Fantasy Book Review
After an absurd amount of travel, I’m finally getting the chance to get back to some of the fun things in life namely, writing about books. Over the holidays I did get the chance to read Brian Anderson’s Dragonvein. Unfortunately, it was just meh. This is pretty vanilla epic fantasy that can make your list if you’re planning an 18 hour plane flight to Dubai where you pre-downloaded it and ended up on an aircraft without wireless but otherwise, I’d skip it.
When I say vanilla, I’m talking Lora Doone fantasy wafers. They don’t taste bad but after you consume, you kind of wish you skipped the empty calories and decided on something a bit meatier.
The book begins with promise, with our hero Ethan, entrenched over enemy lines in the midst of World War II. He and his BFF find themselves in a shit storm of Aryan proportions when they discover an old stranger who doesn’t speak the language, English or German, in the middle of what is about to become a major skirmish. Ethan, a best friend proclaimed boy scout, decides that now would be a good time to take on nursemaid duties and helps the old man. Turns out he’s from another world and the trio narrowly escapes the Krauts by opening up a portal to that world.
This is where the formula kicks in. Ethan slowly discovers that this world is under the iron fist of a Hitler-esque, Sauron-esque, Darth Vader-esque, Emperor. Furthermore, there happens to be a prophecy of some Dragonvein character that is supposed to have the utility belt with the full on kung fu grip that can take down our bad guy. Any guesses who that is? Ethan finds himself on the run with the old man, Jonas, our wise adviser, picks up a roguish warrior and a healer and creates a merry band. Oh yeah, and the world has elves and dwarves in it.
The character building is not bad. He creates some believable tension between the leads but the plot is just too played. You also get the sense that Anderson is far too in love with the main characters that there is no chance that any of them will expire of anything other than old age. This eliminates the chance for any believable fear that these guys might not succeed.
All in all, not worth the price of admission.