Review by La Cabra -- We are Voulhire: A New Arrival und...

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La Cabra
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Latest Review: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz

Review by La Cabra -- We are Voulhire: A New Arrival und...

Post by La Cabra » 01 Nov 2019, 07:30

[Following is a volunteer review of "We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies" by Matthew Tysz.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz is a fantasy novel based in an alternate universe. The setting of this alternate universe is a blend of medieval and modern fantasy. The book starts with the story of our main character, Galen Bray, and takes us through his escape from the war-torn Lands of the Princes, his—now former—home. Galen heads to Voulhire knowing nothing about the new country except that he is eternally grateful to it for the refuge it provides him with.

But Galen is not the only main character in this book, and if I'm being honest, he didn't even seem like the main character. There were so many main characters.

If you (like me), having read the synopsis, walk into this story expecting to read about a refugee in a fantasy world, you'll be disappointed. This book is not about a single refugee character, it is about, as its title suggests, Voulhire and its many characters. I've seen a lot of reviews comparing this book to the Game of Thrones, and yes, it is quite a lot like it (maybe too much like it).

As I mentioned earlier, there are many characters in this story. The author switches perspectives every chapter, so you get quite close to some of them. And the characters are fairly credible, each comes with their own story woven into the bigger plot. But unfortunately, none of them I found particularly likeable; they weren't bad, but like I said, not particularly likeable.

When you look at the size of the book, 139 pages, it sounds too short to accommodate more than one or two main characters, which was absolutely the case with this book. Of its 20 chapters, only 8 are narrated by the 'main character'. The narration keeps switching perspectives and, given that this book is about this big complex country called Voulhire, most of it is just setting out the scene—there wasn't an awful lot of story.

This book is the first in a series about Voulhire, but it would've made more sense had it been part one inside book one, from where part two contains more story than introductions.

But that's not even my biggest problem with the story. My biggest problem is the villains. Their motives do not make sense. As characters themselves, they were entertaining, creepy and all that cool stuff; I could buy them. But as villains who seek chaos and destruction? No, they didn't fit the bill. It felt as though the author has spent so long in this universe that everything makes sense to him. So, when he put it to paper, he left out a few details because for him, it didn't need to be said, while for me, it made me scratch my head a few times.

The writing was engaging, albeit better in some areas than others. I came across some very well written passages with lines like these:

"Keep your head low, but your eyes ahead. Keep your mind on earth, but your heart among the stars. May you never feel shame, and always walk among those who love you."

"Death lurks at every doorway in the Lands of the Princes. After a while, you learn to defy its influences."


But there were times when the narration and dialogue seemed a bit awkward given the worldbuilding around them. The elements the author brought together for this universe are very interesting and I imagine that the ideas can fit well too, but just the way he delivered them didn't flow quite as naturally as would be desirable. And this isn't problematic in the writing alone, but also the worldbuilding which leaves around a few gaps (like how do they have railway but no guns? If mages are so powerful, why do they work for humans?).

As for the formatting of the book and editing, it was good. But I do wish that the pdf copy came with some navigation and that the chapters were numbered.

I rate this book 2 out of 4. I liked reading this book but, in the end, it didn't make for what I'd call 'a wholesome read'.

Still, I think many others (those not as skeptical as I) will enjoy it. I’d recommend this book to those who like reading about fantasy kingdoms and fictious politics. Especially to those who read series that produce new books on a monthly basis, because I think that is what the author is doing with this series. The story does contain a few dark themes and would do well among mature readers.

******
We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies
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Post by sanjus » 06 Nov 2019, 21:41

A good blend of medieval and modern fantasy seem to have a good setting of this alternate universe world building. Your hones review gives some different perspective to this story.
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La Cabra
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Latest Review: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz

Post by La Cabra » 07 Nov 2019, 02:18

sanjus wrote:
06 Nov 2019, 21:41
A good blend of medieval and modern fantasy seem to have a good setting of this alternate universe world building. Your hones review gives some different perspective to this story.
Yeah, it's a cool combination. But I think the author could've been a bit more creative with his choice of words to tie them together more naturally. I'm glad you noticed my perspective! Most reviews on this book are 4/4 stars and that just left me a bit unsure of my take on it haha. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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Post by spluficvictory » 07 Nov 2019, 07:38

I like the way you wrote this review. I was curious enough to select this book for a review due to the synopsis I read but now that I've read your review I think that's how far my curiosity goes. Superb review 👌
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Post by Prisallen » 07 Nov 2019, 09:12

It sounds as though this book could use some work on it to explain certain aspects a little more. Since it is such a short book, that shouldn't be too hard to do. Thanks for a wonderful review!

