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Friday, May 3, 2013

The author is a good storyteller with a gift for imagery. #bookreview



Smite the Damned


Written by Zack Kullis




Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Dark Paranormal


Book Synopsis

When Keith Da Silva finally confronts the circumstances surrounding his mother's death, his eyes are opened to the darkness that is waging an ancient war against humanity. Keith is physically confronted by demonic forces, shattering his view of reality, and fights for his life with beings that live on pain and death.

In Smite the Damned, legions of spirits and demons fight alongside an ancient evil, the Nephilim, that have been hiding among their human prey. Keith is asked to help keep the dark forces at bay, and becomes a hunter of the damned. But, his role as a hunter soon brings anguish and death to his family and friends. With only a few people to help, Keith takes the battle to the forces of the Dark Lord, and ultimately, is pulled into a fight within a grand demon's personal realm.

Danielle Forrest's Rating





Danielle Forrest's Review


This book starts with a great first scene that really draws you right in. There is something about this scene that is just so visceral. I was immediately captivated by the story. I didn't quite know what it was going to be about, but the scene had this urgency and strong imagery that set the tone, mood and pace of the story.

By far, I think my favorite thing about the novel was how evil was portrayed, corrupting the faithful by making them kill in the name of God, betraying their beliefs and whatnot. I loved the bad guys. The author creates a world of good and evil that is palpable and different. He makes the story of the Nephilim as intriguing, if not more intriguing, than that of the the main character, which is something of a falling in the book. I find myself wanting to know what happens with Mors, even though he's one of the bad guys. I'm more intrigued by the development of his bad guys than Keith, who I feel like I barely know.

I didn't start to really connect with the main character, the hero, until about 80-85% into the book. Up until then, I was rooting for the bad guys. I was enthralled by them. In fact, I loved this one bad guy so much, I was actually devastated when he died. I remember wanting to yell at him because I knew if he went there, he was going to die. Kind of like those horror movies where the girl goes exploring alone and you yell at the screen but she's stupid and does it anyway.

The author is a good storyteller with a gift for imagery, but he could have done well with a better editor or two. The author had a tendency to mix past and present tense. I also noticed quite a few places with extra words. Overall, while it could use some more editing, the author did a fairly good job. The writing is clear and not overly burdened down. Great imagery. It's not hard to read. The most detracting parts are those where he mistakenly used present tense and situations where he didn't bother to fact check. For example, I was a little taken out of the story by a man still being conscious with his heart outside his body, but then I have an above average knowledge of anatomy and physiology and know that a person cannot be conscious if his heart has stopped. It is a physical impossibility - like not being able to breathe if your heart has stopped. Being in the first year of my doctorate myself, I was equally chagrined by the details of his main character's graduate student life. He's halfway through his doctorate, yet he's still studying. You only take classes for about the first two years. Up until prelims. Then it's all research.

I'm also well versed in Japanese sword fighting. I know, for example, you would need to be 6'8" to draw a katana from an upside down scabbard on your back (which the character used) based upon ratio of height to arm span. Also, I cringed during his fighting scenes where he used the katana. He was lopping off limbs left and right and stabbing through people's skulls. To make matters worse, the Nephilim have tougher skin, denser bones, and cannot be killed by bleeding out, making the katana a useless weapon against them. All Japanese sword fighting styles are centered around bleed the enemy out. It's how the blade is designed. It's razor sharp when battle ready, requires constant maintenance, and can be easily damaged if it makes contact with bone. The author's a good storyteller, has a wonderful way with words, and I would love to see what he could do with a little more effort.

Review Disclaimer: Book was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Content Disclaimer: Marked mature due to violence.

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