Jordan Sanders Book 1
by Marina Ermakova
A “blast from the past” review.
**ETA – having read, and really enjoyed, book #2 I would definitely recommend this series. Ideally, you need to read the books in order to fully understand the setting/world, so it is well worth sticking with the sometimes clunky writing of this book.
This fell between liked and really liked for me. There were some very good aspects but also some areas for improvement. The author had imagined a very intriguing world but parts of it needed a little more fleshing out. I believe that the author may have been trying to avoid an information dump, however, some of the exposition came too late in the story, leaving me unable to build a clear mental picture, rather like trying to follow a TV show having missed one of the episodes.
I did find myself drawn quickly into this story, especially since it metaphorically started with a real bang. The story had plenty of unique features to it, and it didn’t feel the need to rely on tired and cliched tropes. Overall the pace was good, and I did find myself invested in the story enough to want to finish it. The heroine, Jordan, doesn’t come across as feminine at all, indeed at times, I forgot I was reading a female character. She felt very genderless, which isn’t an issue and I’m very happy to read diverse characters, but I was never sure if it was deliberate or poor characterisation. It just wasn’t made clear enough.
In a similar vein, I also found Jordan difficult to relate to. Possibly she’s meant to be socially awkward, autistic or just plain lacking empathy, and whilst some of her internal monologues were enjoyable, there were occasions where it made her seem immature or emotionally stunted. Too often when emotions were portrayed it was in a telling not showing manner. For me to believe a character is feeling something, I want descriptions of the psychological or physiological effects of them. I’m very character-driven, and I think the fact that I was very impassive about Jordan is why this wasn’t a better read for me.
On balance I enjoyed the writing, the author definitely has a pleasant “voice” and a good imagination, which she employed well in the creation of this book. Fleshing out of secondary characters was achieved to various degrees, though occasionally felt a touch repetitive – I got that Tony was grumpy the first half dozen times it was mentioned. It did feel as though this were the second book in a series, or a spin-off book, because whilst the world-building was colourful it was rather like a Turner seascape. You can see an amazing picture but none of the fine detail, however, it is only the first book in a series, so I’m willing to allow that the author may have plans to paint in that depth of detail in future books.
Legend & Fantasy
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43129773-terrestrial-magic
Most sensible people avoid fire-breathing carnivores that prey on humans. But Jordan has built a career out of studying such legendary animals, creatures thought mythological until their reemergence in the world three decades ago. She and researchers like her believe that knowledge is the key to reclaiming the land they’d lost back then, when humanity retreated into designated safety zones.
But when the humans moved out, the legends moved in.
They were the descendants of mythical heroes, inheriting the powers of their ancestors, and they weren’t afraid of the monsters. Jordan never expected to run into a legend, but when a field expedition turns into a trap for her team, she realizes that one deliberately tried to kill her.
It’s a diplomatic nightmare the Roman authorities might happily sweep under the rug. But if Jordan doesn’t figure out who attacked her and why, they could try again. Yet even if she does solve the mystery, what could one stubborn scientist possibly do to stop a powerful legend?