mud
This book cover was taken from its Amazon buy page for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine. 

Spoiler Free Summary:  Mud by E. J. Wenstrom is the first book in the first book in the Chronicles of the Third Realm War.  Adem is a gholam, a mud creature, who was created to protect a mysterious box.  Adem must kill Anyone who comes for it or too near it.  When a little boy is the frist not supernaturally drawn to the box, Adem begins to curiously follow the child until he and his sister are forced to flee the city.  At the same time, an angel offers Adem freedom in exchange for bringing back the angel’s long lost love from the dead.

Driven by his desire to be human and free of the box, Adem shatters the barrier between realms, unwittingly setting of a chain of events that only places the world in even more danger.

Character:  Adem felt like this well meaning giant to me. Imagine Wreck-It Ralph meets Ludo from Labyrinth. He does a lot of cool stuff, and he’s pretty sympathetic. It’s been some time since I’ve read this book, and I still clearly remember the character and the bulk of the plot. That’s a great sign.  Wenstrom does a great job letting Adem’s motivations drive the story.

Exposition: This was told through first-person narrative, but the story moved pretty quickly. I only vaguely remember one or two spots where the pace slowed down because of Exposition, and even then, the story moved along well.

EJWenstrom2
Image taken from Wenstrom’s website for review purposes under Fair Use doctrine. 

Dialogue: This was probably my least favorite part. There were parts where I felt I was being spoken to rather than listening to conversation. I don’t mean that the writer broke the fourth wall; I just mean there were some long verbal explanations that slowed the story a touch.

Description:  I was happy with this. I was able to visualize the scenes and characters pretty well. I got the mental pictures I needed without being forced to slog through bulky paragraphs of description.

World Building: This story is right out of Greek mythology. It’s a journey to the underworld, complete with all the common trials. Some may feel that sort of storytelling is a bit old, but I felt the right mix of nostalgia and interest. I was particularly interested in the broader lore of the series.

Overall: This was a pretty interesting twist on classic Greek myth storylines. Interesting setup. It has some artistically stylistic things I think people will find hit or miss (you’ll either like the style or not), but if you like Greek myths, you’ll probably enjoy this. If I didn’t have a couple handfuls of books to get through, I’d probably read the second book just to see how things develop. 

Thanks for reading

Matt

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