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Friday, 19 February 2016

Time for the Lost by Chess Desalls (Call to Search Everywhen, #3) - Book Review - Indie

2/5 Stars

The Uproar had prematurely ended my father's already short lifespan.

I couldn't let it happen again.

Not with Calla...

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Edition: Kindle
Pages: 237 (Roughly.)
Chapters: 37 (Plus a prologue and an epilogue.)
Publisher: Czidor Lore, LLC

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

Damn! Damn! Damn!

I know it's inevitable, but I hate when I don't enjoy a book... I'll try and be constructive and concise, because as you can see from my reviews for entries one and two, I rather like this series.

Time for the Lost is the third instalment to the sci-fi series that focuses on nifty time and space travel. The travelling is fun; the locations are vivid; and the world is huge. But, perhaps it is too huge. Time for the Lost, unfortunately, doesn't feel stable with its plotting or characters. There's no logical progression, just tangents upon tangents. Several paths will be put before the cast, we'll even work through it with them, only to dive off in a completely different direction.

The cast, usually unique, also lets the plot down. Mainly due to the frustration that they seem to understand things perfectly while the reader is left hanging in the wind.

Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)

Calla is missing and no one can track her.
Afraid that she is one of the Lost, time and space travelers who disappear altogether, Valcas sets out in search.
But finding her has ramifications too horrid to believe.
It seems a massive conspiracy is afoot, with a prominent world on the brink of war with an equally prominent organisation.
And our group are front and center...

Plot - 1.5/5 Stars

I get the feeling that author is trying to be philosophically complex inside Time for the Lost, but it messes drastically with the world's rules, at least, the rules that make sense. I recommend reading the previous books for the coalescing plot threads in this entry, but even then you might find yourself out of your depth. There are too many ifs and buts, and with the series amassing a plethora of questions, I hoped we'd have an equal number of answers.

And, in a way, there are a lot of resolutions, but they don't come across well.

The convolution stains the story, leaving the reader wondering what exactly are the motivations and goals. The time and space aspects sometimes conflict with one another, so it's probably best to try and not scrutinise them too much. Answers don't follow any logical path, and I feel that there's a supernatural element in the background to explain random leaps in rationale. 

I love the more conspiratorial threads of the plot, but they're not capitalised on. Just when I thought the overarching plot was coming into focus, the novel ends. It's entirely possible it'll come up again in any future entries, but it leaves the rest of story rather unnecessary.

Pace - 2/5 Stars

Chess's wonderful writing does smooth the way forward, but the discrepancies and hard-to-follow plot stunt the pace quite a bit. You will, most likely, and quite frequently, be reading passages over and over again and still not get to the point they're trying to make.

Characters - 2/5 Stars

I have a certain warmth for the cast; some of them have had fantastic arcs and development. Time for the Lost, however, uses them more as pawns than living, breathing creations. The novel is split in two: One half from Valcas's point of view, and the other from Calla's. But this just adds more of a disconnect. 

New characters pop up too, but their entrances frustrate me for one reason: Happy coincidences. Strangers shoot to the surface with much needed solutions just when they're needed. The author tries to tie in some of the original characters' mysteries with the overall plot, but it feels forced and too helpful.

Writing - 3/5 Stars

Chess has a solid grasp on her craft, building visuals beautifully. The adventures and locations are fantastic highlights. But, and I hate buts, when it comes to straight-up answers things become far too flowery. It muddies whatever explanation is trying to be made to the point that the reader doesn't have a clue what's being talked about. 

Overall - 2/5 Stars

I will be reading any future entries, mainly because there is a gem of a world under all the confusion. Plus, it could always just be me and my lack of perception. I hate when I feel like it's me that's missed something important...


Previous Instalment: Insight Kindling


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