Where Honesty Never Ends.
Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the author to The Review Board in exchange for an honest review.
Dragon’s Revenge is the exciting conclusion to the Hunters of Reloria trilogy. Magical Reloria is beset by hordes of invading enemy ships carrying giants with ocular laser beams. People and creatures from across the land band together against the invasion, while our group of heroes, the Hunters of Reloria, seek to restore the defensive shield to their borders. A savage attack on the dragons’ town decimates the population and leads the surviving dragon to pledge revenge against the invaders. Epic battles with dragons and giants ensue, leading to a thrilling climax.
Hello and welcome to The Review Board. Today we will be presenting you with the 3rd installment in a trilogy: “Dragon’s Revenge” by author Kasper Beaumont.
First in line to give his thoughts is Mr. Controversy.
Australian author Kasper Beaumont wrote the 175 paged book “Dragon’s Revenge“, which is the third installment of the Hunters of Reloria series.
I haven’t read the first two books of this series, yet was quite curious and intrigued about reading a story about a whiny elven princess, a purple eyed mage, a shape shifter that turns into a dragon, laser beam shooting from their eye cyclopes, nimble dwarves, and wise fairy guardians.
The story starts with Princess Shari-Rose and her fairy guardian being held captive by the cyclopes on the cyclopes’ orange home planet called Zanarah. The Hunters of Reloria are attempting to rescue Princess Shari-Rose as dodge danger.
There is a bit of resistance within the cyclopes race, where they fight each other in the name of being the Head Cyclops In Charge (H.C.I.C.) as the TRUE H.C.I.C., Emperor Chi’garu is on a violent campaign in Reloria.
The cyclopes have slaves called the Vergai: scaly lizard like creatures who are very strong and have long tails. There is an uprising of the cyclopes and the Vergai.
Reading through the first few paragraphs, there is language used—the explaining of who was who, and what is what—which made me believe that it might’ve extended from the first book. I think that this should not have happened in the third installment of a series
In the early goings on of the book, I came across cheesy dialogue from Ash (who is a shape-shifter who turns into a dragon) directed towards the princess. It says:
“A slight cough from Ash caused her to return her gaze to him. One large yellow eye was staring at her intently. ‘So you admit you can’t live without me Princess,’ he teased in a weak voice. ‘I do like your look by the way. Is this the latest elven fashion?’ He gave another rasping cough causing a cloud of smoke to billow over her.“
Granted, this interaction is in the name of humor. However to me, not only did this feel cheesy due to the delivery and timing of the joke, but the dialogue felt clichéd. I suppose it was the fact that it was trying to create some air of romance between a flirtatious Ash and a rigid Shari-Rose within the throes of danger. I have read techniques like this in other books. Some authors achieve it, while others don’t. I think that in this book in particular, it was not achieved.
The pacing of “Dragon’s Revenge” felt boring and slow. Below par narrative that lacked passion, which further proves my point of mundane narrative.
Case in point:
“Sir Philip addressed the ten knights in his outpost, ‘No enemy as vast as this has never entered Reloria. A black day dawns today and the plains will be scarred by battle. Harden your hearts, brave knights, for we may not see another sunrise. Squires, ready the horses, for we will have to make a quick retreat from here.’“
This speech could have been an impassioned battle cry by Sir Philip to the point of being a memorable reading point. Yet, it felt soft! I yawned and shook my head in disappointment, for it fell incredibly short.
As shown in this clip, Optimus Prime spoke to the humans when he and his comrades stopped the Decepticon battle cruiser. Optimus’ brief and VERY effective speech STILL gets to me to this day:
Hearing this speech again makes me want to grab a barbed wire baseball bat and fight until I am taken out by my enemies. The inspiration displayed gives the air of being confident in your leadership which will make people march to the Gates of Hell and have FULL CONFIDENCE that they will leave without a scorch mark.
THAT is the kind of Passion, Fire, AND Desire needed to REALLY engage your readers, Ms. Beaumont. The above clip offers a perfect example of how memorable literary moments stay with your audience.
Character wise, they are just … there. When I say this, I mean to say that there isn’t really a standout sort of character who steals the show. The characters are lumped together and are merely existing without being captivating. Sure you have those who have potential and opportunities to step up to the plate, but instead of hitting home runs, they are committing foul tips—not doing and/or saying things that make them a superstar.
Unfortunately for Ms. Beaumont, this book is an editor’s dream come true, if they charge by the sentence.
In the realm of sentence structure, they felt jagged, making sense to a point, yet do not run smooth like a shot of whiskey.
I mean it in the sense of, for example, there is an event that is occurring that would warrant an adequate response/reaction. Instead, it goes from that particular event to an action.
The princess was captured and threatened while her companions slept. She finds a way to escape and her comrades/party engages the threat.
Seeing that example I wonder, how did the party wake up? Were they startled awake after hearing the threat? Did the princess shake them all awake? Did she scream at them to awaken and retaliate?
Nothing of the sort happened yet the princess escaped the threat, because her comrades leapt into action.
Not only that, there were many places where discrepancies can be found.
“The Hunters on Zanarah had to keep moving, for they were constantly pursued by a group of Junda guards with the last of the ferocious Yarba Beasts.“
I am concerned about the above sentence at the start of Chapter 3. The protagonists listed in this particular paragraph that contains this sentence are the Hunters of Reloria, are they not? Was this a missed opportunity that the author overlooked, or is this intentional?
