Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Demon Stones by Michael Drakich

*I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange of a honest review*

Published: July 21st 2014 by Smashwords Edition

Goodreads Summary: It’s been almost a hundred years since warlock meddling freed the demons from their underground domain. Their eventual capture has encased them in large stones across all the lands. They became known as the demon stones.

Over time, the truth of their imprisonment devolved into legend and tales to frighten children.

Now, the seven kingdoms are in upheaval. The demon stones are being opened and the vile creatures once more roam the land. War has broken open between realms as the fingers of accusation are pointed.

Caught in the middle is Gar Murdach, a farm boy who recently passed the age of ascension of sixteen marking him as a man, and his younger sister, Darlee, as they both struggle in their separate ways to escape the horrors wrought by the demons and the war that swarms round them.


Garlich Murdoch is a young farm boy, he dreams of a life where his effort would be appreciated, where his crush Lialee would notice him, where his father would stop beating him up and where his family wouldn’t suffer from poverty.

He wakes up early to go to school, spends time with his friends whenever he can and toils at his family’s farm when work need to be done.  Really, there is nothing special about Gar. 

Who could have guessednthat so many disasters could be caused by this insignificant little farm boy? 

Stones in which demons have been imprisoned are scattered all around the world Michael Drakich created. It turns out that one lays close to Gar’s family farm. And guess what? Yep, Gar accidentally opened it and a small demon came out. It was very unfortunate.

From this mistake unfolded a surprising and terrifying chain reaction. A disastrous event led to another disastrous event, to yet another disastrous event and so on and so forth. And before we knew it, Sechland (Gar’s country) became engulfed in a war against its neighbours. 

Demon Stones was an enjoyable book but not an enthralling one.

Gar, the rather unlikely hero of the story was not a very captivating lead. I thought he was a bit dull and one sided. Furthermore, despite being a sweet lad, a caring brother and a good friend, Gar’s passivity, inaction until the last pages of the book despite some obvious capacity makes it difficult to like him.

I can’t deny that Gar is probably one of the unluckiest Sechlanders and that he certainly didn’t wish all the suffering engendered because of his mistake(s). The problem I have with him is that things always happen to him, he never makes them happen (understand the difference?). 

He never tries to get stronger in order to be able to fight the demons’ influence. In other word, Gar always takes the easy road and makes mistakes because of that. What truly bothered me is that in the end it’s always other people than Gar that face the consequences of his blunders, be it strangers or his family. 

Except maybe for the demons, I didn’t find the other characters particularly interesting. I thought there were all one dimensional. Brusk, Devron, Darlee, the grandfather, Gramby, Daphora are good guys and that’s about it. As for merchant Trellus and his rotten kids, they were the caricatural greedy, self absorbed villains.

In order to make up for a disappointing hero (in my opinion), there was a good premise to create some political rift (which I’m always fond of) to add an edge to the book. Unfortunately, this department was never explored.

Lieutenant Devron, the cousin of the power hungry King Lowry is one of the main characters and we see the world through his eyes. I thought the fact he was of royal lineage would mean that the political aspect of the war would be shown. I expected to see some power struggle between Lords, political intrigues taking place in the royal court but there was absolutely nothing.

I get that Devron is a soldier before anything else. However, I believe that considering the situation his country is in, the duties and hardship accompanying his lineage should have been more delved in.

Description or rather the lack of it in Demon Stones was a bit problematic. Characters’ appearances were barely described and it really bothered me. Having some basic knowledge of how a character’s look is important because its appearance can give away some titbits about his personality and his mental state. Besides, it makes it easier for the reader to imagine him and relate to him.

Even Lialee, Gar’s sweetheart was given the no-description treatment and it was a bit shocking. I mean when you’re in love with someone, shouldn’t you be captivated by his/her bright brown/blue/black/ insert whatever color you want eyes, want to kiss his/ her thin/full lips, be amazed by his/her blond curly lock/ voluminous afro/ straight jet-black hair/ whatever grows on his/her head if he/she has any hair at all? Well, in Demon Stones apparently not.

Also, at times, Drakich’s world seemed a bit... simplistic, for a lack of better words.

The story takes place in a medieval world, but Gar and his sister go to school *insert perplexed look*. In medieval times, school didn’t exist. Wealthy people had tutors to educate them and poor folk (which includes Gar and his little sis) were for the majority illiterate.

Besides, class social in those days were very clear and strictly respected. Yet, Gar’s crush is from a wealthy family, they go to the same school, and he’s even invited to her birthday. I know that in a fictional world, the author can make anything happen. But nonetheless, logic must be respected in order to make the world believable.

There were moments where I was really into Demon Stones. However, it wasn’t gritty and suspenseful enough to be considered great or even memorable.  

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