Title: Land Rising
Author: Michael-Israel Jarvis
Page Count/Review Word Count: 331
Disclaimer: The author of this book is an indie writer friend of mine. However, I’ve done my best to be impartial and to provide an honest review.
I was torn with Land Rising. I had high expectations, because I’ve previously read and reviewed Gravedigger by the same author and that was an easy 5/5, but this one wasn’t quite as good. Don’t get me wrong – Jarvis is a talented fantasy writer, and Land Rising is good – it’s just not Gravedigger.
It’s also an indie book, and you can tell from the look and feel of it. It could do with another pass of editing – although just a light pass, to iron out a few kinks rather than to change the story line – and the layout itself is okay, but not great. It’s the sort of book that’s so absorbing that it calls for all sorts of stuff – symbols, maps, and the other stuff that’s hard to do yourself if you’re indie. Which is a shame, because it would benefit from that.
But above all else, it’s a great little read with the sort of story arc that works well whatever the genre. In this case, it’s fantasy, but Jarvis dodges the potential pitfalls by avoiding cliche and by contributing something that’s genuinely new, and without any of the awkwardness that comes with the territory when you’re creating a world and a mythology. There are no stupid names or weird incantations here. I mean, there are weird names and incantations – they’re just done properly, believable. You can suspend your disbelief.
Now, I’m not even going to attempt to cover the story line. But what I will say is that it’s absorbing and, once you get into it, as believable as the Wars of the Roses and the Opium Wars. It’s fantasy, but it’s modern fantasy, reflecting our modern times. I’m glad I read it.