June 26, 2019

The Written, Ben Galley

The Written, by Ben Galley, should’ve been one of the books that would make my highlight post in December. It’s got dragons, magic, prophecies, werewolves, and a ton of stuff in between.

And yet, there’s just… something.

Disclaimer: I am writing this review as part of a book blog tour being ran the The Write Reads. I received a free e-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Title: The Written

Author: Ben Galley

Page count: 458

His name is Farden. 
They whisper that he’s dangerous. 
Dangerous is only the half of it.

A spell book has gone missing and, in the wake, has left five scholars dead and war on the horizon. Farden, our main character, is one of The Written – one of an elite groups of Mages whose power derives from tattoos of inscriptions on their backs. Farden must retrieve the book and, in doing so, will discover a secret that could change everything.

This could’ve been so good.

That quick synopsis above sounds so good, right? And I didn’t even mention the dragons. And the plot generally hit the right notes. Farden goes through a lot of struggles, and there is generally enough interest to hold attention.

There’s something fundamentally off.

To be blunt, the writing is pretty poor.

To the point that it took me multiple goes to get through the book. It’s predictable, boring and, in parts, unnecessary. As if the author has sat with a thesaurus and, where the word doesn’t seem interesting enough, has searched through and found the next closest word.

And it’s a real shame, because sticking a good editorial process behind this book could’ve elevated it to the next level. Unfortunately, right now, it’s just a book that is kind of meh.

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