Book #1 Din Eidyn Corpus series
Published by Paddy’s Daddy Publishing (10th March 2014)
My rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
In 1645 the Bubonic Plague ran rampant through Edinburgh, in a desperate attempt to quell the spread of the infection, the powers that be sealed the residents of Mary King Close into their underground homes. Fast forward to 2015 and Mary King’s Close is reopened, sub sequentially unleashing a rampant virus plague on the residents of Edinburgh, causing the UK government to seal the city in a bid to save the rest of the world. Now in the year 2050 we meet Joseph, a young man who was born on the cobbled streets of the Royal Mile and who has grown up with the Brotherhood, a strange religious sect who worship the dead. Joseph leaves the underground society with Padre Josh, a former marine who teaches him to hone his skills an archer and also how to move through the city streets as fast as possible. Next is Alys, a young woman who was raised in a all female society in The Gardens, she has reason to believe that there is a cure in the south and she needs Joseph’s help to get it. The only thing is, there is a crazy cult that lives in the South called the Exalted who is run by a man named Somna who woships a zombie celebrity and collects trophies from those he kills that come searching where they shouldn’t be. Can Joseph and Alys find the cure they’re looking for? Or will they fall to the madman Somna like so many before them?
I’m not a huge zombie story fan. I’m not sure why, I just never really got into it. Don’t get me wrong, there are some absolutely amazing zombie books that I’ve had recommended to me over the years and I absolutely LOVED them, but it’s not my first choice of book. I bought this one many years ago when I first started reading on Kindle, I’m assuming it’s because the synopsis appealed to me, either that, or I was really feeling zombie books at the time? I’m not too sure to be honest haha. ANYWAY! This one has been sitting there slowly rotting away like the zombies in it’s pages for years and I felt bad and figured I should probably get to reading, and to tell you the truth. I’m torn.
The writing, to me, felt very clunky, more telling than showing, and of that as a less experience or developed author. This story felt like it was written by someone who, at the time, was still finding their voice and their way as an author. There’s nothing wrong with this, everyone has to start somewhere, and I’ve had the joy of reading an author’s work over the span of a few books and getting to see them grow and evolve as a writer and become something amazing, though it does tend to lend to some issues for me as a reader in the beginning.
I didn’t feel endeared to the characters at all, I kind of cared about their quest, but not enough that I was emotionally invested in their futures. Another thing that irked me a bit was that things were happening too early on in the story for it to have the impact that I think the author was going for. A revelation about a characters past is dropped in the first few chapters and the character gets super emotional for obvious reasons, however I couldn’t relate to the emotion because I felt like I didn’t know the character at all by this point. I knew who they were and some of their past but I wasn’t emotionally invested in them therefore the revelation kind of bombed for me, it was more just wanting the awkwardness to hurry up and move on because I didn’t really care. Not too much later, another character dies, and I know it was supposed to hold heavy emotion and a need for revenge, but once again, I didn’t really know them and hadn’t connected with them at all so the emotional bomb the author had dropped was a bit of a dud for me unfortunately. It made me think that the author was super excited about these certain revelations and reveals that they couldn’t wait to drop them into the story, when in reality, they would have faired better if the story as a whole was spread out over maybe 2 or 3 books, and these revelations were dropped later on when the reader had a chance to become endeared to the characters and emotionally invested in what was happening to them.
The Gardens – the female only society that Alys was raised in, is quite interesting and I would have loved to have learned more about how it became, it’s briefly touched on towards the end of this book, but that wasn’t really enough to satiate my need to know more about it. The religious cult in the South, this was a chance to have something truly terrifying and gruesome and I feel like it was just brushed over. We met some of the player, but they played such a smaller role in this story than what I was assuming they were going to which was a little disappointing.
Honestly, this was heading for a 2 star read at best up until probably the 80% mark. This is where the big bomb is dropped and holy crap, it was unexpected and so out of left field that I was actually so surprised. It made me angry, it’s such an amazing concept but I feel like the rest of the book let it down and that people will either DNF or not read the book therefore missing out on this amazing idea that happens right at the end. It’s purely this twist that brought my rating up a star.
I think what this book suffered from the most was not being long enough. There were some absolutely fantastic ideas her and some great character possibilities as well but they weren’t given the time they needed to become fully fleshed out things that would have been absolutely amazing if they were just given the pages they needed to grow and develop! This story can be read as a stand alone story, and I feel like it should have been fleshed out into at LEAST 2 books, so that the author could fully realise the amazing ideas they had come up with.
I’m going to pick up the next book to see if the writing has grown at all and to see whether there’s been overall improvements in the world building as well. I’m so disappointed that this book wasn’t a trilogy because it could have been amazing.