Author: Scott Beckman
Title: White Star Phase
Publisher: Scott Beckman
Plot:A liar, a killer, and a lunatic.
One seeks to elevate his own personal fame and fortune regardless of those who might be left floundering in his wake. Another will stop at nothing for vengeance. The last follows the will of totalitarian gods in pursuit of eternal glory.
They’re not traditional heroes, but the future depends entirely on them.
From different corners of the world, they will be drawn together by mysterious forces to determine the course of humanity. Each will be given incredible power; how they use it will determine whether mankind is doomed to extinction or offered eternal salvation.
I received White Star Phase from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
White Star Phase is an enjoyable book with several conflicting personalities being drawn together to create both a tense and humorous plot. However, the book is slow-paced and it’s obvious early on that it’s the first in a series: none of the plotlines come to any fruition, they are simply drawing characters together and starting to manoeuvre them for the following books. Unfortunately, it meant it was disappointing.
The multiple threads might have worked if there was a sense of them converging. Other than everyone being thrust into an uncomfortable situation and all of the characters being forced to undertake a journey with great consequences, nothing binds them together. You don’t see how their paths are going to intersect, or why they would need to. They remain individual stories throughout. This left me wondering if anything is going to happen in the second book to bring them together, or whether it would be more of the same.
Potentially because of this isolation, I don’t feel the book came to any sort of conclusion. One character walks away from a situation, and suddenly the book has ended. It left me feeling the author ran out of words and had to leave it there: there was no peak, no crux or turning point and no resolution to a problem; characters got to where they needed to be and that’s it.
Aris scowled but said nothing. Fiskahn watched the fire in the Villain’s eyes as it smoldered and flared, a beast straining against its chains and stretching the steel.
It was a real shame that the plot was stunted because I really enjoyed the characterisations and the writing was strong. Valkin was definitely my favourite: a manipulative commander, he doesn’t care for authority but knows how to grovel and charm if it gets him what he wants. His dialogue made me laugh.
Erona flees her village after it has been attacked. I liked her; she’s brave and strong, but her reactions are both plausible and realistic. She reacts well to her new surroundings, even coping with Valkin and his brother.
Krudah – a commander who murdered his wife under mysterious circumstances – has the deepest plot: there’s a sinister note to his travels and has higher levels of violence. It also has the strongest bond between the characters.
Aris is an assassin dealing with a demon. He’s a strong character but I feel there is more of him to come.
There are a lot of different characters and storylines. It mainly focuses on three or four, but occasionally new ones are introduced. While each were good in their own right, it meant there was no consistency and no chance to connect with the characters and their plight. It also made it tricky to get to know the world as everyone inhabits and deals with different elements.
It felt this book was written because a series needed a starting point, not because it had a story that could stand by itself or be developed. While, as mentioned, the writing quality was adequate, it made it hard to engage.
The series has potential due to the writing style, but it failed to hold my attention.