Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Robin Hood Revisited: THE WOLF AND THE RAVEN by Steven A. McKay

The Wolf and the Raven
Much improved. Much, much improved.
Last year I received this book, and the one before it, for review. I only read one or two Indie books a year now and it was only because this author has really established himself a reputation for professionalism, that I decided to accept the books for review.

The first book I was lukewarm on. It was okay. A lot better than I had thought it would be, but it had its problems, as do most debut books.
In my review of Wolf's Head, I think I mentioned that the bones were there and experience as a writer would probably see the second book (and those that follow it) showing an improved maturity to Steven's writing.

This year I have tackled this second book by Steven A. McKay and I am happy to say that my prediction was right.
The author has cast off the confines of his first story restraints and written a very decent book.
The characters read with more maturity, the writing is getting stronger, the adventure is abundant.

I've said this before, and what the heck, I'll say it again...First books can be a real skeleton in the closet with authors if they span too long a breadth of time. They start them in highschool, University or early in their working lives, then come back to them later on, as a different person wanting to 'finally finish that novel they once wrote'.
They are not the same person as they were when they started the book, and, nine times out of ten, I feel this in debuts. And I felt that in the first book by Steven A. McKay. But those traces are long gone now. Unlike the first book, this book doesn't feel like it is written by two or three different people.

One of Steven's strengths in this book is always keeping that wheel turning. There is no down time for his characters where you find yourselves wanting something to happen. As soon as his characters do something, have adventure, get themselves in strife, they are back on their feet getting stuck into it again.
I like an author who can do this without making the book read in a restless manner.

Flaws. Well, there are a couple, but they are not something that should put you off trying this book. I feel that while the author is really showing maturity now and writing with more skill, it is inconsistent. From time to time some parts do make me cringe a little.
I do not think they will affect your enjoyment of this book, it is just the growing pains of an author who is honing his craft.

3.5 stars out of 5

- MM

Steven A. McKay's video for this book - sourced You Tube

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