Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [review]

DNF Review: Progeny by R.T. Kaelin

Progeny by R.T. Kaelin is an epic fantasy novel, and honestly, as much as it pains me to admit this, it has reminded me, once again, why I spent years of my childhood blatantly refusing to touch any book labeled fantasy.

I'm going to apologize up front, because I don't really have anything nice to say about this book. I'm going to try really, really hard not to get mean, but I'm going to be honest about what I thought of what I did read, and why I just honestly couldn't bring myself to finish the last third of the book.
I started this book, knowing that I wasn't in the mood for it. It's high, epic fantasy, something I don't read a lot of, and right now, I'm definitely wanting to sit back and read Contemporary fiction. But this is a tour book, and I had a deadline, so I picked it up and started reading. And, during the first paragraph, I knew I was going to have problems with the story. That's a terrible thing to say, and I'm aware of that, because it means I haven't really given the story a chance. But, the first line is — "The day was unbearably hot." And then the author spends a whole paragraph explaining the hot. This is why the book is a massive 660 pages, and why I struggled to read it.
This is a book that really would have benefited from an editor. And, I'm not talking an editor who reads through your paper to make sure that your grammar, punctuation and spelling is correct. I'm talking about an editor who isn't afraid to tell you that it's not a good idea to use 30 words when 10 will suffice, or to spend 5 pages describing how a boy gets out of a tree. (<- — True story... Really happens) I really struggled reading through this book, because the author is really heavy on the detail, and back story, and side stories, and sub characters and sub plots and he lets you take a peak into every single character's mind.
It made the main bad guy we get to 'see' unscary, because really, he's nothing more than a snob who takes his superiority out on people he believes to be less than himself, and he just happens to have the magic to do it on a large scale. I got really tired of him repeating that his nose wrinkled at every movement of a 'lesser' or that he had to force himself to let the weak and sniveling humans live. Sigh.
I also didn't care about a single character. I was never interested in their fates, and I found the parts of the book I did read to be quite predictable. Because, while the story itself was quite good, it was also wholly unoriginal and rather unremarkable. It's been done before, many times and I didn't think that this particular version brought anything new to the telling. And honestly, the characters interactions with each other were... weird. And awkward. Their dialogue was unrealistic and their expectations of each other were... off. I don't know exactly how to explain it without giving specific examples from the book, but none of their relationships or communication or interaction actually felt like something that could realistically or believably transpire between people, which only increased my disinterest in them and their story.
I managed to get about 2/3 through the book before calling it quits, although I will admit right now that much of that 2/3 ended up being skimmed, because so much of it was, in my opinion, unnecessary and tedious. But I finally decided to give up for two reasons. One, was that the entire reading experience had felt like a chore and I cannot think of one section that was enjoyable to read. But the second reason, and why I finally did decide to give up on it was because the author mentioned he plans to make this a 5 book series. There is no way I'm going to be reading the other books in the series, and it just seemed pointless to waste my time being bored while reading to the end of a story that wasn't even over yet anyway. So, I gave up on the book.
Don't let this totally discourage you though. There are a lot of really positive reviews on Goodreads for this book, and I know that one of my good blogger friends read and really enjoyed this one herself. So maybe you will like it. If it sounds like a book you would really enjoy, give it a shot. Epic fantasy definitely has a large and loyal following, so there will be some people out there who love this one.