Fear erupts in the nation of Gaescea when Seer Mecas returns heralding a cryptic doom, and Kaemen and his fellow warrior-elites, the Wolfhounds, make ready for war.
But Kaemen discovers that the kingdom’s preparations were for naught when he awakes in a realm far more harrowing than the battlefield, for they have crossed over into the Land of the Dead.
Now Kaemen must fight for the salvation of Gaescea, knowing all the while that he is being hunted by damnation (goodreads.com).
The book follows Kamen (A Wolfhound), Dagoran (Captain of the Wolfhounds), Breoch (lifelong friend of Kamen and fellow Wolfhound), and Lord Alkinan of Aerelia (A Cialwahr, or mage), as they travel through the world of the dead and attempt to rid the living of the evil mage Stokein.
I really enjoyed the plot of the book. The first few chapters were a little slow, but as the story progressed I had a hard time putting it down. By chapter 5, I decided that this was a fantastic read, I was hooked! Some of the chapters could have been taken out or rewritten for better character development, but it picked up as soon as I found out that all the characters I was reading about suddenly died! I have never read a book where the main characters died and then I followed them through the after life. It was a good twist and it kept me interested trying to figure out why/how they died. I was shocked when the big twist was revealed towards the end! Let’s just say the book isn’t about what I thought it was. That’s about all I can say about it without giving anything away. Oh! and the ending was amazing! It was so sad I shed some tears! Just fantastic!
Although the story was engaging throughout, it did however take me awhile to connect with the characters, who were not terribly well fleshed-out early in the story. I felt that they could have been developed a little more at the beginning before they all died (Yes, they all die!) However, I did come to enjoy Breoch because he was hilarious, and I became more attached to Kamen as the story progressed. I just enjoy books more when I can really get into the characters from the very beginning. It is important for this story to really like and connect with the characters at the beginning because of all the traumatic things that happen to them. Also, the better developed the characters, the more of an impact the ending of the story would have had. I did shed some tears at the end, but it would have been even more impactful if I would have gotten to know the characters a little more. I felt like I knew more about Stokein, the villan, because we get a flashback to his childhood and learn a lot about him, more than any of the other characters.
The story was great, and for the most part the book was well written. There were sections where some words were over used or where the style was a little inconsistent. I would read longer more complex sentences, and then it switched to more simple sentences but nothing that ended up distracting me from reading.
I really enjoyed the book, and I was glad to read something a little different for a change. I really recommend reading this book if you enjoy fantasy, and I am sure the author would appreciate some more reviews for his first book. Also, I would only recommend this book to adults because there are some instances of rape and other graphic scenes that would be inappropriate for anyone under 18.
My rating: 4/5 stars!
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Review: After Life (paigereiring.com)
*photo provided by goodreads.com