Rating: 2/disliked (1-5/hated-loved)
Book received free for review from Curiosity Quills Press.
I recommend clicking here for a larger image of the cover, because unfortunately the cover was the best thing about Salvation. It's striking, and even after having read the book, it still draws me in.
I wish the book had lived up to its cover. Set in a fantasy world, the humans were at war with intelligent creatures that lived in the sea. Days after a great battle on a riverbank, scavenging villagers found a lone survivor of the battle. They nursed the man back to health, and as he had lost all memory of his life before, settled down to live out his days with them. Unfortunately the undersea creatures had other ideas about that. As the story continued, he regained his memories, and thus his life took on a whole different turn.
That plot seems like it should work, but the problem is that the author's writing skills weren't up to the job. Technically, his writing was very very basic. This sort of thing (not a quote):
Elwood was cold. He got his jacket. He put his jacket on. He was thirsty. He walked to the stream. He dipped a cup in. He drank the water. The water was very cold. It felt good to drink it.
Also, there were multiple spelling issues (things a spellchecker wouldn't catch -- "the goat heard" was used multiple times), and semicolons used incorrectly.
There were a number of unbelievable things happening, like two goats pulled a sled full of four adults for an entire day without falling over, and a couple of goats pulled a sled with two grown men while being chased by the fast undersea creatures and they successfully got away. Also, while I wasn't surprised at what the main character with amnesia turned out to be, I would have liked the story a whole lot more if he hadn't been something so special and unique.
The author did an odd thing: He used "wagged his head" repeatedly instead of "shook his head". I never heard 'wag' used that way, and while a quick googling said it wasn't wrong, it was still very odd. Thinking it might be British English that I hadn't encountered before, I googled him. His About Me page didn't give me an answer on the wag thing, but it did perhaps explain the quality of writing in the book and also made me frown.
1) He said he's published three books and six short stories in a year. Perhaps if he had concentrated more on one book, the quality would have been higher. (It's possible he wrote the books over previous years and only this year published them, but that's not how the About Me page read.)
2) He has a pet wolf (named Kilgore). Wolves are not just dogs for more macho pet owners. They're wild animals, they should not be kept as pets. Hm, I wonder if he even has it legally? Colorado law says:
"Pure wolves require commercial licensing and appropriate carnivore facilities. #1101 (A).
No person shall possess, sell, acquire, purchase, broker, trade, barter or attempt to sell,
acquire, purchase, broker, trade or barter live wildlife unless he first obtains a proper license
as provided in this chapter. All species of wildlife listed on the license must be approved by the
Division; such approval shall not be granted if the proposed wildlife is deemed to be
detrimental to wild native wildlife. The Colorado Division of Wildlife does not regulate
ownership of Wolf Hybrids as they are considered domestic animals."
Anyway, wolf ownership is off the track of this review. I'm afraid I can't recommend Salvation, other than for its spiffy cover.
Edit: Ah, he's also a fan of Orson Scott Card.