The Fifth Vertex by Kevin Hoffman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I recieved an ARC copy of this book from Net Galley in return for an honest review.
This book was a solid read. The characters were solid (almost). The writing was solid. The worldbuilding was solid. There really was nothing that stood out to me (almost) as gaping flaws and holes.
But, it is because of this solidness that also makes the story somewhat bland. There isn’t in particular, anything that makes this story really stand out from any other typical fantasy story. The bending of time space is interesting, but not quite enough.
1. Borderline Mary Sue
The problem I have with these characters, especially Urus and Cailix, are that they’re very borderline Mary-Sue. Admittedly, both characters are very OP. There’s nothing to hide about that. They’re suppose to be really strong, that was how they were and Hoffman does a pretty good job of balancing the OP out with flaws.
For example, Urus is deaf. Neither really know how to use their power, though Cailix seems a little OP in the sense that she just magically “knows” how to use her magic. Even more annoying though is when she thinks of how Anderis actually knows so little. Either she’s being stupid or he really is stupid. Either way, it rubs off in the wrong way.
Both Urus and Cailix learn their magic a little too easily and it bothers me. They’re both praised for learning something anyone else would need years or months in a matter of minutes. Now that, is very Mary Sue.
It’s dangerous writing powerful characters and these are really dangling at the edge of Suedom.
2. Bland World Building
First off, I want to say that the world building was good. Everything made sense, nothing was particularly info dumped. I was told what I wanted to know. It was satisfying. What I didn’t like about this world, was that it felt a little too generic.
In a sense, you might want to argue that there are blood mages and magical people who can warp time space, but stop and think about it. Blood mages are almost literally vampires who don’t drink blood but use it to power themselves. There’s nothing like a sigilord, admittedly, but at the same time, the basic plot of the book surrounds to idea of evil wanting power and trying to gain it back by breaking a sealed whatever. Sounds pretty generic.
Nothing against generic, but a bit more originality might have helped. What’s wrong is that nothing in this book is in particularly memorable. I’m not in love with any of it.
Frankly put, it lacks a whimsical aspect.
Would I recommend this book to other people? Yes. It’s a good read. Is it good enough that I’ll want to buy and own a copy? Probably not.
I’m definitely curious about this and will probably look into future installments of the series.
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