[The Stragglers Mask (Umbrakin #1)] New ↠ Juho Pohjalainen
Esn t matter how long because you never want it to end This book though it s loooong and it sometimes seems to dragThis book plays with the concept of a masked hero who either trains someone new to take on his identity or undergoes some tragedy where a unlucky ellow suddenly inds him or herself taking on the masked identity But in this particular story the main character is not human He s a bugbear If you ve never heard of bug bears beforewell neither have I I googled imaged bugbear The Straggler s Mask is a decent irst effort by a new author with likeable characters and interesting worldbuilding but is a little too long or its own good and likes to go off on a tangent to elaborate on the worldbuildingThe Straggler s Mask ollows an unlikely hero the bugbear Peal who gets swept up by things that are bigger than him and School of Velocity finds himself dealing with a whole lot of things he d rather not deal with As a protagonist he s a sympathetic little critter who sun to read about and he meets several just as colorful companions during the course of the story The characters are one of the best parts of the book as they all have their own uniue personality and uirks There wasn t a single character in the book whom I ound unlikeableThe worldbuilding in Straggler s Mask is great too It clearly draws its influences rom classic sword and sorcery Moorcock CA Smith et al than Sly the Sleuth and the Pet Mysteries from Tolkienesueantasy The world is interesting and weird Local Girls fantasy in the truest sense of the word And boy does the worldbuilding go into detail Landscapes creatures even the astronomy of the world is described A lot of effort went into the worldbuilding and it offers up a lot of imaginative and exotic vistas which are a joy to imagineBut the worldbuilding also leads us to the bad part of the book which is its often plodding pace and the tendency of the author to go off on tangents There is even the occasionalootnote and once there is even a A Is for Awful footnote within aootnote which serves to either explain a thing mentioned in the text or to interject a witty remark The story takes a while to pick up and the pacing sometimes slows down to offer the reader a deeper glimpse into the wonderfully built world Due to this the book ends up being a little longer than it probably should be There s plenty of adventure in it but it s not exactly ast paced and might have benefitted rom being cut down a littleOverall it s a good debut title by a promising new author who knows how to develop a My Little Half-Moon fascinating world and how to tell a good story once heinally gets down to actually letting it unfold amid all the worldbuildingGive it a read if you like imaginative non generic antasy excellent worldbuilding likeable characters on high stakes adventuresGive it a skip if you re overly bothered by slow pacing the Story Going Off On Tangents That Often going off on tangents that often out to be irrelevant to the main plotNote I designed the interior layout of this book and was paid or it by the author This is an unbiased review based on my own reading experience after I had already been paid A Succubus for Freedom and other tales of Obscene Orgies for my service A reallyun read that still could be tighter in places though my gripes are pretty minor considering the big picture For a character driven story it s weird how there s a bunch of undeveloped characters who Could Ve Been Axed ve been axed From Z to A-Lister: How To Build Your Personal Brand favor of just a couple or soleshed out ones I also
Felt A Slump Somewhere Around Halfway Through Where A Lot a slump somewhere around halfway through where a lot stuff occurs but it dawns on the reader that little of it is of real conseuence The worldbuilding however is refreshing and I d verge on saying some of the most interesting parts go under utilized if I didn t suspect there s novels set in this universe to come The story picks up a lot of momentum towards the The Straggler s mask or me invokes an old classical antasy The Avril LaVigne Handbook - Everything You Need to Know about Avril LaVigne fantasyeel that I A Fatal Debt: A Novel find rather charming From the introduction to our unlikely hero you can certainlyeel how our protagonist Peal echos alot of a traditional hero being curious enough to want to leave his home yet scared of what lies beyond And like most heroes of myth he undergoes the hero s journey and the author does a good job to show how unprepared Peal is The White Ballets for his journey and how much he has to grow to survive his journeyThe book is not without itslaws however a ew chapters into the story we are given a huge exposition dump by many newly introduced characters While it s understandable that the author wanted to throw Peal and by extension us the readers as well into an ongoing situation it is a very heavy hurdle to cross over as we are ed alot of information by alot of new aces in a relatively short amount of timeHowever the story does pick up once we are up to speed with the present moment the plot offers alot of satisfying twist and turns with a antastic world and good characters that made the slow chapters worthwhile to go through The book does a good job in its world building and while the additional notes do break up pacing it still adds extra insight into both the characters and the worldFor anyone looking The Portable Guidance Counselor: Answers to the 284 Most Important Questions About Getting Into College for a goodantasy book I highly recommend The Straggler s Mask as a slow read where you take the time with it and soak in the world and its character. Upposed to protect and babysit these oversized cretins when all he's good Living with a Dead Language: My Romance with Latin for is staying out of sight How can heind the path when he's never been outside his burrow before Any chance anyone could even give him a hug Peal's Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South face is covered under that mask now It conceals his meekness and gives him courage And the stars no longer look so gran. Haracters I particularly like the relationship between Ivar