Sunday, 11 June 2017
Book Review: Gears of Fate (Forgotten Gods #1) by Wilbert Stanton
Author: Wilbert Stanton
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: 20 June 2017
Format: eBook - EPUB
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Centuries have passed since the Fey conquered Earth, forcing mankind and gods alike to flee to the sky city Olympus. Forgotten gods walk amongst man, lost and powerless. Little do they suspect a second Fey war looms, and an unlikely duo will set in motion the gears of fate.
Zak Walker is a fringe rat living in the slums who would do anything to protect his sister, Alice. His neglectful father threatens to consign him to a life away from home on an airship, but he yearns for his life to mean something more than drudgery.
Princess Seneca Rose is the last surviving member of the Seelie royals. They tried to establish peace with mankind, but fell to the forces of Queen Mob and the Unseelie Court. Fleeing for her life, Seneca arrives on Olympus in hopes of uniting the forgotten gods against the oncoming Fey.
Zak couldn’t care less about the fate of Olympus, until faeries kidnap Alice. He doesn’t believe Seneca’s stories of faeries or gods, but soon has no choice but to accept their lives are intertwined. All his life, he’s dreamed of something more. If he cannot face the dangers that await down on Earth, the gods, mankind, and his sister Alice are all doomed. (Goodreads Synopsis)
Gears of Fate has a lot going for it, even from a first glance. After all, who doesn't love a story packed with mythology and folklore? One of the great strengths of this work is the way Stanton blends the different pantheons, drawing them into one tale. Throw in a few steampunk jet packs and the like, and you have something guaranteed to appeal to a wide range of readers. Overall, it works. The story concept is good, there's a fun injection of humour and the main characters are likeable thanks to, rather than in spite of, their flaws. The only thing that didn't quite work for me was the pacing. At about 200 pages, this is a fairly short read. It took a while to introduce the characters and their situations, so I fully expected them not to accomplish most, if not all, of their goals in the course of this opening book, knowing it is the first in a planned series. I was, therefore, surprised when a number of threads suddenly wrapped up in the space of the last few chapters, often behind the scenes, without us 'seeing' any of the action. Yes, there are still issues remaining for the characters to face in the next instalment, but after such a build up about certain events that needed to take place, I was left a little disappointed that they then resolved so quickly. (I won't say to which plot points I refer as I don't want to risk spoilers.) Despite this niggle, Gears of Fate remains a delightful read, with an original plot idea that is sure to please plenty of YA fantasy fans. 3.5 stars.