Official Review: The Power of Alsban by Michael Marquez

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kandscreeley
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Official Review: The Power of Alsban by Michael Marquez

Post by kandscreeley » 08 May 2018, 10:43

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Power of Alsban" by Michael Marquez.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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Oliver Jackson finds himself on a strange, new world and isn't exactly sure how he got there. He and his friends must now find a way back home, but this world doesn't have the same rules as Earth. Most of the people here have some type of special power. Oliver and his friends learn that they must find the five staffs to get back home. Unfortunately, searching for these staffs is illegal in Alsban. And, they aren't the only ones looking for them as they are said to contain great power. Will Oliver and his friends be able to find these staffs and get back home?

The Power of Alsban is a science fiction novel by Michael Marquez. It's around 200 pages and seems to be the first in a series. The intended audience for this book is a bit unclear. The writing comes across as almost young adult feeling, but the content is more suitable for an adult audience. This made it harder for me to evaluate.

I found the characters to be unique and quite interesting. One of the first characters we meet is a doctor who has the Sight Heart. That means that he is able to see through walls, people and buildings. These different hearts could even cause some of the characters to turn into animals. Furthermore, there's a Yeti in this story! Unfortunately, the sheer number of these characters was overwhelming. Every time I turned around, the author was introducing us to a new character with a new name. I just couldn't keep track of them all.

The plot itself was fun for a science fiction novel. Who doesn't enjoy a bunch of humans from Earth stranded in an alien place? Sadly, it wasn't executed well. There were times in the novel where the perspective changed, and there was absolutely no notice. There wasn't a separate chapter or even a line break between paragraphs. This made me have to stop and figure out where I was more than once in the story.

Also, several of the characters had a preoccupation with sex. One, we are told straight out, is a pervert. Another insisted on buying adult toys for children who were just starting puberty. Then, there was the 29 year old woman who was in love with the main character (who is 17.) There was nothing extremely blatant or over the top, but it was noticeable enough to mention within the review.

The last thing that deserves a bit of discussion is the editing. It does not seem that this book has been properly edited. This can be found in the simple mistakes like missing or misspelled words. More than that, it almost seemed that the book was incomplete. The plot just stopped, and the last page says, "Next Chapter: Chapter 21 Blackstone Family Trip." Perhaps that is simply the author's way of letting us know that there is a planned sequel. If that's the case, it would be better to add something like, "Coming Soon!"

Overall, I had mixed feelings about this book. There were parts I enjoyed, and the story even grew on me. However, there were a great many downsides including the confusing start, once again due to the sheer number of characters. It is for these reasons that I rate The Power of Alsban a 2 out of 4 stars. In its current format, it is readable, but I don't believe many will be able to get past the juvenile style writing, editing flaws and number of characters.

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The Power of Alsban
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Post by Bianka Walter » 10 May 2018, 04:24

This sounds like a bit of a battle to read. I agree, the premise is really fun - stranded on an alien planet. What a pity it went so wrong. I also feel so cheated when a book isn’t wrapped up well at the end.
Thanks for the great review.
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Post by kandscreeley » 10 May 2018, 08:36

Bianka Walter wrote:
10 May 2018, 04:24
This sounds like a bit of a battle to read. I agree, the premise is really fun - stranded on an alien planet. What a pity it went so wrong. I also feel so cheated when a book isn’t wrapped up well at the end.
Thanks for the great review.
It was just odd. It was even on Amazon like that. That was the kindle version. I was like, so am I missing a chapter or is this a sequel? What's going on!? Thanks for commenting.
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Post by kfwilson6 » 10 May 2018, 08:39

I'm highly disappointed. I knew not to get my hopes up too much with your 2-star rating but the premise sounded wonderful. I think I could really enjoy the overall concept, but only after the author makes some major changes. I don't care to read about the characters you mentioned with their odd sexual interests.

It seems like some authors have a hard time defining their audience. If they are targeting teens they need to clean up the language and not get too sexual, vulgar, or gory. If they are targeting an adult crowd they need to write with more maturity.

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Post by AmySmiles » 10 May 2018, 09:11

Confusing starts are hard for me, I usually can't continue if I'm so off base at the beginning. I appreciate your review.
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Post by kandscreeley » 10 May 2018, 10:15

kfwilson6 wrote:
10 May 2018, 08:39
I'm highly disappointed. I knew not to get my hopes up too much with your 2-star rating but the premise sounded wonderful. I think I could really enjoy the overall concept, but only after the author makes some major changes. I don't care to read about the characters you mentioned with their odd sexual interests.

It seems like some authors have a hard time defining their audience. If they are targeting teens they need to clean up the language and not get too sexual, vulgar, or gory. If they are targeting an adult crowd they need to write with more maturity.
You're exactly right. Authors need to decide before they start writing what their target audience is. That would help tremendously! Thanks for your comment.
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Post by teacherjh » 10 May 2018, 11:16

The premise sounds great, but I get lost with too many characters.

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Post by kandscreeley » 10 May 2018, 12:21

I understand teacherjh! It was a bit overwhelming!
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Post by SABRADLEY » 11 May 2018, 04:01

The opening paragraph of your review had been really excited about this book! I would not be apt to overlook such adult themes in a book where the target audience is ambiguous at best. I'm not sure what exactly the author was going for here, but I dare say he missed the mark. Thanks for a great review!

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Post by kandscreeley » 11 May 2018, 08:34

Thanks Sabradley! I'm not really sure myself. Hopefully he can clear some things up with more editing! Thanks for the comment.
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Post by Ginnamassa19 » 13 May 2018, 04:19

A plot revolving around finding artefacts in an alien place with many main characters? Sounds like Infinity War to me (in the best way possible) XD

Anyway, the premise sounds really interesting, but it seems as though the execution of it could use some work. I love the whole adventure/quest-for-ancient-magical-objects trope, though, so I might still check it out.

Thank you for your review, it was really illuminating :)

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Post by Libs_Books » 13 May 2018, 10:02

Sounds like a pretty bizarre mixture of elements from different novels. I think a really good editor would sort all that out, as well as correcting the simpler errors. I'm glad you were still able to feel positive about some aspects of it. It's amazing how a good storyline can carry you through a lot of less desirable stuff.

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Post by Yolimari » 14 May 2018, 03:40

The plot sounded interesting and fun until the weird preocupación of the characters with sex and the unfinished editing of the book. Thanks for the review!
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Post by kandscreeley » 14 May 2018, 08:20

Thanks Ginnamassa19 - If you check it out, let me know what you think.

Libs_Books - It was kind of a bizarre mixture of elements. It almost had a kind of Guardians of the Galaxy vibe going on.

Yolimari - I completely understand! Thanks for your comments.
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Post by gen_g » 14 May 2018, 09:21

This seems like a tough read simply due to the sheer number of characters, but the premise of the book seems intriguing. Thank you for your lovely review.

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