I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: "There was no other name for the Blessed Galaxy. After being gifted with the Auras, five great powerhouses of celestial creation, the title was a suitable fit. While harnessing such energies, the governing bodies have ruled their respected reaches of the Galaxy for a number of millennia, but now they face the threat of an inevitable calamity that could shake the lives of everyone, caused by one of the five Auras.
After accepting a sudden promotion, a devout man of science, named Lowen Sars, decides to take on the burden of saving the Galaxy’s people after he learns of the calamity, but soon realizes that the role of a hero was a calling not meant for him. In his process of self-discovery, Lowen inadvertently begins the fateful saga of not only the Blessed Galaxy but also the kingdom in possession of the corrupt Aura, and especially its two young heirs of the throne."
My thoughts: The book had a rather abrupt beginning, with someone that I assumed would be one of the lead characters suddenly getting killed off in a rather violent fashion. It was probably meant to shock and hold me in, but it somehow just left me altogether confused. The plot was rather haphazard, a little disconnected in place and the characters weren't developed enough, I found it oddly difficult to care about them. The worlds, the ideas of Auras were all very imaginative, unique (no stereotypes at all!) but I would have definitely liked to know a lot more about them.
What I really appreciated about the book was the style of writing. The language was proper, in a good way, with little slang, no glaring errors, no teen-talk and the brisk, matter-of-fact-ly tone was very effective. The descriptions were apt and what the book lacked in plot and character arcs, it made up for in the occasional dry humour and good imagery. The writing was particularly nice for a debut and a pleasant change from the breezy way of writing most authors these days have!
I don't like books that are built in such a way as to assure that people would read the sequel: this book didn't have what I'd call a cliffhanger ending, but it left questions in my head and loose ends, that would tempt me as a reader to pick up the next book. I wish the book felt more... complete, because this was a big turn off.
It was a well thought out book, what it didn't have were the finishing touches. It was quite good, but it could have been better. Whenever the sequel is written, I'll make it a point to read it (which is why the writers must do it, anyway!) and I hope to find then a more developed story - such a good writer must be able to write a much finer plot!