Thursday, September 18, 2014

REVIEW: The Undays of Aralias Lyons by K. L. Horvath

My Rating: 6 out of 10 stars

Aralias Lyons belongs to an eccentric family of Travelers living in 19th century England. When he meets Clara Heartwell, widowed wife of a famous archeologist, he discovers she holds a significant artifact that allows him to more precisely control time. Together they travel back in time—fighting iron dragons, poisonous marsiders, and clockwork men—in a desperate attempt to save Aralias's son Jack from the mind torture of the evil Simeon Bliss, a heinous megalomaniac with a potent desire for control and power.

This was an engrossing story, the world and its characters within detailed with vivid imagery. I'm a sucker for the Victorian age and the era in which this story takes place, of gears and steam engines and all manner of steampunk that goes along with it. Traveling through time with Aralias allows the reader to experience several different spaces in time, and always the author was full of lush, vivid descriptions that really pulled you into the story. I felt as one with Aralias, living his ever-changing life through his eyes in a whirlwind of time and space.

For all the good things it's got going for it, this book could've used a bit of editing to make the story flow smoother, and for that it lost a star. This wasn't an advance reader copy or uncorrected proof so there's really no excuse for all the grammatical errors I encountered. The improper use of commas—not only lacking in places where needed but also inserted in places where they weren't—would often throw me out of the story and force me to reread sentences or entire paragraphs to understand what the author was trying to communicate. These occurred often enough that I felt it worth the mention, especially since they weren't isolated. Other errors—the use of were instead of we're, or two characters speaking in the same paragraph—continued to unnerve and confuse me and snap me out of this otherwise extraordinary world the author created.

I received this book directly from the author in exchange for an honest review. I attempted to do it justice while pointing out areas I felt it was lacking. I sincerely hope Ms. Korvath considers hiring an editor for future works, because I really liked what she was putting out there, but the transference from words to paper needs to be tweaked a bit to make her story completely transcendent. (Who knows, perhaps she may even decide to edit and release an updated version of this e-book for future readers.)