Sunday, June 5, 2011

Book Review: Realm Hunter: Pursuit of the Silver Dirk

My rating: 4/5

From Amazon:
"Bear Waters, one of the top bounty hunters in the city of Northport, is in trouble.

"He is in pursuit of a mad cultist whom the Sheriff's Guard has called the Silver Dirk, after the weapon he uses to attack - but never kill - his victims. After some consultation, he has deduced that the Silver Dirk is preparing for an ancient ritual intended to summon the Elder Gods, those ancient beings of horror from primordial days.

"But in his pursuit, he - along with his friend and ally, Grace Hilltop of the Sheriff's Guard - has been transported to a world that we would find very familiar, but that they find amazing and unfamiliar.

"Getting home is but one issue facing Waters and Hilltop. They have to get home before the Silver Dirk can succeed in his plan, threatening the well-being of more than one world.

"In this opening volume of a new series blending fantasy, science fiction, and much more, Realm Hunter: Pursuit of the Silver Dirk begins an exploration of Bear Waters' native world, one closely resembling our own, and several others in a stimulating adventure spanning multiple worlds - and multiple genres."

For the right reader, this is an awesome read.  The story is well thought out and described, and the author does an excellent job of placing himself in the shoes of someone who has never experienced "our world;" that is, the dimension of our world that Bear Waters travels to, specifically to Portland, and to other dimensions as well.  Bear's dimension could be described as somewhere between ours and a medieval Europe, where magic exists and is a part of everyday life.  Bear himself is inquisitive and interested both in learning all he can about the different dimensions, and in finding and stopping the Silver Dirk.  The other dimensions are interesting and sometimes even terrifying, and I applaud the author for his world-building.

My only complaint comes in the amount of explanation and description at times (though to be fair, the same has been said famously of The Lord of the Rings trilogy).  The author, like I said, does a great job of describing our world from an outsider's perspective; but at the same time, he goes a little too far in giving the reader descriptions of things that he or she (so long as the reader is from the U.S. I suppose) already knows.  Many times, a run of several paragraphs could easily be replaced with "So-and-so explained the concept of X." The dialogue is sometimes tedious as well, in the same vein that a conversation could easily be summarized for the reader's sake rather than being completely written out.

Otherwise, this is a great book, and I'd recommend it to fans of fantasy/supernatural and mysteries, and of movies like Journey to the Center of the Earth. Others have recommended it to fans of Dr. Who (which I still need to watch and read).

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