Monday, May 28, 2012

Best Laid Plans by D.P. Prior review

The reavers are swarming and this time their prey is the supreme ruler of the Templum, the Ipsissimus himself.

With Shader dead and his piece of the Statue of Eingana in the hands of Shadrak the Unseen, the threat of the Unweaving of all Creation is one step nearer.

Dr Cadman realizes he’s in too deep and there’s nothing for it but to go on the offensive. If he’s to survive the coming war for the statue, what better allies could he have than an army of the living dead?

As Sektis Gandaw closes in and a clash of cultures threatens the land of Sahul, the philosopher Aristodeus still has ideas of his own that could decide the fate of all existence.

But with the passage to the heavenly realm of Araboth covered by the Abyss, nothing is as it should be. Aristodeus knows that even Shader’s death can be turned to his advantage; after all, it’s a long game, and he holds all the cards.

But even the best laid plans …

4.5 stars

Best Laid Plans is the second book in the Shader series and I felt there were some major improvements from the first book.  The world that Derek uses has a massive backstory and covers a huge amount of ground.  This lead to a lot of explanation in the first book that gave it a bit slower of a plot.  In this book you have a basic understanding of the world and characters already so the story is free to flow.  There is still some background revealed about some of the characters, but it is in small sections that directly link to a current situation leading to a much more even flow.  

I really am starting to enjoy Deacon Shader as a person.  He is a man conflicted, living his life as a warrior, while trying to hold onto religious ideals of peace.  This conflict leads to some inner turmoil which help to reveal the depth of the character, but unlike some Derek doesn't harp on it trying to drive home how conflicted Deacon is.  

The story being told is complex (I believe there are 6 planned volumes for the series) and follows several viewpoints.  If done incorrectly this can lead to passages of extreme boredom for me, but Derek manages to avoid that by keeping the action moving.  The fight scenes are fantastic, my favorite take place against the mawgs while at sea, and beautifully written.  This series is one that I will be following all the way to the end.  The end is the only thing that I didn't really like, as there is a huge action sequence in which the book ends with things being left pretty wide open.  I'm not a huge fan of cliff hangers as I'm not patient and don't like to wait for the next book in the series, but honestly that's a pretty minor complaint.

For more info go to the Amazon page for the book or visit the author's blog.

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