I sat on this review of Enden for a while. I haven’t written a 1 star review yet for S13 and it wasn’t a prospect I was looking forward to. I don’t believe there is a way to give an author this feedback without inevitably disheartening them, but I will do my best to help David Kummer.
Enden is a high fantasy novel that follows Jonathan, who plays the cliched hero: teenage farmboy who watches his family die then begins his path to heroism.
The skull promptly cracked and then split, brain mixing with hair mixing with bones and metal.
There were too many hang ups within the story that prevented me from finishing this. Jonathan, perhaps true to teenager form, is prissy to the point of irritation and the dialogue throughout serves only to feed background information or give tedious rants on the morality and justification of killing.
The author is probably inspired by the works of the many thousands of Tolkien lineage fantasy stories, perhaps even a player of Warhammer or Dungeons & Dragons. Which, in itself, can be a solid bedrock for many great modern authors of this generation. Right now, however, this story is clearly the beginning.
Not for Jonathan, whose poorly-scripted tale offers little entertainment or originality, but for the author. I have written stories like this myself and looked at them with pride, marveling at my own accomplishment. Only to look back at them several years later and realise just how terrible they were.
The truth is, the path to a good story is littered with the graves of all the terrible ones that came before. And, I’m sorry to say it but the author needs to ready his shovel and dig deep.
Fantasy authors can get caught up within their own creativity and imagination, convinced that their great ideas will outweigh their underdeveloped writing skill. Unfortunately, there is no escaping it. To truly bring your ideas to life requires good grammar, well-developed dialogue, thoughtful prose, and all that other annoying and seemingly boring stuff that your English teacher tried to shove down your throat.
My advice, for what little it may be worth, is to scale it back. I know no one dreams of writing a short story, that it doesn’t provide the same tingling sensation as the word ‘novel’ but consider it a stepping stone. Not only that but any agent will ask for examples of your work, and especially for any previously published short stories.
Keep scribbling down your grand novel ideas, letting them mature in thought as you seek to improve your craft. Who knows, perhaps one day the world of Enden will return to us, I certainly hope so.