Fantasia Reviews Dark Heart: Execution

Dark Heart: Execution by P. Mail
Published 10/24/2016
Ages 16+

41r6kbecxml“For centuries, an organization of assassins clouded in darkness and shadow existed in the realm of Thalia, shaping the events of the world as it saw fit. Obedient, dangerous, and fiercely relentless – these subjects only live to serve. Then, one assassin aspired for a different path. His defiance and obsession to destroy this guild would affect the lives of many, including the unsuspecting young noble, Marcus Sunborn.” – From Amazon

Story –fullstarfullstarhalfstar Average

Mister Mail has written a tale that opens with a bizarre scene – the birth of the main character. Now, this alone is not strange, if shown from the perspective of an observer, but no, it is a birth from the point of view of the character being born. This sets an unfortunate tone for the entirety of the novel. Now, we know this is seemingly a reoccurring dream of the character, but it just feels odd, out of place, and does not mesh with the tone of the rest of the novel. There is a story here, but when we ask an author to begin a story, we want the beginning of a story, not the beginning of life.

As well, there are more than a couple of point of view characters, but none of them feels inherently different from one another, something that an author must take care to do when presenting multiple perspectives from first person. As we weave between the characters, something begins to materialize that looks like a plot, but it never feels like it fully develops despite the length of the novel. Now, what we do see is original, so we give Mister Mail credit, but what he has delivered is subpar and difficult to follow. Now, we do not want to spoil anything, but a central issue in the plot revolves around a set of contrived events, which does little to push this novel any further.

“The warmth that once surrounded me is replaced with a chilling air. My body flails to keep warm while trying to adjust to this new environment. The only thing that truly unsettles me is the screaming which persists and grows louder.”

Style and Formatting –fullstarhalfstar Unfortunate

This is the real crime. The whole thing is nearly unreadable. We mean literally unreadable, incorrect formatting has caused issues with the file that make it difficult to turn the pages (please, authors, read Amazon’s instructions before uploading your work!). In the prose, there are grammatical issues that are distracting. On top of that, the writing makes the already confusing and shallow plot harder to follow. Written primarily in first person and present tense, some parts switch back to past tense randomly, without a good reason.

We think that there is something about present tense that fascinates new authors, but we recommend against it, for when not executed well, it tends to be terrible. There was no reason to use present tense in this novel, it only managed to muddle the language further. Whenever you make a choice about your work, make sure that you have a reason for doing it. There are a lot of things that are original and different that are not necessarily better, and this is one of them.

“As I approach the alley I see mother resting her back against a broken half wall, rubbing her belly. Lately, her stomach is growing immensely. She complains of pain and often throws up, decorating the already disgusting streets. According to her, my unborn sibling is trying to get out and join our family. This is not a world for any child, I thought.”

Literary Value –fullstar Negligible

There is nothing here. Seriously, this work attempts to come off as literary, but like Tom Cruise trying to block a shot from Shaq, it comes up short. Everything is so forced and contrived we cannot find the reasoning behind it, and while decisions were made we cannot find the point of them. It is disappointing because there was promise here, serious promise, but something somewhere in the process failed, and this was the result.

“Before the mercenary can move any further, I charge towards him and perform a sliding leg sweep. I topple the man onto the ground and the back of his head snaps back into a sharp rock. His eyes fold and blood pools from his skill. The other two men sigh with disbelief and step back simultaneously. Neither of them is sure of what to do next until a voice calls out from the distance.”

Overall –fullstarthreequarterstar 1.75, A Rough Read

Rough, like coarse sandpaper, that is how we describe this book. Now, there will be some who can look past all of the flaws and find something they like, but we cannot recommend this book. Too many things went wrong, creating too many problems, and giving us an experience that was not only confusing but just plain old not good.

Want to read Dark Heart: Execution? You can find it on Amazon.