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The Wall Saga: Purge (Book) Review

 
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At a Glance...
 

Page Count: 323
 
Genre: ,
 
Author:
 
Year Published:
 
Final Score
 
 
 
 
 
3/ 5


User Rating
4 total ratings

 

We liked?


A creative new take on fantasy.

Not so much?


Suffers a bit from trying to do too much.


Final Fiendish Findings?

Overall, James Schwerdel delivers an imaginative and unique story with The Wall Saga: Purge. With a little more refining and the benefits of a great editor, this is a series that has so very much potential. With magic, humor, and a whole new world to explore, Purge is worth a look for fantasy fans searching for something a little different.

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Posted March 6, 2013 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

First time author James Schwerdel brings his love of rpgs, reading, and fantasy together in one epic story. But is it a mix that works?

Purge, the first novel in a planned series, follows the cryptic path of a red haired guy named (appropriately enough) Red. Red is a pretty lost and confused guy. He literally doesn’t know who he is; all he’s got is a mysterious letter, a shiny pocket watch that won’t open, and a maddening conviction that he must stay by the wall.

What is this wall? It is a massive edifice that separates the world Red lives in (the Purge), from the world as we know it (the Earthverse). Sort of a purgatory type place, in the simplest of terms, the Purge holds those who have been cast from our world, but aren’t suitable for B-Side (hell). Red knows it is imperative that he protect the wall, but he isn’t sure why. Nonetheless, when the evil Captain Hate launches a full scale attack on the wall, it is up to Red to do whatever he has to in order to stop him – and figure out who he really is along the way.

Red has a cast of imaginative characters to both help and hinder him in his quest. The lovely yet sassy Paige is not your typical angel. When the evil constructs of Captain Hate steal that which is most dear to her, she must learn to let go and embrace an entirely new way of life in order to survive. The diabolical Liz is as beautiful as she is deadly, and she’ll use everything in her arsenal to get what she wants. And the evil Captain Hate? Well, he certainly can be evil, but he’s also brilliant, random, and much more than he seems.

These characters join a host of others that make the worlds in The Wall Saga come to life, and they are – for the most part – written quite well. For a first time author, Schwerdel does a great job of introducing readers to a host of new worlds, concepts, characters, and possibilities, and in a way that helps you fall into the story. You really pull for Red, almost from the start, but the other characters pull you in as well, which can be difficult to do as a writer. However, one place where I think Purge suffers is from trying to do too much.

As I said, The Wall Saga has a lot going on. There is the world of Purge, where things like ancient magic and deadly sins coexist with cell phones and a lovely cup of coffee. You have the world of B-Side, where an omnipotent queen has reigned in the evil to gladiator style competition and constant gambling. In addition to that, you have a whole host of brand new concepts, from guardians and reapers to constructs and benders, each with their own abilities and rules that are all entirely new.

That stuff actually fits in together pretty wall, but when the author added in video game elements such as leveling up and special moves, it seemed like just a little too much. For one thing, they weren’t used consistently throughout the book – just here and there – and for another, it just seemed like, with all the magic and potions and abilities already in play, it just wasn’t needed. The only other complaint that I have with The Wall Saga: Purge is that it could have benefited from a more professional editing. It wasn’t so much that it detracted from the story, but there was enough editing and formatting mistakes that it was definitely noticeable.

Overall, James Schwerdel delivers an imaginative and unique story with The Wall Saga: Purge. With a little more refining and the benefits of a great editor, this is a series that has so very much potential. With magic, humor, and a whole new world to explore, Purge is worth a look for fantasy fans searching for something a little different.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)