they prevent readers from experiencing the euphoria of victory.

The novel offers no new twists on the popular good vs. evil quest, yet it consistently offers conflict and strife, fight scenes and confrontations, death and loss. Some science fiction quest followers may find the plot inviting. But they will be stymied by grammar errors and malapropisms; for example: “The police also pointed out that the house was demolished and awfully destroyed.” Misuses of vocabulary (lunged instead of plunged or wiped instead of whipped) or redundancies, like “His face was covered in darkness due to the lack of light,” jerk readers out of the story and reflect badly on the author. Awkwardly worded and bland fight scenes further drag down the quality of this book.

This novel delivers the blood, gore, and conflict, but flagrant writing mistakes and weaknesses suggest the story would best be told in a different format—perhaps a graphic novel or comic book.