Review: The Book of the Forsaken (The Game #1) by Yannis Karatsioris

What do three “puppets”, one magical book, and a twisted narrator have in common? At first glance, nothing. But look again.

Three men find themselves being used as pawns in a much larger game controlled by one devious narrator in this innovative urban fantasy novel.

These three men couldn’t be more different, each are flawed in their own ways. But the one thing that binds them together is their supernatural abilities.

The first puppet we meet is the tough, brawny Irishman Robert Cassidy. The second puppet is the quiet bookworm, Daniel Maladie from Paris. And finally we meet Igor Rubinstein, the psychotic magician turned assassin from Russia.

The narrator assigns each of the “puppets” a task, Daniel’s task is the one the brings them all together. He is instructed to steal a books. But not just any book, The Book of the Forsaken. This magical book has great and limitless power….power that some are willing to kill over.

Once they discover the Book’s power, they must  work together to protect the book as they encounter supernatural creatures and struggle to unravel the mysterious connection that binds them together on this fantastic adventure.

When the author approached me about reviewing this book, I couldn’t say no! It sounded like something right up my alley! I love urban fantasy and all the things that go along with that….time travel, vampires, magic…..and this book had all of that. I also love darker fantasy and dark humor…..this book had all of that but I struggled with the execution at times.

The three main characters or puppets, are manipulated by the narrator and slowing they begin to react to the situations and events that are happening. It’s clear they’re being influenced and manipulated, as we read further we begin to see how extensive it is. This is a very unique storytelling style and while parts of it worked for me, something able the narration and style frustrated me.

I really enjoyed the narrator of the story and I thought they way he told the story was unique however I found the footnotes  distracting. I thought the asides could have been incorporated in the dialogue more rather than being specifically pointed out to the reader. I like to read the sarcasm myself rather than have it shown.

I have the same criticism of the characters. When we first meet the puppets they are first introduced quite literally. I thought the character intros and POVs were more appropriate for a graphic novel. Typically in a novel such as this, I would expect the characters to be introduced to the reader in a more settle way with room for development and growth as the story unfolded, but when they were introduced they came across as character sketches instead. Karatsioris is right there with his characters….they are unique and have great potential but there needs to be some relatable qualities or a connection to the readers.

This book also had a lot of supernatural elements to it. While I liked that, I almost thought it was a little too much for the length of the book. I like the time travel, vampires, fairies, and shapeshifters but at the same time I thought was a little much for this book. There was a lot going on with the characters and to add all these other supernatural elements was overkill for me.

I appreciated that Karatsioris kept things short, but a story with this much potential needed a little more length for me. I liked the concept of the story and thought it had something fresh and new to offer but felt the characters and plot needed a little more work.

Overall it was a decent read and with a little refinement and polishing this book could really shine.

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: The Book of the Forsaken (The Game #1) by Yannis Karatsioris 

  • Paperback, 304 pages
  • Published July 3rd 2012 by Createspace
  • ISBN 1477647872 (ISBN13: 9781477647875)

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 3.5 out of 5 (a dark, gritty, urban fantasy)

Genre: Fantasy, urban fantasy

Memorable lines/quotes: NA

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