1 out of 4 stars
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A tale of Imagine by Howard Mack is a short story that falls into the science fiction genre. It is set in the magical realm of Spacial One where different creatures, both magical and non-magical reside.
The story is centered around Tolance, a Wizard who finds himself in trouble for failing to repay a loan. This results in him being expelled from his home. Witches are sent to his residence to evict him and force him to return to the Northern region where he originally came from. This eviction not only affects him but includes his army as well. They express their displeasure at being forced to go and live in a strange environment but they don't have a choice. The law must be upheld. The story then follows Tolance on his journey to the North.
What I liked most about A Tale of Imagine is that the font is really pleasing to look at and the cover is quite dreamy. The story also includes instances of inter dimensional travel but the positives end there. Everything else was a let down. To begin with, the story was quite painful to read. There are too many I'll constructed sentences like "It was the norm for the army to dwell close by but they would live all together separate lives." It would read better as "It was the norm for the army to dwell close by but they would all live separate lives." This is found on page 6, where the whole page is basically unreadable and ranks top among pages that need a round of editing.
Tolance is the main character but for him to be the only character mentioned by name throughout most of the story is another let down. Even Tolance's wife and son are not mentioned. When the witches came to evict Tolance, I expected a battle between him and the witches but Tolance seems to have walked out without even trying. This was a missed opportunity. It had me wondering, why have such a scenario yet it was clearly mentioned that Tolance was a powerful wizard?
The pacing of the story is also too fast and the 22 pages weren't enough to cover everything. Just when I got immersed in one scene, it came to an abrupt end and another one took over. This made the book read like a draft for another book, which I desperately hope it is. I can see great potential for this book if it were to be reworked.
In it's current state, it would be unethical of me to recommend this book to anyone. Lovers of the sci-fi/fantasy genre especially will be really disappointed. I therefore give it a rating of 1 out of 4 stars and I hope I'll see another edition in future.
A Tale of Imagine
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