The Second Cataclysm by Jason F. Smith and C. Parker Garlitz
“The words of the fourth prophecy echoed in Cael’s mind as he stood on the edge of the sinkhole, looking down into the smoky abyss. Not only had he witnessed his own parents murdered by an assassin from a supposedly long-dead demonic cult, but his beloved home town had been ripped apart by the massive earthquake. The ancient revelation was being fulfilled with terrifying precision. Now, in a desperate race against the secretive cult, Cael must lead his friends in the relentless struggle. In order to save himself, his friends and even his world, Cael must discover that the true battle is not simply against the cult that assassinated his parents, but something much bigger…” – From Amazon
Story – Good
The Cult of Yex Saga: Part One (henceforth simply called CoY) is an epic fantasy adventure with many of the natural trappings that come along with a fantasy novel. The story is interesting enough to stand on its own; it is engaging and at times even funny. We can tell that the authors put considerable time and energy into creating the story, and they deserve credit for that, but with that credit comes some criticism. It is a bit slow going at first and takes a few chapters actually to catch the reader. Perhaps this was intended to be addressed by adding the foreboding countdown to the cataclysm on every other page. However, it becomes tiresome. That being said, once the story gains some steam, it can be difficult to put down.
“Even as he drew it, the simple shape filled him with a new foreboding he had not felt previously. Its innocent lines intersected and combined to form a symbol that was unmistakably evil. Cael had seen the symbol several times before. It was the symbol of the Cult of Yex.”
Writing and Formatting – Good
Well-proofread and edited, with few if any formatting issues, we were not distracted by anything in particular in the structure of the novel. Perhaps sometimes the dialogue feels a bit stilted. However, it does little to distract from the story itself and does not break immersion. That being said, the prose is a bit clunky at times, and along with the dialogue, there is ample room for improvement.
“Tharchelon, Guardian Rothin King of the Bystle Vale, slumped alone on the polished wooden floor of the holy moss garden, deep on the great Bystle Tree hollowed-out trunk. The dim yellowish light of the glowing Bystle Fruits washed over him. The ragged remainder of the Bystle Moss struggled desperately to grow back into some semblance of its former health, bathed in the life-giving yellow glow.”
Literary Value – Average
CoY is an average indie fantasy with nothing so great as to fawn over, but nothing so terrible as to note. It is middle of the road in its scope and intent and does not venture too far from genre staples to keep it going. It is a fun fantasy story, but little more.
“As he got father into the Lower Steppe, the crowds of people began to get larger. Most of them were moving south, away from the sinkhole which lay to the north of them. He drifted south with the crowds until he reached the road that branched southeast into the Kuma. Few people were entering the Kuma, even with a sinkhole and raging fires to propel them.”
Overall – 3, A Good Read
What is CoY about? That is an excellent question, if you find out, you should let us know. No, it is not that bad, but neither is it great. Would we read the next book? Absolutely! Would we recommend it to everyone? Likely not. It suffers from a bit of fantasy-itis, it is a bloated story with sticky names that may turn off casual fantasy readers. However, if you enjoy high fantasy adventures and do not mind getting elbow deep into this world, then this is the book for you.
Want to read CoY? You can find it on Amazon.
Want to hear from the author? You can find them here.