“Another peep out of you, songbird and I’ll squeeze your ribcage till it pops. Nod if you understand me.”
A missing comma is apparent.
Also, “Till” is a verb. It is typically used when working with soil. It is ALSO a preposition; a less formal way of saying “til”.
It is a noun AS WELL, meaning a cash register or drawer for money in a bank, store, or restaurant.
To lessen the confusion in the realm of using the word “till”, a suggested edit in sentence structure would be:
“Another peep out of you, songbird, and I’ll squeeze your ribcage ’til it pops. Nod if you understand me.”
Another example of specific action, then action:
“As she spoke, the Hunters realised there was a tiny figure on the lower end of the staircase. Violetta levitated up to the Grand Mage and the other companions raced to climb the wide staircase after her.“
How did Violetta know that the tiny figure was the Grand Mage WITHOUT speaking those words, or thinking that the tiny figure WAS the Grand Mage? It could have been a statue of a mage. MAYBE the enemy responsible for the missing mages!
“As she spoke, the Hunters realised there was a tiny figure on the lower end of the staircase. Violetta looked to where the Hunters noticed the figure, levitated to that area, and discovered to her surprise and relief that it was the Grand Mage as her companions raced to climb the wide staircase to where she levitated.“
The story overall isn’t as engaging as I would have hoped, despite a somewhat decent description set that was used to describe the landscapes and a few actions within the story. I honestly feel that had I read the prior books, I would still say the same thing as I am saying here. More care was needed on the editing floor before it went to print.
Survey Says: 4 out of 10
Cheesy, anticlimactic, expected outcomes, mediocre, and boring are just a few words that I am using to describe this book. There is a story here, no doubt. Sadly, I was cringing too much to notice.
Last but not least, let’s give the floor to the one and only No Labels Unleashed.
Dragon’s Revenge is the third (and final book) of the Hunters of Reloria trilogy. Unlike the other reviewers, I have read the other two books. Therefore, parts of my review will reflect on comparisons between the two previous books: Elven Jewel and Hunters’ Quest.
I. The presentation of the characters
Fellow reviewer Mr. Controversy expressed that there is lingo he feels would be better used in the first book. What he is referencing is the quick breakdown of characters and their roles prior to diving into the meat of the tale. I don’t necessarily agree with his assessment. However, I do think this could have been demonstrated in a better way, if I’m allowed some latitude.
Prior to my posting my thoughts on the 2nd book in the Hunters of Reloria trilogy, I was asked if these books could stand alone.
From the 1stbook Elven Jewel leading into the 2nd book Hunters’ Quest, it could because one of the storylines from the first book had a definite resolution. Yet, from the 2nd book Hunters’ Quest to the 3rd book Dragon’s Revenge, the transition would not be an easy once since the ending was a cliffhanger.
Perhaps the author believed that by doing a character breakdown, the gap between the activities from the second book would be filled and the reader would be none the wiser going into this next installment. I believe that this technique would be better suited for a screenplay as opposed to a YA fantasy/ adventure novel. I would have preferred a prelude just prior to Chapter One, or for snippets of flashback or recall here and there throughout the book. In my opinion that would have served for a smoother read.
II. Pace comparison
By reading just one book of a trilogy it can be hard to pinpoint if the pace of a narrative is slow or fast. It also depends on the reader. For Mr. Controversy, the pace in Dragon’s Revenge is too slow. Yet, for me, the pace was fast—almost too fast. The author was trying to make up for the sluggish areas in the previous two—particularly Elven Jewel, and as a result, had things occurring to the point where you had to connect the dots of that episode quickly before going to the next conflict.
There has to be balance when it comes to action and down time. If there is too much down time, a work may be perceived as slow moving, but if there is too much going on at a rapid rate, the reader may feel like she’s being spun around like the spin cycle on a washing machine.
The balance just wasn’t there, no matter whether it was fast or slow.
III. Character standouts
Most books have a character or characters that really stand out. In Dragon’s Revenge, I do applaud the teamwork, yet no character really emerges as the pivotal superstar, nor is there any major development in any of them that make them stick out in my mind or reflect on them after the tale has ended. With so many different types of groups represented, this is somewhat of a fail.
IV. Comedic presence and timing
Unlike Mr. Controversy, I do not have a problem with a smidgen of comedy sprinkled in work that has epic undertones. My concern was the banter going on for a bit too long. Comedy is in the eye of the beholder—what one person may see funny the other person may not. Therefore, I dare not judge on humor but timing and longevity.
V. Telling rather than showing
There was still a lot of action that was told, as opposed to shown, in Dragon’s Revenge. One example is a part where I’m told that the Vergai captors have been disarmed but not given any indication as to how this wonderfully strategic move was done. It would be different if this was supplemental information but this is a pivotal scene in the book, so it calls for a bit of embellishment.
The magic that marks the distinction between an “okay fantasy read” and a “phenomenal fantasy read” is the author’s ability to produce scenes that makes the eyes and mouth widen with amazement and pleasure.
I was not “wow”ed—not because the premise of all the books wasn’t fascinating but because of the way it was delivered.
Unleashed Verdict: 6 Stars
Dragon’s Revenge scores slightly better because there was resolution and the pacing was better in this final book of the trilogy. With improvement in delivery of the material and some further editing, the Hunters of Reloria trilogy had the potential to truly be epic. For me, it has not achieved that potential.
Taking the two scores by our reviewers and dividing it by two, Dragon’s Revenge by Kasper Beaumont receives 5 TRB Stars.
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