Review: Tower of Parlen Min (The Narrow Escapes of Ves Asirin, #1) by Matt Xell

      Tower of Parlen Min, Volume 1 (The Narrow Escapes of Ves Asirin)
Matt Xell; ebook, 345 pages
Published July 23rd 2010 by Xell, Matt
Ves Asirin wins a trip to the Tower of Parlen Min. There, with 19 other children, he competes in the Sword Challenge; a series of puzzles and tasks, for $12 million. As fantastic and glorious as the tower seems to be, Ves finds that it keeps a dark and secret history that he has been connected to for over 150 years, a secret that will define his destiny … if he can escape ‘The shadow’.
Goodreads on The Tower of Parlen Min

It didn’t quite work out between us…all that promise, all those possibilities…*sigh*
I’m not sure what it was that spoiled our potential chemistry; there were many parts I appreciated about Matt Xell‘s work, the plot itself is original, with a fresh blend of creatures, some religion (wasn’t too keen on that…) and plenty of action. I did like the battle scenes more then all the rest, and I generally don’t quite go for those. Here, perhaps because of the young age of the characters, there wasn’t really a lot of sub-action, so to speak, going on.

The ages of the kids involved in battles, murder and stuff of the sort might have been one of the things that cut down my enthusiasm. I’m not saying kids (and 13 and younger is synonymous with kids, in my opinion, though I know there are cultures around the world that see them as less kids and more…I dunno, something else.) can’t be characters in action novels, but to have such an active role in actual battle and kill each other…that to me does not quite fall into the horror category, but in the horrific one, meaning big no-no’s mainly.
I have read books where the hero is young, and they do battle sometimes, but their part in it is more symbolic then active, more of a side-kick thing to the big guns. It’s my comfort zone, and though I wish I didn’t have preconceived ideas about anything, kids and certain violent acts still remain an area I really don’t wish to go through or linger upon.

The writing itself is pretty good, to the point, clear, neat. I believe the characters are as well-built as the story would allow, and I enjoyed the wolves the most. If there’s ever a spin-off that goes into the wolves pack adventures, I think I’m gonna love it.
It is obvious, as you read through it, that the author has given his work a lot of thought and consideration, it’s structured, layered even (there are 2 “layers”, 2 instances of the story line that go alongside, neatly marked by visual clues so you won’t get confused), well planned. If think I would have found it all a lot more enjoyable if they were say 17 year olds, or at least 16.

Anyways…if you like alert action, clear, to the point writing, and a lovely mix of religious concepts and angel-language-speaking-wolves, give it a try!


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