Hello! Welcome to my stop on the BBNYA Ultimate Blog Tour for the 2020 BBNYA winner, The Lore of Prometheus by Graham Austin-King. I am excited to share my review of this fantastic book with you all.
Author: Graham Austin-King
Publication Date: 11/30/2018
Length: 287 pages
Read Date(s): 04/07/2021 – 04/09/2021
John Carver has three rules: Don’t drink in the daytime, don’t gamble when the luck has gone, and don’t talk to the dead people who come to visit.
It has been almost five years since the incident in Kabul. Since the magic stirred within him and the stories began. Fleeing the army, running from the whispers, the guilt, and the fear he was losing his mind, Carver fell into addiction, dragging himself through life one day at a time.
Desperation has pulled him back to Afghanistan, back to the heat, the dust, and the truth he worked so hard to avoid. But there are others, obsessed with power and forbidden magics, who will stop at nothing to learn the truth of his gifts. Abducted and chained, Carver must break more than his own rules if he is to harness this power and survive.
What I Liked
I can see why this book was the BBNYA winner. It is full of mystery, thrilling action, exciting super powers, and intense psychological themes. The writing was great, with good dialogue that felt natural and pacing that kept me interested throughout the story. I actually lost sleep because of this book because I did not want to put it down to go to bed. The plot was intense, and, throughout the book, I found myself wondering what the author would subject the characters to next.
I liked both of the main characters. Mackenzie’s story was interesting, and I was fascinated by the exploration of how the events of the book affected her psyche. She was portrayed as a strong, capable character rather than a damsel in distress, which I appreciated. However, Carver was my favorite character in the novel, and I greatly enjoyed getting to know him. He was a serious badass but also an absolute mess from being haunted by his past, which was a compelling combination to read.
My favorite thing about this novel was the description of someone living with PTSD. The author did a fantastic job of painting a picture of what goes on inside the head of someone with this disorder. The way he incorporated the flashbacks, hypervigilance, and hallucinations was superb, and Carver’s journey throughout the book dealing with his survivor guilt was very well-written.
I also enjoyed the themes presented in this book. The characters undergo long periods of intense torture, which was difficult to read at times, but allowed for the exploration of many interesting topics. Without going into too much detail because I don’t want to spoil the book, there are critiques of the darker side of human nature paired with examples of how people can overcome extreme adversity and re-purpose trauma into a strength. I immensely enjoyed the analysis of the human condition found throughout the story, which is evident in my favorite quote from the book:
The humor in the book is dark, but it works to add some levity to the otherwise morbid situations in which the characters find themselves. Carver’s hallucinations were one of my favorite things about the book because they introduced a great deal of the dark comedy. I also really enjoyed the author’s descriptions of places and environments. I instantly felt transported to each locale by the excellent writing.
What I Didn’t Like
I liked almost everything about this book. However, I had some real problems with the ending. The rest of the book was paced so well, but the ending seemed really abrupt and left quite a few things unanswered. The romance element came out of nowhere and was completely unnecessary to finishing the story. I also felt as if we left behind most of the characters from the first half of the book and never got any resolution to their part of the story. Furthermore, I still don’t understand how the villain did what he did at the end and think at least some explanation of how he reached his goal was necessary. Speaking of the villain, he was the other thing I did not like about the book. There was no information about his motivations, and, while being cruel and creepy, he just came off as one-note with no depth.
Overall, The Lore of Prometheus is a thrilling read that I recommend to fans of urban fantasy and/or thrillers. The book’s depictions of PTSD and the execution with which it explores themes related to human nature are some of its biggest strengths. However, the abrupt ending and lack of depth for the villain held the book back from being the best it could be. Therefore, I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.
About the Author
Graham Austin-King was born in the south of England and weaned on broken swords and half-forgotten spells.
A shortage of these forced him to consume fantasy novels at an ever-increasing rate, turning to computers and tabletop gaming between meals.
He experimented with writing at the beginning of an education that meandered through journalism, international relations, and law. To this day he is committed to never allowing those first efforts to reach public eyes.
After spending a decade in Canada learning what ‘cold’ really means, and being horrified by poutine, he settled once again in the UK with a seemingly endless horde of children.
To date he is the author of five novels, drawing on a foundation of literary influences ranging from David Eddings to Clive Barker.
Blog Tour & BBNYA Info
I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA tours organized by the @The_WriteReads tours team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest.
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