Cathadeus [Book Review & Giveaway!]
Title: Cathadeus (The Walking Gates #1)
Author: Jeff J. Peters
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Published Date: 8th December 2017
*Thank you to iRead Book Tours for the review copy*
Synopsis: It has been six hundred years since the Alchemists fused together men and beasts to form strong, mindless slaves. Now, their most vicious creations have attacked the mystical Walking Gates, slaughtering their Keepers and isolating their cities.
Wounded in the brutal attack, Braxton Prinn’s mother is on the verge of death and he makes a desperate journey to find the reclusive elven master who can save her. But when he discovers an ancient magic, Brax is caught up in an even greater struggle and soon finds himself hunted for his power.
Drawn into the chaos of an impending war and pursued by enemies on all sides, Brax must fight to save his mother and her race from slipping into darkness. Though his untamed magic may be the greatest threat of all…
Review: Cathadeus by Jeff J. Peters is a fantasy novel which caught my eye because I’ve simply been meaning to read more fantasy! I’ve recently been enjoying A Game of Thrones (I’m currently reading book 2) and decided it would be good to branch out in the genre a little more. And this book didn’t disappoint – it was brimming with a spirit magic to discover, elves, dwarves, ogres and plenty of fighting to keep me satisfied.
What I really liked about this book is that it wasn’t afraid to set high stakes for what the main characters had to go through. Instead of the main character facing one evil enemy, there are plenty of them, and there is a war ahead, and the life of someone he loves hangs in the balance. Way to lay it all onto the main character and hype up the suspense! Just when you think one problem is solved, I can guarantee there will be another which will need addressing heading the way of the main character. The author also isn’t afraid to kill off main characters, so don’t you dare think anyone is safe. Yup, everyone’s life hangs in the balance.
The characters were all fleshed out and written fairly well. Unsurprisingly, like it always is for me, I liked the secondary characters best. I really loved the dwarf Ruskin who is brash, moody, but also really loyal. Loyalty is one the characteristics I really like in the novel, and even if he was grumpy you could tell he was lovable too. I also liked Sotchet a lot – he’s part ogre and we don’t actually get to see him too much in the novel. He’s really giving and never expects anything in return. But the sequel in the series is going to be called Sotchet so I’m hoping he has more of a role in that one!
I did like the main characters too. They were alright, and being put through their challenges. My main problem with Braxton and Phinlera is that although we got to see their emotions happening and I knew why they were feeling that way, I never felt the depth of a connection to make me really love them. It’s not that they are underdeveloped either! It’s difficult for me to explain it, but I just didn’t care for them nearly as much as the secondary characters. Something was missing.
The author did a spectacular job with the world building and the formation of his fantasy creatures. Never did I feel confused, or like the elements of the world didn’t match up or make sense. There were rules which weren’t ever told to the reader, but were shown, which meant it never got boring. We got to see how the elves, dwarves and other creatures were unique to this fantasy novel, and what made their culture and way of life here. I can’t stress how well the author had a structured, well developed world that I feel like could easily exist.
That being said, there was one magical being I was unsure about. She’s called Serene in this novel, and she a powerful, God-like being who is connected to the main character. Serene’s powers are never fully explained, but that is probably because Braxton himself doesn’t entirely know how they work either. I know she is supposed to be a God, but she kind of seemed a bit too all-powerful. I wanted her connection with Braxton, who was a human, to give her some limits. And sometimes he did – there were points of time where Serene couldn’t help him, but I didn’t really understand why she wasn’t able to help in those times. Her role seemed a bit too mysterious to me.
The writing style was good, but it wasn’t very unique or special. The key reason why I rated the novel 3 stars instead of 4 was that although it was a good and enjoyable read, it won’t be very memorable to me. I’m not sure I will read the sequel. I feel like this novel could work very well as a standalone. My only intrigue is that the title of the sequel is the name of one of my favourite characters… so I guess we’ll see!
Relevance to today: In the novel Braxton faces a struggle of choice. The novel clearly shows how we all have the power to do good and the power to do bad too, and it is our emotions and how much we control or channel them that influences which path we take. I think this is entirely relevant to today as sometimes we forget that we each have that power as well. We can do good and bad, in large ways as well as smaller ones. Emotions get in the way, but we need to remember the negative ones are temporary and clear our head when it comes to some choices of how to act, think and live.
Giveaway: Win a hardcover copy of Cathadeus by Jeff J. Peters. One winner will also get a $25 Amazon.com gift card and a poster of the map or cover spread (Open Internationally to wherever Amazon delivers – 3 winners)
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