Book Review~Severance

Title: Severance
Genre: Heroic Fantasy
Author: Michael Pritsos and Jessica Mastorakos
Purchase Links:  Amazon
Connect With the Author: Goodreads, Blog

To be born Gaian is to be born gifted. That wasn’t always true, but as more infants were born with special talents of the mind, what was once considered abnormal became the majority. The ungifted were sent to Thalassa, an island chain off the coast of the mainland. These orphans grew up in a vassal kingdom forced to pay dues to its overseers. In Severance, the first book of The Sovereign, a Thalassan soldier and orphan gets wind of a plot against his island home and wages war against its oppressors. A captain’s daughter fights for a love across the cultural divide. An assassin’s need for power takes him on a bloody journey throughout both lands. And a princess tells the biggest lie in her nation’s history, protecting her family’s right to rule. With alternating perspectives of war and tragedy, love and loss, secrets, lies, and counterplots – the fight for a nation’s independence starts here.

I'm going to preface this with this: I hate criticizing, I know, hard to believe with how often I do it. But, it's true! I always feel horrible because I know how much time and effort goes into writing a book like this. And, I can tell that this was a labor of love. Okay, now, on to my thoughts.

It was well written and most of the characters were multi-faceted and well developed. Parts of Severance were very engaging and enjoyable to read. I kept wanting to know what was going to happen, especially to those very likable...and unlikable characters.

However, this is a very long and, in parts, slow moving book. I was disappointed at the end because this is really not a stand alone book. There are way too many loose ends to be tied at the close of the book. If you like cliff-hangers, you may enjoy this. If, however, you like things to be neat and tidy at the end of a book, like me, then this may not be your cup of tea. Now, I am not at all against serial books. However, even in those, I like to see the issues dealt with in the book to be solved before the next book. Even if we're dealing with some of the same issues, I like there to be a clear resolution of some sort at the end, there really wasn't. Honestly this felt like a really, really, really long prologue.

There are a lot of characters in this book, and a lot of different point of views that the story is told from. Until about midway into the book it is very confusing to keep switching. I had to stop several times and think on who this person was and what their character was like. This disrupts the flow of the book. I think limiting it to two or maybe three points of view might be immensely helpful.

All that said, if you like medieval-esque fantasy books this may still be for you. I can't say too much without giving a lot away, but there is a lot to the storyline to enjoy. Many of the characters are quite likable and easy to get attached to.

I am going to give this one a three, this is NOT a bad thing. At. All. I still enjoyed it, just not enough to pick up the next in the series. But, I think a lot of that is due to personal taste and the confusing character switching.

Sex?  Yes, no super graphic scenes but it is discussed bluntly and up to the beginning/at the end.
Language? Yes.
Drugs and alcohol? Alcohol
Religion? Not really "by the gods" is a frequently used "curse"  
Anything else I should know? There are some decently graphic fighting/war scenes

Michael Pritsos has studied English with emphases in both Literature and Creative Writing at Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. Recently completing his enlistment as a U.S. Marine, Michael plans to return to Arizona State University to pursue a Masters in English. His third book, Severance, is a collaborative effort and the first book in a heroic fantasy series entitled The Sovereign.

Jessica Mastorakos has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from Northern Arizona University and a Master's Degree in Psychology from Grand Canyon University. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two young children. Her first two books, both military romances, were inspired by her life as a proud Marine wife.