26 September 2015

Hopebreaker: A Steampunk Dystopian Fantasy (The Great Iron War, Book 1) by Dean F. Wilson

Title: Hopebreaker: A Steampunk Dystopian Fantasy (The Great Iron War, Book 1)

Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Hopebreaker-Steampunk-Dystopian-Fantasy-Great-ebook/dp/B00QO2FQ52

Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Dystopian, Steampunk

I received this book from a fellow blogger and friend Leiah from SoIReadThisBookToday. She’s so overwhelmed with review requests she kindly lends me indie books to review them.

Sadly, I’m not having much luck with steampunk, even though I am greatly interested in the genre. I had high hopes with this book and I would in no way call the Hopebreaker a bad book, but it was just not engaging enough.

The plot: In the world of Altadas, there are no more human births. The Regime is replacing the unborn with demons, while the Resistance is trying to destroy a drug called Hope that the demons need to survive.
Between these two warring factions lies Jacob, a man who profits from smuggling contraceptive amulets into the city of Blackout. He cares little about the Great Iron War, but a chance capture, and an even more accidental rescue, embroils him in a plot to starve the Regime from power.

My first problem was the protagonist. Jacob was neither interesting nor exciting. He was bland. The blurb tells us that Jacob isn’t interested in the Great Iron War, but it seemed as if Jacob wasn’t interested being the protagonist of this book.
Another problem was the lack of a backstory. I didn’t always understand what the characters were talking about. They all had stories, but I didn’t know them, and never got to know them, which made it hard for me to relate to them. Characters appeared from Jacob’s past, and again I felt left out, because they shared stories, they exchanged memories, but I knew nothing of it and never found out.
And my third problem was the plot that moved very slowly. Or maybe this just wasn’t the right book for me. It seemed to be the same thing over and over again: Jacob got caught, Jacob miraculously survived and ended up with the good guys again. And again. And again.

The writing: While not badly written, this book is not the one I’d recommend to fellow awisls. I think it would greatly benefit from a second copy-editing. Not bad for a first book by an indie author, but not something that will stay with me as an example of descriptive language or strong structuring and plotting. There was the same old problem with the POVs, as well as with repetitive phrasing. Also, there were too many similes and metaphors. In my humble opinion, steampunk is a cool genre, which demands more time and work.

review dystopian steampunk Dean F. Wilson