Son of the Storm ( The Nameless Republic #1) by Suyi Davies Okungbowa
I've managed a little bit of time as the kids are preoccupied so I figured I would get out another review that I've been meaning to write. Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa.
This I picked up last year and was excited by all the hype around it. As life goes I just barely finished it and am just now getting a review up. Here's a brief synopsis taken from GR for Son of the Storm.
In the ancient city of Bassa, Danso is a clever scholar on the cusp of achieving greatness—only he doesn’t want it. Instead, he prefers to chase forbidden stories about what lies outside the city walls. The Bassai elite claim there is nothing of interest. The city’s immigrants are sworn to secrecy.But when Danso stumbles across a warrior wielding magic that shouldn’t exist, he’s put on a collision course with Bassa’s darkest secrets. Drawn into the city’s hidden history, he sets out on a journey beyond its borders. And the chaos left in the wake of his discovery threatens to destroy the empire.
Anytime theres an opportunity to read non western fantasy and it looks good, I'm in. I was hopeful when I picked this book up and am still hopeful for his future books but this book missed the mark for me. There was a high point in the book, one that just may force my hand in getting the second book in the series, Warrior of the Wind which should come out sometime this year.
So there was a few highlights of this book which give a bit more weight on whether I will continue with the series, those being A.) The Worldbuilding, and B.) The Lore
Both the Lore and the Worldbuilding were strengths in a book where the plot was a bit ambiguous and the characters fell flat. This is not to say I didn't like any of the characters, there were a few solid characters that were fleshed out well. The problem was the supporting cast just kinda felt like they're going through the motions. I feel like this could be improved with the next installments or at least greatly improved. This on its own wasn't exactly a deal breaker. I also had a hard time getting immersed in this story because it felt like the plot was a make up as you go type thing. When the plot moves the story along I'm very much involved in what happens, when it just kinda flounders, it is difficult to not want to pick up a different book.
I say these things, honest opinions because I can see what the author put into this and why he became published. He has talent and I do wish to continue on with the series, it just didn't give me the kick to stay up later than normal to finish it. Part of me wonders if that also has to do with the writing itself. The book was very much told to the reader as opposed to just watching it unfold. Instead of showing the reader what is going on, it felt like we were told step by step what was happening. It was a bit of an annoyance, but again thats more of a nitpick on writing styles as there are countless people who enjoy that type of storytelling.
A lot of great concepts, interesting world, felt modern and epic, but suffered from a less than strong plot and characterization. I would still give this a 3/5.
I want more stories like this. Looking forward to reviews on Book 2.