Friday, 3 May 2013

Calm Before the Storm (Stewards of the White Circle Book 1) - JT Brewer




Title: Calm Before the Storm (Stewards of the White Circle Book 1)
Author: JT Brewer
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 2011
Formats: Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
Amazon
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

Review:
“Calm Before The Storm" is an interesting urban fantasy novel written by a husband/wife duo known as JT Brewer. The interesting thing about this story was that I had originally been asked to read it under a different title which was “Omega’s Shepherd” but before I got onto it the authors asked me to hold off as they were re-working the novel. Anyway, the novel as it stands now is going to be the first in a series of novels known as “Stewards of the White Circle” and after reading this book I am looking forward to reading the future novels.

The plot itself follows a famous Biology professor known as Dr James Omega who is drawn to a University in Colorado as he searches for someone known as the Shepherd who appears to have some sort of special destiny regarding life on Earth. Of course, he isn’t the only one searching and a demon has been unleashed from hell to try and thwart the aims of Dr Omega and his fellow Stewards of the White Circle.

The story itself does involve an interesting premise and I was very curious about where the overall plot is heading in the long run. In addition there were some really interesting references to a deeper history that I am sure will be further developed in future novels. However, a problem I did have is that the novel suffers from being dedicated to the overall set up with little real tension or excitement. The authors do try to include something in regards to an avalanche at one point but this just doesn’t work for me as the other characters involved were just random people that were never introduced and were never mentioned again.

The writing itself was tidy, descriptive and easily captured the imagery that the authors were trying to invoke. In addition, I actually found the pacing to be more than competent enough to stop my mind drifting off which was nice to see considering the issues I had with the lack of tension etc.

The biggest issue I probably had with the novel however is in relation to the characters who just felt a little bit too flat for me which made it hard for me to really connect with them. They were all just so black and white and lacked any meaningful depth or complexity which would have really drawn me in. This is epitomised by the romantic relationship between two of the protagonists which was quite simply bad. I found it to be clich├ęd, unimaginative and obvious to the point that it actually irritated me a little.

Despite this review sounding rather negative, I did find the book to be an interesting and enjoyable introduction to a new series of fantasy novels. However, I do think it is missing a real sense of tension and I hope we can see some real development in the characters going forward. Personally, I am still looking forward to reading the next book in the series which is a good sign for any introductory book such as this.