Friday, 26 August 2016

Miles Away by Christopher W.J. Henderson (Time Crisis Saga, #1) - Book Review - Indie

3.5/5 Stars

Today never happened.

Tomorrow is gone.

Yesterday is a new day...

Edition: eBook
Pages: -- (I'm not 100% sure; Goodreads lists it with roughly 300.)
Chapters: 26
Publisher: First Knight Press

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon (This novel is yet to be released and listed on Amazon; will update when possible.)
                      Author's Website


* I was gifted this book, by the author, in exchange for an honest review.

It's been too long since I've been at my keyboard writing a review... That's not to say that this month has been particularly busy, more that I've been so lazy that lifting a book seemed like far too much effort.

I know, I know, I'm a traitor to the reading community, forgive me.

I did manage to binge-watch so many dramas on Netflix that my brain feels like slush. Damn you, Pretty Little Liars, Gossip Girl and Gilmore Girls! Damn you and your addictive, thrilling qualities!

But here I am, eventually. I'm back in the reading game and what better way to start it back up than with a solid blend of science-fiction, the supernatural, and bubbling family drama? Miles Away is the first in a series that focuses on time travel and epic battles against the evil side of the supernatural. It's an intriguing beginning, one that builds good foundations and tickles the imagination in just the right way.

It's not perfect, as I'll get into, but it's an enjoyable journey full of fun and fantasy that is exactly what I needed to ease back into the book world.

Synopsis (Not a copy from the book, but I always keep my interpretations close.)

Miles Draven yearns to understand his past.
Abandoned at birth by his parents, Miles suffers the pains of being a foster kid in a world full of cruelty.
But even he couldn't imagine his future.
When assassins kill his current foster family, and Miles is rescued by the father only present in his dreams, the answers to a lifetime of questions threaten to send him over the edge.
Miles, and his family, are time travellers, and an ancient evil has cast its gaze on their extermination.
But it's family drama that marches Miles to destruction.
If he can't fit in this new world, then this new world will eradicate him...

Plot - 3.5/5 Stars

Miles Away is an action-orientated adventure through time. It requires you to suspend your disbelief (which I think is mostly mandatory when mixing science-fiction and the supernatural), but it's nonetheless a feisty ride. It can be pretty predictable and certifiably cheesy, however its fast-paced approach helps smooth these qualities out and stops them from overwhelming the more enjoyable aspects of the story.

We're also privy to a decent epic feel. Mr Henderson builds a simple, yet riveting, history to support the plot's events, and the large scale and eclectic elements keep the reader invested. I would've liked a little more information in some areas, and sometimes things that should be resolved are left hanging, but I'll have to pick up the next novel when it's possible.

The race to the finale comes in the form of a long and fantastic battle. It pulls together plot and character development with genuine passion and rounds off the story with a climactic punch. I will admit the last few chapters and after-battle events are rushed. The novel ends in a strange place, even for the first book in a series, and I feel a little cheated.

Pace - 4/5 Stars

A strong flow ensures an easy read. Chapters merge effortlessly and the action perfectly offsets the exposition. There is a dip in the middle of the story that slows everything down, and some scenes feel a little unnecessary, but as a whole the author sails a tight ship.

Characters - 3/5 Stars

Miles Away boasts an impressive cast; characters are clear-cut and distinctive. The chemistry between each and the family drama that surrounds them make for an eventful read, especially when factored in with the strong themes of morality and unity. But, their personalities can sometimes leave a bland taste, and while development for our main character Miles is steady, other characters rarely show range.

Writing - 4/5 Stars

The author's writing is, overall, stellar. Bar a few spelling and grammatical errors (which have been cleaned up for the final product), Miles Away is a cohesive story with adrenaline-infused action, interesting mythology, and descriptions that are concise and crystal clear.

Conversations can sometimes be a little stilted, but it's not profound.

Overall - 3.5/5 Stars

Miles Away is perfect for you easy-going science-fiction fans out there and I definitely recommend you give it a go. So keep your eyes peeled and remember the 22nd of November, because that's when this novel becomes available for the masses.

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