Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Wolves of the Northern Rift by Jon Messenger book review

Wolves of the Northern Rift (Magic & Machinery, #1)Wolves of the Northern Rift by Jon Messenger
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Wolves of the Northern Rift follows Inquisitor Simon and his aide, Luthor the apothecary, as they pursue rumours of magical and supernatural beings that have begun appearing after the Rift opened. Werewolves have been reported attacking a frozen hamlet on the outskirts of civilisation, but what they find might not be the normal hoax they've become used to.

This is a very quick and simple read with a fairly obvious plot; an intriguing story-line that is sadly let down by rather atrocious writing. Billed as steampunk, the only steampunk things we encounter are a pocket watch (standard) and a zeppelin. Aside from that, it is purely a supernatural fantasy novel with sci-fi elements.

The characters are decidedly two-dimensional and really lacking in all areas. There's really nothing to choose between them all and they're inter-changeable at any given moment. All female characters are there to either look pretty, say stupid things or be romantic possibilities for the men.

The humour and dialogue were the worst parts of this book: the humour was so forced and lacking that it was almost funny with how pathetic it really was. The dialogue was some of the worst I've read in a long while: everything was a cliché, everything was attempted humour. It felt so childish and unreal throughout.

The setting is fairly ambiguous, as well, as we never really get a sense other than it's bloody freezing here in this frozen wasteland and it's hardly explored. The book itself is full of The-Gun-That-I-Have-In-My-Right-Hand-Is-Loaded kind of obviousness that continually frustrates you as you read, and clichés are abound. There is a writing rule that runs along the lines of "show don't tell" and sadly everything was trying to be shown and not told that it was all completely forced to the point that we are shown everything, and it is pushed up to our eyes so that we don't miss it completely. I will say that the writing improved slightly as the novel went along, but not enough for it to warrant more than a comment.

It is fine if you're after something incredibly quick and simple to read, though if you're hankering after some steampunk I would give this a relatively wide berth. It's nothing to shout about, but it is a round peg that fits nicely in to the round peg of generic fiction for the masses. I won't be reading the rest of the series as there really wasn't much to hold on to, either.

View all my reviews

No comments:

Post a Comment