A Dangerous tale of Dragonic Proportions

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Review of {Dragon of Ash and Stars} by {H. Leighton Dickson}

A comprehensive review by John Adams Theibert Jr.

Review Method: This is a comprehensive review of a fantasy novel. In this review I will use a 10 element system that I developed to assign a star amount to this story out of a total of five stars. Each element has 2 components that are each worth 0.25 stars. Each element is worth a total of 0.5 stars. There are 5 primary elements and 5 secondary elements. There are 3 subtotal stars in the primary elements, obtained by adding the primary elements and rounding up. There are 2 subtotal stars in the secondary elements, obtained by adding the secondary elements and rounding down.

Disclaimer: To avoid spoiling the story, my responses will be exceptionally vague and indistinct, however, this will require you to trust my instincts on the story to appreciate the rating I give it.

Stars Given: [4] stars out of 5 stars /****-/ / * = star — = no star/

The Primary Elements: Idea, Plot, Characters, Setting, & Theme

The Idea — hook and world: {The idea for this novel was excellent. The hook got me right away, because it was unique and interesting. I felt the world was clever and distinct, because it had an artistic and antique feel to it.} Stars for the idea: [0.5] stars out of 0.5 stars.

The Plot — conflict and climax: {The plot was kind of hard to follow. The conflict seemed to be over generalized, without a clear antagonist. The climax was a little jarring, yet it was mildly fitting.} Stars for the plot: [0.25] stars out of 0.5 stars.

The Characters — development and dimension: {The main character was well crafted and clearly identifiable. The main character was well developed by description, dialog and narration. The main character was fully three dimensional, changing dramatically and consequentially over the course of the story.} Stars for the characters: [0.5] stars out of 0.5 stars.

The Setting — scenes and senses: {The setting was beautiful and dazzling, yet was not fully immersive. The scenes were the strong point, detailed and vivid in description. However, senses were not used thoroughly and effectively enough.} Stars for the setting: [0.25] stars out of 0.5 stars.

The Theme — lesson and epiphany: {The theme was a little thin and intangible. There did not seem to be an obvious lesson being promoted, unless you count life is hard, but keep trying. I did not see a clear epiphany, yet the point of view from a dragons prospective is kind of different.} Stars for the theme: [0.25] stars out of 0.5 stars.

Subtotal stars for the Primary Elements (always rounding up), [2] stars out of 3 stars.

The Secondary Elements: Style, Substance, Grammar, Essence, & Impression.

The Style — logic and pacing: {The style of the story was solid and consistent. The logic of the story stayed reasonable and understandable. The pacing of the story was sensible and covered lots of ground, but seemed to flow smoothly} Stars for the style: [0.5] stars out of 0.5 stars.

The Substance — skeleton and teeth: {The substance of the story was strong yet lacked a cutting edge. The skeleton was well connected, in that the story felt well worked out. The story did not seem to be controversial in its approach, but was provocative in its execution, giving it a few small fangs.} Stars for the substance: [0.25] stars out of 0.5 stars.

The Grammar — sentence structure and word usage: {The grammar of this story was mostly good with a few problems. The following are typos I found with the kindle locations to help the author find them. The originals are in parentheses.

(including my aviary-mates Majentrix,) Kindle Location [2627]: Might need to make mates possessive.

(He broke the wind with his body) Kindle Location [2661]: In my opinion try a different phrase.

(the war flag of Remus. The war flag of Remus.) Kindle Location [3079]: Repetition.

(Dragonscent) Kindle Location [3791]: Might be two words.} Stars for grammar: [0.5] stars out of 0.5 stars.

The Essence — emotion and memory: {The essence of this story was intense and effervescent. This story employed a wide range of emotions from a dragon’s point of view, which was refreshing. The story had many memorable moments in all parts of the story.} Stars for the essence: [0.5] stars out of 0.5 stars.

The Impression — opinion and talent: {My impression of this story is great. In my opinion the author worked hard to craft a skillful and clever story. The author has a lot of talent in imagining a world from a dragon’s point of view.} Stars for the impression: [0.5] stars out of 0.5 stars.

Subtotal stars for the Secondary Elements (always rounding down) [2] stars out of 2 stars.

Conclusion: {This story was fun, exciting, interesting, clever, unique, beautiful, dramatic, and provocative, with a sympathetic main character who felt completely fleshed out and connectable. The downside of this story was that it needed a clear and obvious antagonist. The story also had some thematic problems and was not exceptionally thought provoking, yet Overall the story was admirable and engaging.}

Grand total stars for the story — primary elements and secondary elements: [4] stars out of 5 stars.

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