This is, as the title says, book review for The Therions, by Esme Autumns.
A little background: The Therions is a new release (it was published November 2014). I received an early copy from Library Thing, which I promised to review. Otherwise… why am I asking for random books? Because of this, I’m going to write this review a little differently, which is to say that there will be NO SPOILERS!!!
Also, important: This review is taking the place of my normally scheduled thoughts on writing. As it will again next week, when I review Futures Near and Far by David Smeds.
The Therions is a quick read, clocking in at just over 200 pages. For the first half, the book is actually rather engaging, drawing the readers into a steadily escalating plot.
Some of the foreshadowing is a little heavy handed, but considering it reads like it’s meant for someone in middle school (even though I’d guess the target audience is at least high school) that’s not a horrible thing.
Jake is our main character. He think’s he’s a normal boy, living in a normal world. But, what fun would that be? We wouldn’t have a book otherwise. He’s got a bunch of family history, including a presumed dead brother and a crazy sister who up and disappeared one day. Jake assumes this means she’s dead.
There’s a whole plot about ancient gods and cults, and trying to take over the world. Really, standard fair. But, people keep buying it, so hey!
The book does have some technical issues. About 1/3 of the way through, it becomes apparent that the author either didn’t have a good editor or stopped caring about the editing process as much. I really hope it’s the editor’s fault. Suffice it to say, there’s a ton of loose grammar (commas in incorrect locations, several characters are randomly missing contractions, frequent tense issues, sometimes even in the same sentence).
Actually, it reads a lot like Autumns polished the hell out of the most important part of the book, the section that an agent would first read and then didn’t care as much. I feel a little horrible saying that.
Another problem that tends to crop up (again, more as the book progresses) is the shifting in narrators. As a reader, I assumed we were stuck with Jake’s perspective, but then The Therions starts to shift perspectives, from one character to the next, often with no demarcation. Only context makes it clear there’s been a shift in narrative perspective. And, by context I mean, “Oh, hey, these are someone else’s thoughts.”
It’s not a bad book, but The Therions is decidedly average. I’m not going to remember it in six months, let alone care if a series eventually spins out of it. It’s almost a shame, because the book has a number of great ideas. Once again, the execution is lacking.