Official Review: Chateau by Nikita Oltyan

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Official Review: Chateau by Nikita Oltyan

Post by Wyland » 10 Jan 2020, 21:35

[Following is an official review of "Chateau" by Nikita Oltyan.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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If you have ever found yourself challenged or slow in pursuing your dreams, then, you should read the novel Chateau by Nikita Oltyan. Oltyan describes quite well the importance of factoring in time when drawing up plans. Sadly, for some—like the characters described in this book—they risk having their dreams go unfulfilled, simply because they could become time-barred. Or maybe, it’s just a case of choosing their dreams wrongly, in the first place.

Shan Lee is born into a poor Nepalese family. One day, he sees the picture of a beautiful vineyard and decides, there and then, it will be his motivating force in life. Fate, however, has other plans for him, and soon, Shan finds himself in the middle of a civil war that changes his family and beliefs radically. Nevertheless, Shan is close to his dad and has always kept his dad’s counsel close at heart, and now, he feels it’s about time he applies some of his dad’s teachings if he’s to keep his body and soul together.

In a nutshell, some of his dad’s teachings are that “there is no greater courage than to do what you have to do.” As well, if “you want revenge, that’s your right. But you have to do it yourself.” Having said that, what Shan proceeds to do next surprised me. It also brought to light one of the strongest strengths of this novel.

Oltyan made diversity a hallmark of her novel. This is because the main characters are drawn from different nationalities, like American, French, Swiss, Russian, British, African, and Nepalese, perhaps as a stark reminder of the invasive nature of war. Additionally, Oltyan has expanded this theme to include the specialties of the different regions covered in her story, e.g., she samples the delicious cuisine of Switzerland, such as “fondue,” includes details on skiing in France and Switzerland, and alludes to the warm climate of the area around Lake Geneva, and even extols the charm of Sochi, in a passing reference.

On the other hand, the author’s writing, and especially the dialogue, tended to be incoherent, for the most part, mainly because some words were lost in translation from Russian, and in other cases, due to the myriad editing errors I found: for example, “…the price of this property can be repelled in two or three years…” In this instance, the correct word would be “recouped” or “regained” in place of “repelled.” All in all, because of the harrowing tale of a good guy turned rogue overnight, the book aroused powerful emotions that made me unable to put the book down until I was through reading it.

As I conclude, I deduct one star for the poor editing. At the same time, I want to recognize the inventiveness of the author while broaching the difficult and decisive themes covered, such as war, the use of illicit drugs, and poverty. I, therefore, rate it 3 out of 4 stars.

Lastly, readers who enjoy a mixture of thrilling and realistic fiction in their stories will find the novel captivating. Also, the book is less suited to those who dislike references to same-sex relationships in their stories. For the same reason, the book would only be suitable for a mature audience.

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Post by Rayasaurus » 12 Jan 2020, 11:19

It’s unfortunate that the editing is a bit poor. However I might have to give this a try anyway because I never plan things correctly. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Wyland » 12 Jan 2020, 14:10

Rayasaurus wrote:
12 Jan 2020, 11:19
It’s unfortunate that the editing is a bit poor. However I might have to give this a try anyway because I never plan things correctly. Thanks for the review!
Thanks for the kind comments!

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Post by kandscreeley » 12 Jan 2020, 17:40

It sounds like there's a lot of important topics covered. It's too bad about the poor editing. That can really mar a book. Hopefully the author can clean it up some. Thanks.
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Post by LauraLeeWasHere » 12 Jan 2020, 22:43


There is something about your review that has left me pensive.
I'm not familiar with you as a reviewer so I definitely had to come and read it. It sounds like a complex story with many layers and since that is the same as my first impression of you, I'm not surprised you chose it to review.

I'm still not sure if it's a book for me, but I can tell that you've put a great deal of thought and effort into this review and for that, I'm very appreciative. I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

Sincerely, Laura-Lee
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. John 21:25 KJV

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Post by Nerea » 13 Jan 2020, 07:13

That was a huge transition for Shan Lee. I would love to know what contributed to to that change. Thank you.
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Post by kdstrack » 15 Jan 2020, 17:16

I appreciated your thoughtful comments about words lost in translation. This is a sensitive point to broach, especially when you have enjoyed the characters and the plot! I enjoyed your excellent analysis of the different themes presented in this book.

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