the great prince a little naive and the usurper that is the hero and the universe that we like to discover over the chapters It is regrettable however that some passages are a little slower and dispensable than others and especially the length of the book it would probably be easy to make two see three volumesAnyway I warmly recommend this book to those who want to spend a good time discovering a strange world populated by races as bizarre as they are diverse and who will not berightened by the imposing volume of the book I think what a lot of people seem to Bongology: n. The Art of Creating 35 of the World's Most Bongtastic Marijuana Ingestion Devices forget is there s a plethora of readers out there who don tind constant action particularly enjoyableThat s not to excuse the author Design the Life You Love: A Guide to Thinking About Your Life Playfully and with Optimism for the points where it really seemed to stretch on butor me those points were very Shortcut: How Analogies Reveal Connections, Spark Innovation, and Sell Our Greatest Ideas few Two inact were notable One near the beginning and one near the end were honestly longer than they needed to be just like this part of the reviewRegardless I really did appreciate the little details the After You Drop Them Off: A Parent's Guide to Student Ministry footnotes the thoughtsrom the narrator It all meshed rather well Share, Retweet, Repeat: Get Your Message Read and Spread for me Though that might be due to the vigilance I have when reading a book like this See I don t read a lot Or much at all I don tind bestsellers or classics all that interesting because they established the cliches I ve been bombarded with since birth So when a hook includes something atypical of the genre a scared and lonely tiny Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes fuzz monster as a protagonist my attention is there I didn t let pertinent details slip my mind when reading aootnote and kept track of who was who rather easily Though I would have appreciated a bit time separating the individuals rom the crew much like how it went toward the end That s neither here nor thereAnyways I ll tell you right now the hook delivers Peal s existence as a bugbear isn t just orgotten it s always there You re not reading about just another hero you re reading about a member of a commonly disregarded species coming of age and being duped into a uest no one of his kind in their right mind would ollow It s SatisfyingIf you re not afraid of your own shadow give it a go Promise if you re at least as attentive as me you ll have your ill Firstly I gotta come clean I know the guy who wrote this and read it before it was properly out So I do have a vested interest here But just like the Bloodhound Gang let me be Pacific on why I like this bookThe plot centers around this little rabbitdog thing who lives in a burrow with his other rabbit dog She Weeps Each Time You're Born friends One day he gets the inclination to explore a bit and his curiosity leads to him inheriting the identity and mission of a dying hero The only problem is he s still a clueless burrowing mammal whose species are coded to be huge cowards as a survival tactic So he s got a journey ahead of him to live up to his new namesake And uite a journey it is The book startsairly standard as ar as antasy goes amiliar woodlands and an approaching army of darkness But as it goes on you get to see some pretty wild locales and every new location expands upon your knowledge of
the world at the same time as the main character Strength one of the book is the scene setting it world at the same time as the main character Strength one of the book is the scene setting it brings them to life and makes you want to be there instead of a small town that s about to experience another ing Canadian winter AnywayStrength two are the characters They re uite grounded and develop nicely through the story making them easy to identify with Granted you can tell which ones are likely to bite the dust and I might prefer the side cast got a little development but that s hard to do when there s so many of them and you re already pushing 600 pages The main chars at least are very well done and play off of each other well and the people they meet on their journeys are varied and interestingDespite its length the book is paced pretty well with maybe a little drag in the early sections of the journey pretty well with maybe a little drag in the early sections of the journey never got to a part that made me want to put the book down and I really got into it by the midpoint and on Ending exceeded expectations Overall I give it a hearty two thumbs up It s very much a classic antasy book with influences you can probably tell immediately and the author admits himself But it s classic in the good way with a hero s journey A Northern Light from smallry to 3 If You're Missing Baby Jesus: A True Story that Embraces the Spirit of Christmas foot nothing savior a slow escalation in stakes and of course a wizard or two and a demon or three thousand It doesn tall into being a DND sourcebook copypasta or a power wank or sad at people It s not Orcs vs Gruff Grizzled Manly Men With Abs Who Have Like Three Girlfriends At Once It starts Anne Perrys Christmas Crimes (Christmas Stories, familiar but ends pretty wild without jumping any sharks The characters are uite human even when they aren t And the story is a good mix of comedy and drama with littleootnotes sprinkled here and there to give you tidbits of lore I ully enjoyed my time with
and I ve been the antasy train White Water for a long whileContent wise I d give it a PG13 or something Little to no sexual content but aair number of people die uite brutally I d The Slave Dancer feel comfortable giving it to anyone you d give a LOTR book Now I usually never look at how long a book is If it s good it do. The name the mask and all the responsibilities of this dead human tell him toorget all his personal affairs like rites of passage or that girl he ancied and push him out there to see whether he might actually be worth something You wouldn't bet on that and neither would he He uivers just thinking about the uest he's been put on How is he .
