Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ale Boy's Feast by Jeffrey Overstreet

Thank you Waterbook Publisher for giving me this book to review.
They’re on the move. Tabor Jan is leading his people through the dangerous forest of Fraughtenwood. Trying to lead them the way their king would have, if he wasn’t missing.
Mean while Queen Thesera and her children Partayn, and Cyndere are discussing ways they might be able to help the beastmen trapped in the curse. 
Ale Boy is lost in the core of Cent Regus, vainly searching for survivors in the slaughter the beastmen made of his people. And the Seers haven’t given up yet, new creatures and dangers are hiding waiting for their bidding. The Expanse as they know it is turning against them, and no one knows how to stop it.

For me this book was long, and I’ll take some of the blame for not liking it. Due to a busy life I was forced to spread the book out over 3 weeks. With the time lapses I had between reading I am sure I missed and forgot quite a few important details that would have helped me enjoy the book more.

With that said I’ll go into character development. Jeffrey Overstreet did a great job showing us everyone’s true colors in this book. Toward the end I felt like I didn’t know a lot of the people in the book, that is how much they changed. I am still debating whether I like this or not. People I trusted seemed to turn, while people I felt should have been dangerous became heroes.  Ale boy, and a few others remained steady, people to cling to as the Expanse changed.

As I said above the plot was slow, I was hoping for a big climaxed ending and was disappointed to see it curve to its height of thrill. The last 50 pages of this book were the best in the series though, as far as action goes.
Another thing that I didn’t fully understand, are a few of the character wrap-ups. Some people it seems Overstreet just had to finish up, so he came up with the easiest way to do that, (Spoiler) killing them off. (End of Spoiler)  Now I don’t mind that too much but I got the feeling the series wasn’t as well planed as it could have been. Almost like the ending was rushed.
Now this book is sold to a Christian Market and I think that some people might not see the Christian teachings in the series. They are very evident toward the end but you have a long wait to see the lessons the series teaches.
I guess it was a good ending and had a lot of interesting twists in the last 50 pages. Just with some threads left untied I have a bitter-sweet after taste of this book. Sweet because it was a series worth reading, bitter because the ending wasn’t all I had hoped it to be.

 Final Notice: this is the last book in the series. Even though the author has an overview in the beginning of this book you really must read the entire series to understand this world and the people. Read, Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight and Raven’s Ladder before you read Ale Boy’s Feast. I made the mistake of trying to read the series out of order and was forced to go back to read everything else before I finished this book.