Jax and Kala have discovered that they have actually been on Crucible for almost a thousand years. But, they have no memories of that time, only dreams that haunt them. Now, with new allies, they must prepare for The Caste army that is marching towards them.
Jax, a man of science, must come to terms that there is so much he does not understand.
Kala, a construct build from an ancient mysterious race, a naive, yet headstrong woman, must learn what it means to be human.
Jill, a young woman with demons in her past, must find her place in this new, and often cruel world.
Doc, a sentient A.I. in a liquid metal body, is a mystery. He now has a part of The Watcher in him, how will he change?
Aurelia, a natural-born girl of Crucible. Her parents murdered, has not spoken since. She holds power no one seems to understand, how will she wield it?
My Opinion: 375 pages, $4.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The first 16% of the novel is kind of awkward.
There are like 6 or 7 main and secondary characters that converge. When they all start talking to each other , it becomes a bit of a mess. The entire section from 10-15% is actually pretty hard to read. The dialogue becomes stilted, no one seems to have a unique voice and everyone’s dialogue is written the same. There is this weird issue with inconsistent use of contractions that makes everyone's speak switch from formal to casual repeatedly and it’s honestly hard to read. I’d genuinely recommend skipping that whole section and go right to the 16% percent mark.
After that there’s some dungeon diving that is really fun and interesting. Then at the 32% there’s this huge reset button that’s hit by the author. I won't spoil exactly what happens but it doesn't make sense to me and feels very contrived. Everyone is split up and the novel becomes 3 different stories. 1) Jill on her fairy adventure. 2) Kayla, on her trip to a human city and experience with a cult that worships the MC. 3) The MC, who does some training and for no really explained reason, turns into an unemotional mass murderer that develops sex powers.
Many of the changes to the story just drop out of nowhere and don’t really make sense. It almost feels like the independent stories after the 32% mark were written first, then the first third was written later to justify why they were all split up and on their own adventures.
The twists in the story just seem to exists for the stories sake and often don’t have any foreshadowing or even make sense in the terms of the game mechanics used. There’s a lot of wand waving happening here that ignores the world rules previously set. ie) The exact old villain from book 1 appearing thousands of years in the future on this alien planet and being able to kill a major character? When that character dies, they can magically remember their past, even though it’s clearly stated that being reborn erases all past memories? Or the MC suddenly having the power to go from level 10 to 300?
This same type of unexplained revelation occurs with the character’s powers. Each character just seems to spontaneously develop powers and abilities not based on the world rules setup and sometimes in direct conflict with them. At one point, Jill, suddenly becomes a Kung Fu master and kills bandits 3-4 times her level. The story explains it away as ‘she studied martial arts on earth’, a fact not before in evidence. Even the MC seems to spontaneously know how to grow elemental crystals (gains a new ability too), without instruction, when asked to do so as part of his training.
Overall, the story is not boring. The fighting this time was better written. Though there was again a noticeable number of grammar and other technical writing errors in the story. However, I did lose a substantial amount of interest though when all these rule bending events occurred making all the RPG stuff pretty meaningless. I mean, if the story is just going to ignore it when the plot demands something particular needs to happen, what’s the point of having it there in the first place?
I don’t think that I’ll be picking up book 3 in the series.
Score: 6 out of 10