Official Review: Ametysta by Viktoria Armstrong

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inaramid
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Latest Review: Ametysta by Viktoria Armstrong

Official Review: Ametysta by Viktoria Armstrong

Post by inaramid »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Ametysta" by Viktoria Armstrong.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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The magical world of Kotalina is falling apart. The suns are setting earlier, the dragons have mysteriously disappeared, and someone is funneling the magic out of the land. Ametysta, a newly minted sorceress, sets out to save her world from peril. Gifted, clever, and in possession of a tourmaline (the most potent of all magic stones), Ametysta seems to have it all — including a sexy half-wolf, half-incubus lover. But Max, the wolf/incubus, is also smitten with a woman who’d give Ametysta a run for her money. Alluring, confident, and powerful in her own right, Brenda is also determined to uncover who’s behind the anomalies plaguing the land.

One’s a sorceress; the other’s a vampire. One’s in the service of the king of Kotalina, while the other’s an envoy for Aryman, the notorious prince of darkness. Our heroines' paths will inevitably cross, much to Max’s apprehension, but Kotalina needs all hands on deck to stop a sinister enemy from conquering all existing dimensions.

Viktoria Armstrong’s fantasy novel, Ametysta, has everything but the kitchen sink. The story is packed with details that can fill a series of books, though these are largely in the service of the worldbuilding, to the detriment of plot and character development. The worldbuilding is dense but not very deep. There are seven dimensions, but not much is known about three of them. Magic pervades the life of Kotalina’s inhabitants, but how the power system works is somewhat unclear. The protagonists are near-flawless creatures who manage to easily achieve their goals. Fantasy beings abound, from magi, gift-bearers, metamorphomagi, dryads, hobgoblins, and a king called the “Vik” who’s a mix of all the races. And these are just the ones introduced in the first chapter!

Many stories are derivative to a certain degree, but Ametysta just takes it up a notch. Muggles (non-magical people), animagi, moving portraits, and a goblin who behaves like a house-elf will remind readers of the Harry Potter series. There’s even a magic wardrobe that distorts time, like the one in The Chronicles of Narnia. Some elements move the story forward, but others (like the story’s version of an enchanted closet) have little relevance to the plot.

Relevance is a perpetual point of contention in this book. For example, why devote an entire chapter showing Brenda preparing and having breakfast? The constant info-dumping already bogged down the pace; the unnecessary details just took more time away from the climax and resolution. The much-anticipated meeting of Ametysta and Brenda feels anticlimactic. Max’s fear that he’d lose one of his lovers is merely glossed over when the moment of truth came. There’s a world-ending event threatening the characters’ lives, but there’s no sense of a ticking clock, and the stakes don’t feel real at all.

I rate Ametysta 1.5 stars, rounded up to 2 out of 4 stars. The book has a lot to offer; the plot and character development just need to be given as much attention as the worldbuilding. Though there are several typos (e.g., trop instead of drop, stilly instead of silly), this could be an issue with the translation of the text from Polish to English. The book also has some profanity and sex scenes, but nothing too excessive or extreme. Overall, fantasy readers who can look past the lack of novelty might find Armstrong’s world more nostalgic than off-putting. A less forgiving audience, however, might find this a tiresome read.

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Chivdi
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Post by Chivdi »

I love the title of the book. Too bad it does not live up to my expectations based on your review. Thanks for the wonderful review.

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Post by Ify_Reviewer »

“...everything but the kitchen sink" indeed.
Nice review

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Post by Reitumetse_R »

Doesn't seem appeasing at all or maybe its that it doesn't resonate with me at all.
Thank you for the review

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Post by NetMassimo »

Alas, this seems a novel with more flaws than merits, particularly if you have already read enough fantasy stories. Thank you for your honest review!
Ciao :)
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Post by FEislandqueen13 »

sure, I'm a fantasy reader but this one just isn't my cup of tea. I can't overlook the lack of character development and the fact that this story has no depth.
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Post by BraItu »

The book has plenty of mistake I think I will pass

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Latest Review: Ametysta by Viktoria Armstrong

Post by inaramid »

Chivdi wrote:
24 Aug 2020, 04:54
I love the title of the book. Too bad it does not live up to my expectations based on your review. Thanks for the wonderful review.
I understand. Thanks for dropping by!

Ify_Reviewer wrote:
24 Aug 2020, 07:47
“...everything but the kitchen sink" indeed.
Nice review
Yeah, well, I felt that was the best way to describe it. :D

Reitumetse_R wrote:
24 Aug 2020, 08:35
Doesn't seem appeasing at all or maybe its that it doesn't resonate with me at all.
Thank you for the review
I did feel it was going to be a hit or a miss for readers.

NetMassimo wrote:
24 Aug 2020, 09:57
Alas, this seems a novel with more flaws than merits, particularly if you have already read enough fantasy stories. Thank you for your honest review!
I thought so too. An avid fantasy reader might not respond too well with certain elements here.

FEislandqueen13 wrote:
24 Aug 2020, 12:58
sure, I'm a fantasy reader but this one just isn't my cup of tea. I can't overlook the lack of character development and the fact that this story has no depth.
Fair enough. Thanks for dropping by!

BraItu wrote:
24 Aug 2020, 16:21
The book has plenty of mistake I think I will pass
Thanks for sharing your thoughts anyway!

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Post by Pluma »

It’s a real pity the character-building wasn't fleshed out enough, and that there was too much unnecessary detail; it sounds like the story had an interesting setting and could have been a really great read if not for all the issues you mentioned. Thanks for the honest and thorough review!

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Post by Star_and_Buck »

Another book that I might like to read. Thanks for your nice, tidy and detailed review.

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Latest Review: Ametysta by Viktoria Armstrong

Post by inaramid »

Pluma wrote:
24 Aug 2020, 22:35
It’s a real pity the character-building wasn't fleshed out enough, and that there was too much unnecessary detail; it sounds like the story had an interesting setting and could have been a really great read if not for all the issues you mentioned. Thanks for the honest and thorough review!
Things like those always ruin a good story. I agree; it's truly a shame.

Star_and_Buck wrote:
25 Aug 2020, 00:08
Another book that I might like to read. Thanks for your nice, tidy and detailed review.
You're welcome!

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Post by rahilshajahan »

The title is quite catchy-- sounds very close to amethyst. Too bad the story ain't that shiny though. Thanks for your honest review!
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inaramid
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Latest Review: Ametysta by Viktoria Armstrong

Post by inaramid »

rahilshajahan wrote:
25 Aug 2020, 04:17
The title is quite catchy-- sounds very close to amethyst. Too bad the story ain't that shiny though. Thanks for your honest review!
The magic system involves power stones, so that might be in keeping with this theme. But shiny, it ain't. :)

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Post by NDeMeer »

This sounds like such an intriguing story; Harry Potter has always been my favourite and this seems like something that would satisfy the nostalgia. What a shame the pacing was so slow with all the infodumping. It might give it a pass after all then. Thanks for this insightful review!
Happy reading! :techie-studyingbrown:

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Post by Valkyrie9 »

This novel has such potential to be an epic tale, I hope the author gives it a second look and removes some of the irrelevant content. Thanks for the honest review!
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