Many tales of adventure begin with chaos. There is always something that spurs action onward and The Chimera Regiment by Nathaniel Turner is no exception. Of course, there would be no story without chaos. Our story begins with a wizened man telling an unidentified youth a tale. There is no conception as to how long ago the events have occurred, but it draws the reader in. We meet Hector, his friend and confident Caradoc and a host of other players. There is an air of mystery surrounding The Guardians who are not creatures of our world. Before he knows it, Hector, the boy who can’t seem to do anything right, sets off on a world-altering journey. On the way he will mature, grieve and overcome the fate that has been so carefully laid out for him. With an elegant voice Turner will take us on a journey with Hector as he climbs towards his destiny.
Turner begins every chapter with careful details on time and date. He has created a complete world and the universe-building that happens in the first few chapters of the book are carefully laid out in such a way that they do not bog the reader down. Instead of reading endless pages of text as an entire universe is explained, Turner cleverly inserts important pieces throughout the story. This makes for an easy read and allows the reader to almost subconsciously learn about the history and environment of the world within the novel.
Our protagonist is young for this world, approximately fifteen, when he sets out on his journey. He is the ‘chosen one’, the one who will bring peace to the world. As a young adult who has already lost a parent this is a heavy task. He has yet to completely define himself as a person which may be for the best. Hector is much like any other teenager: falling in love, short-tempered and trying desperately to find out where he belongs in society. He wants what most teenagers want no matter what world they live in: he wants an identity that makes him satisfied. As he undertakes the journey we get to watch him grow as a person. He will learn to let go of certain behaviours and he will learn to adopt others. He will learn the true horrors of the adult world and he will learn his place in it.
The prologue and epilogue assist in putting the entire story into perspective and tell us where it fits in the ‘today’. These two extra parts set the tone and also bring about a satisfying conclusion that the final chapter wouldn’t have been able to do on its own. It eases us into the story and out of the story in such a delicate way.
Nathaniel Turner does well in capturing the audience’s attention in The Chimera Regiment. This fantastical adventure does not feel drawn out, bloated or overwhelming. It does well as a stand-alone novel but would also work quite nicely as the introduction to a series. Readers looking for adventure won’t be lead astray by this story.
Pages: 260 | ASIN: B00JQFWUP8
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Cleansed follows the life and adventures of a young man as his destiny is unwittingly grafted to a battle among a triumvirate of otherworldly gods. What made you write a story about this topic? Anything pulled from your life experiences?
The story is part of an overall arc revolving around the idea of how the gods, or anyone in high places of power, affect the lives or normal people, and how people can think they know what’s going on, but, in truth, they’ve no idea.
I felt that the characters in this story, especially the main character Dirge, were well developed. What morals and guiding principles did you use to create your characters?
Well, as the world is set in a time where the god of Chaos is in complete control, I felt Dirge’s moral base would be that of the god of Order who is at war with Chaos. I modeled those beliefs generally after the Judea/Christian faiths. Personally, I find them far too harsh, but I felt they fit the setting quite well.
I felt that the story flowed naturally. What was one thing that happened organically in the story that you did not plan, but was happy to find?
I would say Dirge’s constant internal struggle. I’d initially planned on the story to be much shorter and simpler, but as I wrote the various confits became more evident and dynamic. Plus I found out that there was far more to the story than I’d first thought.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will that be available?
Next I’m working on a story that is being released in two volumes and they follow Cleansed. It’s tilted Chaos Reigns. The first is Volume 1: The Hand of God, and the second will be Volume 2: The Tower of Time. The first is nearly complete and I expect it to be our sometime next year.
When Chaos orchestrates the mass slaughter he calls The Cleansing, men and Gods alike turn to stand up against him. With the God of Chaos, the God of Death, and the God of Order clashing, their followers must face off in an epic, bloody struggle.
Dirge, an apprentice to the Brotherhood of Assassins and follower of Death, is approached by The Prophet of the forgotten God of Order. Suddenly, he finds himself at odds with all that he knows and all that will be.
Three Gods. One man – torn between what is right and what is wrong and what he’s destined to do.
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Cleansed by G.S. Scott follows the life and adventures of a young man named Dirge as his destiny is unwittingly grafted to a battle among a triumvirate of otherworldly gods. The fantasy tale, which has a refreshingly contained scope and brisk pace considering the current genre climate, begins with Dirge as a small boy who is loved, if a bit neglected, by his prostitute-with-a-heart-of-gold mother. As street urchins are wont to do, Dirge quickly comes across his call to action in the form of a magical pendant that he finds during an early flight from danger, and thus sets the stage for later conflict. In a series of events that may be a bit on the nose for some readers and exactly right for others, Dirge loses his mother, becomes an orphan, and is immediately adopted into a patriarchal and heraldic order that provides discipline, training, and spiritual sustenance. By the end of the first act of the novel, Scott has positioned Dirge to be the prototypical young warrior – full of both shining promise and untested potential. What follows is a by the numbers rise-fall-redemption story seeing the fated hero forced to choose between serving the god of death or the god of law as they both combat the singularly evil force of Chaos.
Scott’s Cleansed offers enough quirk on top of the familiar that the snappy tempo makes the book a quick and exciting read. Unlike other writers that slog the reader over every continent, mountain range, and ocean, Scott understands that no one needs to see the entire globe to feel gravity. The book primarily takes place in one city, and most of the scenes actually occur in or around the same tavern. Admirably, Cleansed dedicates it’s pages to putting characters together and keeping the background where it should be.
While familiarity and the use of certain tropes are not automatically drawbacks (and how could they be when they are impossible to avoid entirely?), there are some legitimate issues to take up with Cleansed. For example, scenes often begin or end at the wrong moments in time, making them either unbalanced or extraneous. There are editorial issues such as misused homonyms or dropped words. And these small items can be overlooked, but what is less escapable is a badly managed point-of-view. The book can loosely be described as 3rd person “close” or 3rd person limited omniscience with respect to the lead character, Dirge. That is the construct that the text follows. Except when it doesn’t. At times it drifts into the first person of Dirge. At other points the 3rd person omniscience balloons to include other characters’ interior thoughts simultaneously. At other points still, the limited 3rd person will focus on a side character’s interiority and exclude Dirge, and this doesn’t occur in any meaningful serialization. It doesn’t happen all the time, which would be more acceptable, because then it might represent a gimmick with which the reader could build a stable, albeit annoyed, pattern or logic. The fact is, the POV slippage happens irregularly.
For some readers, point-of-view grievances are pedantic. For others, they are deal breakers. If you are the former, G.S. Scott’s Cleansed will provide you with a fun, fast read that is action packed and well worth the time.
Pages: 306 | ASIN: B01J92LAEO
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