4 out of 4 stars
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"Honorable means. He laughed at the notion. There was nothing honorable about anything in Giant's Crown."
Enter the city built on the back of a mighty stone giant. Giant's Crown seemed like a light of hope to Oliff after walking three days through the Dark Forest to save his wounded son, Mao. But he is soon to discover that reality lies far from the perceived salvation he seeks within this society of only men. In Escape from Giant's Crown, by Trent Kaniuga, readers will explore Giant's Crown's secrets and sundries as Oliff desperately works to pay off the debt for his son's medical care. Thrown into the midst of a corrupt town, Oliff will do whatever it takes to save Mao, but at what price? How can they escape the darkness that lurks behind the glowing light of hope?
One of the best things about the fantasy/sci-fi genre is the worlds you get to explore. Giant's Crown is a unique and exciting place, and I loved how vivid this creative setting was. Kaniuga also added to the depth of the story's worldbuilding through the fantastic illustrations that graced the pages. If you enjoy video games or anime, this book exudes the crisp clarity of the cut-scenes you get to enjoy as you play. As a reader, you'll appreciate the professional quality of the artwork throughout the book. I loved how well the pictures correlated with the story, and it was fantastic getting to see the characters of Kaniuga's steampunk-like world brought to life.
In addition to the excellent worldbuilding, the story is thought-provoking and explores the moral dilemmas of a good man trying to survive and escape with his soul unscathed. Readers will empathize with Oliff's struggles as he finds himself drowning in debt and desperately working to pay for the medical treatment required to save his boy. This plot is further driven by suspense and a bit of mystery as the reader ponders what the characters achieve by earning the highly-coveted peach pins and what sort of nefarious plot is afoot—Mayor Byron is quite the shady character, as you'll soon find out!
Overall, I highly enjoyed the book. I did, however, have one small thing that I disliked. In the final chapter, there is a scene that seems to be missing a paragraph or passage. It's a bit difficult to tell because a picture separates the sentence in question, and the point of view switches from Oliff to the Mayor without explanation. It was a bit confusing and disrupted the ending, but fortunately, it's easy to get back on track and finish out the story. Aside from this, there were a few minor typos, but the book is well-written and seems professionally edited.
Escape from Giant's Crown is a quick and entertaining read, and I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I did not reduce the rating for the editing error because, despite the distraction, it is relatively easy to pick up the rest of the story. The ending is somber, yet satisfying and conclusive, but may not appeal to those looking for a happy ending. With no erotic content and infrequent minor swearing, the book is appropriate for mature teens and adult readers. For those who pick up and enjoy this book, Kaniuga has additional books available on Amazon.
Escape From Giant's Crown
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