- Author: Dorian Hart
- Publisher: Self-published
- Publication Date: January 2016
In The Ventifact Colossus, we follow a ragtag team of hires tasked with helping a wizard in fending off a powerful, imprisoned being. This being is behind a door, and the group must go on missions in an attempt to make sure the door stays closed. Of course, that’s easier said than done.
There are eight members of the group, and we get 8 perspectives–each 3rd person limited. Now this sounds like a lot of POVs that could become really confusing. However, it was handled very well. Each felt unique, showing just how well developed most of the characters were. I say most because there are some characters whose voices we don’t read from that often.
This is a book that has been compared to Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria series–where it’s plot-driven but still has great world-building and characters. I would agree with that assessment.
The characters as a whole were the best parts of the novel. The fact that there are eight different characters who each have a perspective in the novel…and yet they all stand out and each have their own personalities…it’s pretty great. I also found the friendships and bonds formed between the members terrific to read about. You’ve got all these clashing personalities, from the thieving, bawdy part-goblin to the woman who shields herself from even the briefest flicker of light. And yet it works. There are hints that something more than friendship could form between a couple of the members; however, in terms of relationships, this book goes no further than deep friendship. In short: Come for the plot; stay for the characters.
Standout characters from the group include Kibi, a relatively quiet stonecutter; Morningstar, a member of a religious order that never goes out in the light–practically ostracized by her order for looking odd to them; and Dranko, a man who is part-goblin, a little untrustworthy, and on the verge of love-to-hate–but the growth he goes through is great and written very well.
The book does fall a bit into the problem many first books in series do, in that overall it feels more like a prologue for the series rather than its own entity. Much of the novel focuses on the series’ enemy, whereas the main monster of this individual book isn’t really mentioned until maybe halfway through or more. In general, the pacing seems to be the main culprit. Also with pacing, some of the characters feel stagnant. Their perspectives don’t show any real development, even after reading from them multiple times. Or it’s very minor compared to others with rather lengthy chapters.
In the end, this is a book for anyone looking for something hopeful. Something with a truly ragtag team going on a classic quest of sorts. While it does have a couple of minor issues, they don’t detract from the overall novel. Highlights include character interactions and friendships, as well as a great ending scene that greatly shows off one character’s growth.
[I received a digital copy of the book via the author in exchange for an honest review.]