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.
The Power of Alsban
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