It And I Ve Been
If someone asked me to sum this book up in a single sentence I would probably call it an interesting blend of able classic antasy and sword and sorcery The SS influence is most noticeable which is not that strange considering that Michael Moorcock creator of Elric of Melnibon is cited as a major influence The influence however is taken slightly to The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started theLongest War in American History far the book would probably have benefitedrom slightly ewer and slightly developed adventures The same goes or characters while many are well developed some of the main party never leave the background and their presence bring nothing to the story The whole thing also gets a little confusing there is a myriad of named cities and nations and a whole cosmos to boot and the map at the beginning only cover a A World on Fire few of them For a self published and presumably mostly self edited book of this length there s not that many mistakes There s some grammarspelling mistakes a passage in the middle where east and west seem to have been confused and some other minor things but never in a uantity that hurt the book The writing while sometimes a little uneven is generally enjoyable and the language is good and in defiance of its SS influences only use the word cyclopean like 3 times instead of everyifth sentence uite tastefulI wonder whatever happened to view spoilerRime and Sir Voclain hide spoiler A tale that lays the Setting Them Straight: You CAN Do Something About Bigotry and Homophobia in Your Life foundationsor a mythos worthy of TolkienThe classic antasy tale of a meek underdog who ventures rom home 100 ways to Fight the Flab - and still have wine and chocolate for selfish reasonsinds himself swept up in The Oxford New Greek Dictionary forces beyond his control and ends up doing some character building in the processThe author has clearly spent some time constructing a world with seasons moons nations and politics all of its own This read was enjoyableor this setting as much as The Cello Suites : J.S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the search for a Baroque masterpiece for the narrative if not Theirst third or so was rough as I had to backtrack several times to remind myself of what had just happened and who all these people were The rich lush descriptions of settings and often hilarious The New Job Security footnotes sometimes lingered off the story track just long enough to hinder jumping back onOnce the villains start to really emerge though the purple prose backs off a little and the plot gets its hooks in Other than a couple of deus ex machinas and some things that just make you go wha the story leads to a satisfying conclusion while still leaving the reader wanting These minorlaws are entirely The Day Fidel Died: Cuba in the Age of Raúl, Obama, and the Rolling Stones (A Vintage Short) forgivable in theace of the incredible world the author has made I unreservedly give The Straggler s Mask highest marks I received this book in ebook ormat as part of a First Reads giveaway Since this book is an ebook I had no idea how long it was although I rarely check The length of a book is hardly a actor as to whether or not I ll read it although it might be a The Jumbee factor as to when I read it Good books that are long rarelyeel long To Helvetica and Back for example theirst couple of books in George R R Martin s Song of Fire and Ice series aka Game of Thrones Unfortunately Simple Art of Greatness for this book there are parts where iteels like it drags on Based on a Where the Heart Waits few and Goodreads searches I couldn tind any other book written drags on Based on a ew and Goodreads searches I couldn t ind any other book written this author therefore I m going to assume this is their irst book I Know It Has To know it has to hard to publish your irst book not knowing how its going to be received by readers I don t like giving mediocre reviews to a debutante author but I did struggle with this book a lotI The Annotated Phantom Tollbooth found it difficult to keep track of all the characters as well as the story Sometimes Iorgot where they are as they traveled I honestly American Apocalypse: The Great Fire and the Myth of Chicago forgot what their ultimate goal was until I got to the actualace off with Nirvana Sometimes the point of view of the storyteller would change without notice and I had no idea who was speaking in the irst person I went through about a 3 week dry spell where I didn t pick the book up at all because I was bored I still inished it because I refuse to leave a book unfinished but it Stories for a Romantic Heart: Over One Hundred Treasures to Touch Your Soul felt a little arduousI did enjoy the concept of the story an unsuspecting creature picking up the mantel of a legendary hero Peal is an interesting character though his skittishness and small stature don t really correlate to what I expect a bugbear to look like or behave Granted that s based on an old DD reference point The world the author createdelt pretty imaginative and thought out However I don t know if I would have used Earth otherwise you are setting the readers up to identify Spain in Mind familiar areas of the planet which they re not going toindI guess I m disappointed that I didn t like it as much as I wanted to I The Inheritance: Part 1 feel like this book could have been broken up into two novels If you re an aspiring new author perhaps a 600 page book with a complicated list of characters isn t the way to start This by no means deters merom reading by this author unless the next novel is eually as disappointing I discovered this book thanks to a The Curious World Of Christmas friend who sent me theree digital version Even if the book remains very inspired by the great classics of the genre and especially Michael Moorcock it is appreciable to see that the author did not stop to reuse the clich s of the medieval antastic universe that one see so oftenThe strengths of the book are certainly the Last night Peal didn't even know what stars looked like Today he stands as the inal desperate lifeline The Best Canadian Animal Stories for a coming golden era No pressure I know what you're thinking just look at the poor creature but when your hero drops dead in theorest before the whole uest even starts you can't afford to be picky with stand ins So we saddle Peal with.