Official Review: Seven Tiers by Mark Richards

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NetMassimo
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Latest Review: Seven Tiers by Mark Richards

Official Review: Seven Tiers by Mark Richards

Post by NetMassimo »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Seven Tiers" by Mark Richards.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Seven Tiers by Mark Richards is a novel that starts a saga that blends science fiction and fantasy. The inhabitants of Planet Morinth rely on a type of energy called aura. Their lives change when their powers start increasing for no apparent reason, as they don't know that some god-like beings are interfering with the natural course of life on Morinth. Akano Mara is the most powerful auracaster on the planet, but even he is out of his league when he's forced to face a very powerful creature. He tries to warn King Darius of the danger arising on the planet, but the only result he obtains is that he's suspected of treason and imprisoned with his closest collaborators.

The borderline between science fiction and fantasy can be blurred. The label science fantasy is sometimes used to define works that have elements of both genres. This saga is set mainly on Planet Morinth, but other planets are mentioned and some beings are aliens to Morinth. On Morinth, there's aura, which is used like a magical substance. The planet's inhabitants have various powers thanks to aura. Inhabitants mean humans but also creatures we consider mythical such as elves. It's a case when labels are limiting, as the author included elements generally used in different genres. The result is certainly rich and sophisticated.

This saga begins with the disruption of Planet Morinth inhabitants' lives. Even the most powerful auracaster is baffled by such strange events. He and his most trusted companions try to figure them out, but they have to fight a number of creatures. This novel is action-packed, as Akano and the other protagonists have to fight battle after battle, even after getting imprisoned.

Note that the battles can be a bit gory at times. Regeneration is one of the powers given by aura, so there are descriptions of how some characters receive wounds that normally would be fatal that are healed thanks to their regeneration powers. Particularly sensitive readers might find such descriptions too gory even if Mark Richards doesn't go into details.

I liked how the author used battles to show how the various powers work and what kinds of beings live on Planet Morinth together with humans. There is the occasional exposition to offer information about aura such as a case where a flashback is told literally in the form of a lesson held by Akano, who's also a teacher. However, that happens occasionally, so the pace is generally fast.

My only complaint is that only some of the important characters haven't properly defined personalities, and that's a bit of a problem considering that there are many of them. Of course, Mark Richards has all the other books of the saga to do a proper development, but I wish I could get to know all the important characters better since the beginning.

My complaint pales compared to the merits of an action-packed novel full of powerful beings fighting each other with bravery and intensity. Stories about superheroes are still considered a product for young people, not this one. Seven Tiers contains violence, including mentions of rape, and profanity, so I find it suitable for adults.

The book is professionally edited, with just a few errors that didn't detract from my enjoyment. For these reasons, I rate it 4 out of 4 stars. Note that this novel hasn't a real ending, as it's just the first book of a saga. If you like science fiction or fantasy stories about beings with superpowers living big adventures that can go beyond planetary settings, I recommend this saga.

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Seven Tiers
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Post by Jenniferg_1105 »

This sounds like a good story. I have enjoyed that last couple sci-fi fantasy books I read, but I do not like when they do not have a clear ending so I will pass on this one.
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Latest Review: Seven Tiers by Mark Richards

Post by NetMassimo »

Jenniferg_1105 wrote: 15 Feb 2021, 01:30 This sounds like a good story. I have enjoyed that last couple sci-fi fantasy books I read, but I do not like when they do not have a clear ending so I will pass on this one.
Big stories split into a number of books have become normal, and readers can decide if they want to read all of the books to see an end. That's why I'm very clear giving this kind of information. Thank you for commenting!
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Post by raluca_mihaila »

I love science fiction and fantasy books, so this seems like I should read it! Great job with your interesting review!
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Post by sssns »

The aura and the regeneration abilities are interesting. It makes me wonder what other powers come with it. An action-packed and fast-paced science fiction and fantasy book is something I would like to try. Thanks for the very comprehensive review.
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Latest Review: Seven Tiers by Mark Richards

Post by NetMassimo »

raluca_mihaila wrote: 15 Feb 2021, 04:53 I love science fiction and fantasy books, so this seems like I should read it! Great job with your interesting review!
This is just the first book, but it's promising indeed! Thank you for your appreciation!
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Post by NetMassimo »

sssns wrote: 15 Feb 2021, 05:34 The aura and the regeneration abilities are interesting. It makes me wonder what other powers come with it. An action-packed and fast-paced science fiction and fantasy book is something I would like to try. Thanks for the very comprehensive review.
Discovering the various powers is part of the reading process, so I mentioned only what was strictly relevant in my review. :wink: Thank you for your appreciation!
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Post by smolbird »

Since you praised it, I assume that the author did a good job in writing the battle scenes. I am very eager to read about the mysterious powers you mentioned. Thanks for the recommendation!
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Latest Review: Seven Tiers by Mark Richards

Post by NetMassimo »

smolbird wrote: 15 Feb 2021, 07:10 Since you praised it, I assume that the author did a good job in writing the battle scenes. I am very eager to read about the mysterious powers you mentioned. Thanks for the recommendation!
If you have no problems with descriptions that are a bit gory, I think the battles are the best parts of the novel. Thank you for commenting!
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Post by Minakshi Hotla »

The aura is a very interesting character.I enjoyed a lot while i'm reading but sometimes I loss the words while I m reading.
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Post by RayRuff »

Oh, this sounds pretty good. Thanks for the review!
I've noticed that most fantasy books are part of a series. I've hardly seen any stand-alone fantasy books actually.
If this book is part of a saga, then I'm sure the characters would develop over time. It can be a shame as people tend to decide if it's worth continuing after reading the first one. However, the premise of the book sounds cool. I personally think it's difficult to write good battles and considering that this book is full of battle and gore, I am curious.
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Latest Review: Seven Tiers by Mark Richards

Post by NetMassimo »

RayRuff wrote: 15 Feb 2021, 08:45 Oh, this sounds pretty good. Thanks for the review!
I've noticed that most fantasy books are part of a series. I've hardly seen any stand-alone fantasy books actually.
If this book is part of a saga, then I'm sure the characters would develop over time. It can be a shame as people tend to decide if it's worth continuing after reading the first one. However, the premise of the book sounds cool. I personally think it's difficult to write good battles and considering that this book is full of battle and gore, I am curious.
Reading a whole series is risky, as you can never know how it will go on quality-wise. I can't be sure that the potential I see in this saga will be properly developed, nor how long it will take for the author to publish all the books. Thank you for commenting.
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Post by Slater678 »

I like the interesting worldbuilding employed by the author. Nice review.
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Post by Joy Phill »

Character development will likely get better in the coming series. It's good to know that the editing is good too. Thanks for a well-written review.
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Post by justhereader »

The worldbuilding in this book sounds fantastic. Power-inducing auras, planetary settings, mythical creatures... there are a lot of interesting elements in this book!
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