After reading Incarceron and Sapphique I was expecting something absolutely fantastic with Fisher’s new new series, the Relic Masters, but I have to say I was a little disappointed.
While there was nothing wrong with the plot, it was interesting, fun, and held a pretty good pace, it felt as if the book was stuck in-between age groups it was aiming for. What I mean by this is that all the chapters were middle grade and lower level short (less than 10 pages for most), the characters felt confused as if they wanted to be deeper and more intricate but were stuck at a younger level in hopes to simplify actions for the reader, and the format of the book was that of one for younger grade books (wider font, less words per page, ect…).
At the same time, the larger plot of the book was more complex than a book of this age group and demanded deeper fuller characters and was much more intricate that a normal elementary or middle grade novel. Because of this The Dark City felt like it was constantly at odds with itself and hampered what could have been a great book.
Of course that said, this was the first book in the series and the characters could have been set at the level so that they could evolve in later books to a greater degree. Not only that but I personally hate when books “dumb down” plots and characters for a younger audience, and the wider and more complex plot may be an effort to do just the opposite of this and bring the level of this middle grade novel up to that of a YA novel, which in my opinion would be fantastic.
All in all while much of The Dark City seemed at odds with itself it was the first book in a new series and could be Fisher’s attempt at bringing up the level of some middle grade novels. So until I read the later volumes in the series (luckily they come out in consecutive months) I will withhold judgment and hope for the best, from what I usually consider a great writer.