Honestly, I’m in sorrow. This is not an easy book for me to review, I really wanted to love this book more especially after seeing the raving reviews it received from several reviewers I know, but I can’t give this a higher rating because of some cons I had with it, hence the rating.
Before I start my review, I’ll give a warning to those of you who are sensitive on the topic of violence and rape, there are several scenes that might triggered you. The book itself started with an attempted rape, and then continued with two more rapes scene happening off screen later on (to a mother and a teenager) near the end of the book. Plus, as I mentioned in the beginning of my review, the existence of one very brutal scene that I usually only find in other medium, will definitely make you wince.
Picture: Goldsboro’s Books June Book of the Month, taken from the author’s blog
If you think for one second that hammer and nail in the picture are there for decoration, you couldn’t be more wrong. I can never look at hammer the same way again after this book, that’s all I’ll say on this matter. Consider yourself warned.
The plot of the book revolves around the Mireces people, who worship the bloodthirsty Red Gods, that’s plotting an invasion of Rilpor, which are filled with thriving cities and fertile Earth and the people worship the Dancer and the Fox God. If you’ve been following my reviews, I always avoid ‘bullet point’s’ review but I must make an exception for this one because the amount of things I enjoy and dislike are more or less equal. I’ve been staring at this review for hours and I honestly don’t have any idea how to tackle this one other than using this format.
I’ll start with the cons first so this review can end with a positive note because despite the problems I had with it, there’s no doubt that I enjoyed reading this book.
-The overkill short chapters. If I may be brutally honest, the first 30% of the book was boring due to the huge amount of POV’s and short chapters. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind short chapters, in fact, one of my favorite series of all time, The Faithful and the Fallen series by John Gwynne is done in the same manner. However, in this case, it’s just too much. The book is less than 400 pages, there are 106 chapters in it. Yes, that means most chapter consist of only 3 pages, this kill the sense of immersion and made the characters really hard to get attached to, especially in the beginning. Not to mention there seems to be no distinctive voices between the male characters until around halfway of the book.
-Characters are severely lacking in physical description. Up until the end of the book, I have no slightest idea on what every character facial features should look like. Despite the huge amount of casts, the only concrete information I got was that Rilllirin has red hair and she’s 20 years old, Dom is less than 30 years old, Gilda is old but that’s it. Call me nitpicky but I prefer to know how the characters supposed to look like.
-Finally, world-building still needed a lot of improvements. There seems to be no other reason for the conflict between the Gods other than the almost thousand year exile of the Red Gods. The author might be saving this plot device for the sequels so I may change my statement on this one in the future if it ended up being true. The world also felt so small and quite lacking in vivid description.
Now, on to the pros
+Short chapters. Yes, the short chapters are also the positive part of the book. The book is highly focused on plots, dialogues and actions which made the book really hard to put down after the 30% mark. It’s fast paced and there’s always something going on in the story.
+The best part of the book for me lies within it political machinations. Despite being predictable, there’s always this sense of “I can’t wait for this part to arrive” and that’s always a good thing in my dictionary.
+Well written female characters. Rillirin, Lanta, Gilda are all unique in personality and compelling to read. Rillirin’s development throughout the book from the beginning is amazing.
+A huge plus on the beautifully detailed map. In my opinion, maps are a staple in high/epic fantasy books these days, it allows better sense of location and how far each location in the world are from each other.
Don’t let my short explanations on the pros put you off, I’m just highlighting the main point for you to enjoy it yourself so that you'll have a better experience when you read it. Overall, although I expected to love this book more, Godblind is still a very enjoyable book despite the problems I had with it and it's a good beginning to a trilogy. I will look forward to what Anna Stephens have in store for the trilogy in the future.