I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Defenders Of The Scroll by Shiraz
Published by iUniverse Star on 2009-06
Genres: Epic, Fantasy, Fiction
Buy on Amazon
Far away in the realm of Mythos, an evil entity has broken free of its prison to darken the land. However, entrusted with her father's magic scroll the only hope for the realm young princess Dara summons six heroes from different times and places to defend her: a hardened Roman legionnaire, a swift Japanese samurai, a mighty African warrior, a fiery Amazon archer, a spirited Shaolin monk, and a guitar-playing high school student named Alex. Now, constantly on the run from an army of Shadow Warriors, the teens must endure perilous journeys and face frightening monsters while trying not to fight with each other as they struggle to find the mysterious Hall of Shadows. 2010 Mom's Choice AwardsŽ Silver Recipient for Young Adult Fantasy, Myths & Legends Winner in the Fantasy category of the 2009 National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist in the Action-Adventure and Young Adult Fiction categories of the 2009 National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist in the Multicultural Fiction and Best Overall Design Fiction categories of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category of the National Best Books 2009 Awards, sponsored by USA Book News Honorable Mention in the Sci-Fi category of the 2009 New York Book Festival Honorable Mention in the Sci-Fi and Teenage categories of the 2009 Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention in the Teenage category of the 2009 Hollywood Book Festival Honorable Mention in the Wild Card category of the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival
Let me preface this by saying I was very hesitant to do a review, but after speaking with fellow bloggers and authors in a chatzy, I have decided to go forward with this review, since a part of blogging is honesty and straight-forwardness.
I really wanted to like and enjoy Defenders of the Scroll, honest-to-God, I did. I liked the premise, little girl gets magic scrolls, and calls on fabulous people and figures to help her in her quest. Quest books are among my favorites. However, I had to put the book aside.
The writing definitely needed a better editor, and an honest editor at that. I mean, what sort of editor lets repetition slip by? What sort of an editor lets an author get away with telling their readers what is occurring in the story instead of showing readers. For example, at one point the wizard king was walking through the ShadowLands, and had a glowing orb in his hands. Now, from the glowing orb I can pretty much deduce that the orb was lighting up the dark, right? Apparently not, as a sentence was included to tell the reader that the orb lit up the woods. Uh, thanks Captain Obvious. I’m sure if this book was better executed, I would have really enjoyed it, and actually finished it. It may have had much better execution if there was an editor honest enough to say, really Bro this isÂ unnecessary, why don’t you go back and revise that?
Also, I really think the publisher should have stepped in and said something about the cover. I don’t like it, numerous others I have spoken with do not like it as well. It’s too busy, too cheesy, and the people don’t work well. Perhaps if it was a simple picture of a scroll with a sword or an axe in front of it, with maybe the title and author in calligraphy, the cover would have worked, but rather the cover just didn’t do it for me.
That being said, the pictures inside were really awesome! Maybe if this was done as a graphic novel instead of a regular novel, this would have worked. The things which I felt could have been eliminated, i.e. the unnecessary descriptors of people’s looks, objects, and functions could have been replaced with pictures and dialogue, much like what a graphic novel does.
This is not to say that Shiraz is a bad author or person, in fact, he is an incredibly nice and interesting guy. I just think he got screwed over by his publisher, as he fronted the money I think, for the book to be published, yet they did not do their jobs and be honest about what would have made the book work for the reader. I mean, really iUniverse, you ought to have used your editor and used your cover designer more accordingly. I mean, I just made a bunch of constructive critical comments which I feel would have improved the book and I wasn’t even paid to make those comments. Now, what are those people getting paid to do if they can’t do their jobs right? Do you honestly care about the book, or about the money the author is giving you to publish their book?
All this being said, I cannot, in good conscience recommend a drink to go with this book.