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La Cabra
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Latest Review: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz

Post by La Cabra » 08 Nov 2019, 07:20

spluficvictory wrote:
07 Nov 2019, 07:38
I like the way you wrote this review. I was curious enough to select this book for a review due to the synopsis I read but now that I've read your review I think that's how far my curiosity goes. Superb review 👌
Thank you so much for your kind words! Honestly, the book isn't bad, per say. It's quite short too so if you're looking for a quick dip in a fantasy universe, We are Voulhire isn't a bad option.
I will say, though, the book does contain a considerable amount of profanity and hints at a few dark themes, so in that sense, it might not be for everyone.
Thanks again for your comment!

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La Cabra
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Post by La Cabra » 08 Nov 2019, 07:22

Prisallen wrote:
07 Nov 2019, 09:12
It sounds as though this book could use some work on it to explain certain aspects a little more. Since it is such a short book, that shouldn't be too hard to do. Thanks for a wonderful review!
Yes, you're right; I think the same. I hope the author does revise this book at some point and make up for the flaws. It's not a bad book you know, definitely one worth saving!
Thank you so much for reading and commenting :)

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Post by rumik » 08 Nov 2019, 14:32

I've read and reviewed this book as well, and I definitely agree with you on the length. If I remember correctly, the author mentioned he was planning to write like 3 books a year or something? That's when I realized why his books are so short, lol. I think it would be much better if all that effort was put into a single book instead. Thanks for the great review!

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La Cabra
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Post by La Cabra » 09 Nov 2019, 02:45

rumik wrote:
08 Nov 2019, 14:32
I've read and reviewed this book as well, and I definitely agree with you on the length. If I remember correctly, the author mentioned he was planning to write like 3 books a year or something? That's when I realized why his books are so short, lol. I think it would be much better if all that effort was put into a single book instead. Thanks for the great review!
Yeah, I remember reading something similar. I have seen books published in a similar style on Google Books, where the authors write under 90,000 words per installment and sell them for dirt cheap. The cliffhangers keep the readers going, and with cheap prices they can potentially make a lot of sales.
It's like serialization almost. I donno if that's what the author is going for himself, but it definitely is one way to publish your stories. Personally though, it's not to my liking.
Maybe when he finishes the series, he'll compile the shorter books into regular-sized novels, that'd be pretty cool.
And thanks for your comment :)

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Post by Tomah » 09 Nov 2019, 12:03

Looking back on this series, I can see the rough patches in the beginning. There are indeed far too many characters for the novel's length, and Galen in particular feels like an unnecessary side character rather than the protagonist. I did enjoy the worldbuilding, however, even with its inconsistencies. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Daniel_ » 09 Nov 2019, 22:34

I've also read this book, and I had similar issues with it. Notwithstanding, I enjoyed it.
Great review!

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La Cabra
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Post by La Cabra » 10 Nov 2019, 07:40

Tomah wrote:
09 Nov 2019, 12:03
Looking back on this series, I can see the rough patches in the beginning. There are indeed far too many characters for the novel's length, and Galen in particular feels like an unnecessary side character rather than the protagonist. I did enjoy the worldbuilding, however, even with its inconsistencies. Thanks for the review!
The worldbuilding definitely was interesting, I'm just too skeptical xD I'm sure this book in conjunction with its sequels will make a very enjoyable story. But if I happened on this book by at my local library, I wouldn't have thought much of it once I finished.
Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts :)

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La Cabra
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Latest Review: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz

Post by La Cabra » 10 Nov 2019, 07:42

Daniel_ wrote:
09 Nov 2019, 22:34
I've also read this book, and I had similar issues with it. Notwithstanding, I enjoyed it.
Great review!
It's a fun setting, I'm sure many readers looking for a quick dip in the fantasy world will enjoy it. I personally tend to get pretty deep in a story, so loopholes and plot inconsistencies really do get to me haha. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for reading and commenting :)

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Post by MsH2k » 10 Nov 2019, 15:09

I sampled this book but do not plan to finish it. It sounds like an ambitious plot for such a short book. Your review was an absolute pleasure to read! :handgestures-thumbupright:

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Latest Review: We are Voulhire: A New Arrival under Great Skies by Matthew Tysz

Post by La Cabra » 11 Nov 2019, 02:59

MsH2k wrote:
10 Nov 2019, 15:09
I sampled this book but do not plan to finish it. It sounds like an ambitious plot for such a short book. Your review was an absolute pleasure to read! :handgestures-thumbupright:
Thank you so much for your kind words :D
It is. I think people who enjoy serialized books that come out in, like, three installments a year will enjoy it. I'm not one of those readers, but there are many of them out there.

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