Post by lovablechevy on May 6, 2016 9:29:24 GMT -6
i should have stated before, his book is aimed to be like a young adult fantasy novel. so it is clean. i'd say, anyone who likes books such as: harry potter, lord of the rings, chronicles of narnia, or the like, would really enjoy this book. it's high fantasy, and is really good.
I finished reading this book last Friday. Just forgot to post about it until now.
chevy - when you said the book is "clean", that's mostly true. There are a couple of spots, particularly closer toward the end of the novel where it gets gritty and actually pretty brutal. Still, no profanity and nothing sexual, so definitely clean from that standpoint.
Here's my take on The Children of Calm:
-It's a good narrative. The story is incredibly imaginative and Smith does a good job of taking me on an adventure without bogging down the story with too much detail. Often times I'll get caught up in details or asides and I'll miss something important and I'll spend half a chapter wondering how the character got from point A to point B. That's not the case with Children of Calm. It was an easy and fun read.
-It's extremely well written. Typos, poor sentence structure, and bad punctuation stick out to me like a sore thumb. I hate finding typos in published novels because it doesn't feel very professional. Smith has either an excellent eye for detail or a good team of proof readers. He also does a good job at writing to his intended audience's level, meaning that he doesn't get overly wordy but at the same time it doesn't feel like he's talking down to his audience. Having said that, there are times when his language switches to an "Old English"-style tone, where the characters start speaking more as if they had come out of Lord of the Rings. That's not completely out of place since the setting of the novel is pretty Middle Earth-ish, but it just felt odd to me when the main characters start speaking in more familiar terms as if they were Harry, Ron, and Hermione (...and one other wizard because there are 4 main characters in Smith's novel. Except these characters aren't wizards, so... read the book and draw your own conclusions.)
-It's a cliffhanger. This is my single biggest complaint about The Children of Calm. I was hoping and hoping as I was getting 3/4 through the book that it would resolve nicely, but when I got into the final chapter I knew it wouldn't. There are a dozen or more unanswered questions trailing after finishing the book and if Smith writes a follow-up, I'm not sure if he'll answer half of them or leave a dozen more unanswered in the sequel. I'm not sure if he's said anywhere how many books he's planned for the series. I found his blog through his book's Amazon page and he wrote in April about how he was concerned over the lack of success of his novel and he's not sure where to go from here. Is he writing the sequel? Will I ever get the answers to all these questions?
-It's oddly focused. Strange thing to say, but let me explain. First chapter or two focus on the mom of 2 of the main characters. That's fine because it gives some backstory to the characters. The rest of the story follows 4 children; 2 sets of twins. However, I noticed after a couple of chapters that the book starts to focus mostly on one of the boys: the strong, brave, leader type character. I don't know if this is fully intentional on Smith's part or if it was just a side effect of the direction the story took. There were some elements that helped the story by seeing them through the eyes of this one character, but I've also seen in other books how it works in the reverse. Hermione's time turner in Harry Potter, for instance; it's a complete mystery to Harry until the end of that particular book. To add some nice symmetry to the series, I think it would be interesting if Smith wrote 4 books total, one taking the perspective of each of the children.
tl;dr - Good book. Got my fix of high fantasy. Cliffhanger with Book 2 nowhere in sight.
Currently playing: Skyrim VR, Skylanders 3DS You can call me Dr. Fibb