Wednesday, 25 July 2012
Foundation For The Lost - Scott Rhine
Title: Foundation For The Lost
Author: Scott Rhine
Genre: Urban Fantasy
"Foundation for the Lost" is the second Scott Rhine book I have read and whilst I enjoyed the other novel entitled "The Scarab" I think this one trumps it in every possible way. It is an urban fantasy novel that embraces a little romance but still manages to avoid morphing into a paranormal romance. I quite simply loved the novel from start to finish and it is a brilliant advertisement for the quality that is out there in regards to self published authors.
The story follows Aaron Walker, a form of magician who is over 100 years old and has devoted his life to his Foundation, a charity that helps the lost. The lost are young witches, both male and female who for various reasons have no parents to train them in the magical acts. However, his rather rigid life is turned upside down when an attempt is made on his life for reasons he does not understand. Now with the help of a varied group of former students and a rather untrustworthy demon, he embarks on an adventure to save both his own life and the world itself.
Whilst the plot does sounds like standard Urban Fantasy fare, it is actually quite an intricate, ambitious and complex story that Rhine skilfully brings to life in a manner that doesn't confuse or confound the reader. The length of the novel is testament to its complexity as this is probably one of the longest self published books I have actually read. However, don't let that length put you off as the story flows at a quick and steady pace from the first page to the last.
One thing I really enjoyed about the book was the range of elements Rhine has used in constructing the story. There is something here for everyone; action, drama, romance, suspense, mystery, political intrigue and a large amount of humour expertly fill the pages. This all helped to create a novel that had me was fully entertained throughout and I was actually a little disappointed when I finished it and realised there was nothing else to come.
I also found the characters to be developed to the point that they were all interesting and enjoyable to follow, you can't help but respect and feel for Aaron as he tries to follow the moral path and do the right thing no matter that cost to himself. However, the best character to me was Wynn, a young man that Aaron discovers during an escape from an attempt on his life. His innocence and youth are quite endearing and he provides a large amount of the comic relief as the story progresses.
The only minor failing I found in the novel was to do some minor localisation issues with the parts of the novel set in the UK. The first of these was to do with Aaron and his colleagues managing to get 150 Euros off visitors at Stonehenge. The UK still uses Pound Sterling and therefore I would have thought it would have better to try and beg £150 instead. The next issue is regarding a visit to the town of South Hampton near Salisbury, the town name is actually all one word so it should be written as Southampton. The third thing I noticed was regarding CNN being on a TV whilst there were in the town. Whilst this is possible, it is very unlikely and it would more likely have been BBC News or Sky News on any public TV in the UK. Finally, the use of a hovercraft to get from Dover to Calais is not possible as the hovercrafts that travelled this route went out of service years and years ago. In all honesty, none of this caused any real issues with the story and if I didn’t live in the UK then I may never have noticed them, but it did call into question some of the research put in by Rhine.
Overall, this is a clever and brilliantly written urban fantasy novel full of interesting and complex characters that had me hooked right from the first page. The only flaw I can think of was the silly issues regarding the section in the UK but that was pretty minor and didn't affect my enjoyment of the novel. I think that anyone who enjoys Urban Fantasy will love this book and I therefore highly recommend that you go and give it a read.
Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (The Eclectic Bookshelf)
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)
Free Reads Challenge
Speculative Fiction Challenge