Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: The Reign of the Nightmare Prince

Reign of the Nightmare Prince
by Mike Phillips
copy: Early Reviewers program at Library Thing

This book is set in a world that reminded me of a time before the Iron Age, or similar to some of the native American populations prior to European colonization of the contents. Metal wasn't had by all, but those who had it prized it. Their world is invaded by the Shaitani, a group who seem invincible and wield some strange magic the native populations can't defend against. The Shaitani slowly move through settlement after settlement, destroying the people who lived in them, and all they held dear (buildings, religious shrines, etc). Rakam, a descendant of the royal line happens upon the Shaitani, learns a little about them, and works to help his people defend against the invaders.

This book was difficult to read, but not because it was a heavy subject. It was difficult because it was very confusing. There were four or five different points of view in the first six chapters of the book, and the reader is thrust into each, without getting any of the background on some of the major themes that run through out the book. While I normally feel like I generally pick up easily the major points and settings of the books I read, in this one I felt I didn't get the basic background of one of the main groups (the Shaitani) until I was about three-quarters of the way through the book. While the main storyline would have been interesting enough if flushed out more, it was disjointed by what seemed unnecessary point of view changes, or information that didn't seem to pan out in the end of the book. I still am not certain how or who the title pertains to.

Additionally, the e-book was formatted poorly. There were no chapters in the contents section, so if you wanted to go back to something, you had to go all the way back to the table of contents page and use the links on it. But it also refused to show the bookmarks I had placed, so you had to keep track of that if you backtracked for something. Chapters seemed to start whenever on a page, and not on a new one. And there were a few pages that had from 1-5 lines on it only, but it wasn't an end of the chapter. The formatting just added to the overall frustration with the book.

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