Official Review: A Kingdom Forgotten

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greenstripedgiraffe
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Official Review: A Kingdom Forgotten

Post by greenstripedgiraffe »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "A Kingdom Forgotten" by Charles W. McDonald Jr..]
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3 out of 4 stars
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I find adequately reviewing A Kingdom Forgotten by Charles W. McDonald, Jr. to be a significant challenge. The level of complexity is astounding. Frankly, I didn’t feel that I knew what was going on for greater than a third of the novel. By the time I did figure out what was going on, I found a compelling story with a plot so different from any others I have read before, that I remained intrigued until the end. The style of storytelling is so radically different that I am undecided as to whether it is brilliant or insane. The setting includes many worlds, many time periods on the various worlds, and a wealth of characters. Actually, it is nearly impossible to keep all of the characters straight at first. The storyline does not proceed in a chronological manner, neither is it fully consistent with “present day” story intermingled with “flashbacks.” Rather, the author jumps from past to future to present and between worlds quickly. Several sections are long enough to provide continuity in storyline, but some of the snippets are very short, almost disjointed. As I said, I didn’t start to grasp the story until I was more than a third of the way through the book.

One main character, Damon, appears to be a thoroughly evil character who has wrought much destruction in past centuries. Currently, Damon is furiously working on some “agenda” that he will share with no one, even while he manipulates people and circumstances in order to ensure his plans are not ruined. Damon’s powers are seemingly endless, and he has many enemies as well as allies. Another main character, Radin, is convinced that he is “the one” that the prophecies have foretold; however, a famed Lamean (magic person), Talemar, covets the title of “the one.” Even though Radin is a relatively new player in the worlds, he manages to gather friends from differing worlds, including a navy seal from earth.

Armageddon—the end of the world—is the underlying plot that holds all of the worlds and characters together like moons rotating around a planet. The “first seal” has been found. Prophecy has long told that “the one” would open the first seal and bring forth destruction as has never before been seen. Alliances are quickly formed and armies gather, preparing for the last battle in anticipation of the seal being opened.

A basic theme of good and evil is conspicuously absent. Characters are not easily defined as “bad” or “good.” Most are merely acting in their own interests, regardless of how this may help or hurt others. Additional themes include second chances, search for personal identity, and enduring relationships. Main characters are developed adequately for the scope and size of the novel, while other characters are somewhat more veiled in mystery. More than one character goes through a transformation. I enjoyed the overall plot and felt the characters were very realistic, especially considering the fantasy/sci-fi genre; however, I was not entirely comfortable with some of the parallels to various Scripture passages.

Finally, it is difficult to describe the pace of the book. I am tempted to say that the pace was slow, since it took me so long to understand the storyline. However, each individual section was paced nicely and so well-written, that to say the pace is slow would do the book a severe injustice. Additionally, once the individual story threads begin to converge in a coherent manner, the pace is action-packed.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. I definitely have a mixed range of opinions about A Kingdom Forgotten. The plot itself is near genius. The way the author kept track of all the characters, worlds and time periods is incredible. I would give it the full 4 stars, except that it was so difficult to grasp for the first section of the book. I would not recommend this book to a young audience, due to some sultry scenes and the overall complexity.

******
A Kingdom Forgotten
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kandscreeley
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Post by kandscreeley »

It sounds really interesting, but it sounds a little complicated for me. I must admit that I like to not have to think so hard when I'm reading. If I want something a little more challenging, though, I'll definitely look at this one.
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Post by greenstripedgiraffe »

kandscreeley wrote:It sounds really interesting, but it sounds a little complicated for me. I must admit that I like to not have to think so hard when I'm reading. If I want something a little more challenging, though, I'll definitely look at this one.
Ha! It was complicated =D The storyline was rewarding, though. I think it would be accessible to more people if the author drops more clues earlier on in the book as to what is going on.
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Post by ashley_claire »

What a complex story. I could definitely see myself being interested in this if the first bit of the book were sorted out. I don't think I would have the patience to push through on a book that I have no idea what is going on. I enjoyed reading your review.

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Post by gali »

Sounds like a complex tale. The plot sure sounds brilliant. I like books where characters are not easily defined. I am glad you enjoyed the book. Thank you for the great review. You certainly piqued my interest.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by greenstripedgiraffe »

ashley_claire wrote:What a complex story. I could definitely see myself being interested in this if the first bit of the book were sorted out. I don't think I would have the patience to push through on a book that I have no idea what is going on. I enjoyed reading your review.
Yes, I was a bit lost for a while, a new experience for me!! However the final story was so huge, I can understand why the author took this approach. But yes, it did take a bit of patience to get through at first. The patience did come with a pretty good reward, as this was an entirely new story and fairly unpredictable.

-- 01 Mar 2017, 09:55 --
gali wrote:Sounds like a complex tale. The plot sure sounds brilliant. I like books where characters are not easily defined. I am glad you enjoyed the book. Thank you for the great review. You certainly piqued my interest.
There are definitely compelling parts to this book, I believe the story itself is a great tale. To be fair, the author warns about the complexity and the manner in which he chose to write (the jumping around of time periods and places) prior to the narrative. :lol2:
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Post by MarisaRose »

Good for you for sticking with this one! I think the complexity sounds a little off putting - not saying I need my books to be solely straightforward, but this one sounds a bit much. Thanks for the well written, insightful review :)
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Post by Katelyn Scott »

Sounds like an incredibly complex novel.
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Post by greenstripedgiraffe »

MarisaRose wrote:Good for you for sticking with this one! I think the complexity sounds a little off putting - not saying I need my books to be solely straightforward, but this one sounds a bit much. Thanks for the well written, insightful review :)

HA! I almost did quit several times, but I am glad that I stuck with it :) thanks for reading the review and for the compliments!

-- 03 Mar 2017, 08:46 --
Katelyn Scott wrote:Sounds like an incredibly complex novel.

It is, actually. I was ready for something lighter when I finished :)
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Post by Guppy »

Sounds confusing! Which can be a common fault with the sci fi genre where there are so many new worlds and characters. The characters sound intriguing and I like that so many explore the grey area between good and evil.
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Post by greenstripedgiraffe »

Guppy wrote:Sounds confusing! Which can be a common fault with the sci fi genre where there are so many new worlds and characters. The characters sound intriguing and I like that so many explore the grey area between good and evil.
Ha! It was VERY confusing for the first while. The writing was quite well done, though. Thanks for stopping by and reading my review :)
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Post by kimmyschemy06 »

Sounds like a very interesting albeit complicated boo with intriguing characters. Great job on the review.

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Post by greenstripedgiraffe »

kimmyschemy06 wrote:Sounds like a very interesting albeit complicated boo with intriguing characters. Great job on the review.
Thanks!
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Post by Shreyoshi Sen »

Interesting. Would love to give it a try.
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Post by hsimone »

Thank you the great and informative review! This definitely seem like a read that is intense and pushes your mind while reading - multiple worlds, different time periods, and an abundance of characters. Wow!
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