Book Review: Shackled

Over the weekend, I finished Shackled by J E Medrick, a new indy writer. I’ve commented on her blog a couple times, and she on mine.  So I figured I’d give her book a shot.  I planned to write a review for Amazon, but since I haven’t made any purchases with my Michael Kingswood account yet, I’m not allowed to post any reviews yet.  Ah, the trials of using a pen name.  To get around that, I spent $20 and ordered a couple old computer games.  But it’ll be 48 hours until Amazon will let me post, so in the meantime here’s my review:

Full disclosure: I don’t know Ms. Medrick personally, but I have interacted with her via blogs and email.  So this wasn’t really a cold read.

That said, I was very impressed.  I started reading it during a lull at work on Friday, but didn’t get very far before I had to stop for feeling like a slacker.  That evening, after putting the kids to sleep, I re-commenced.  To put it simply, the book sucked me in.  I didn’t stop reading that night until I literally couldn’t keep my eyes open anymore, at a bit after 1 am.  The next morning, I continued in between helping my wife with some tasks for a business event she had in the afternoon.  Then, when she left for that and my son took his nap, I hit the book again with gusto and finished it.  It was a very good read.

Not to give away any spoilers, but it’s a pretty original take on a classic theme (the cover art should clue you in to which theme).  I liked the way she made it all completely believable and within the bounds of natural possibility.  Well, as much as it could be, anyway.  The language she used was very good: a bit old-fashioned, in keeping with its being set 300 years ago, but without going so far that it was difficult to read.  I found the characterization believable and the story compelling.

I will say I was a bit disappointed in the ending.  Not that it wasn’t good, but it left me thinking, “That’s it?  What the heck happens?”  I guess that’s good in a way.  Ambiguous endings make you guess and leave you wanting more.  But to me, it felt a little rushed in the end.  I guess I just like a bit more closure.  Also, I’m not entirely sure why Dragos would have gone along with Anghel’s plan at the end.

Regardless, I liked this book a lot.  As compelling as it was, I have to give it five stars.

So there it is.  I suggest you roll over to Amazon and check it out: Shackled.