Thursday, January 1, 2015

The First Man by Tobias Wade - Book Review

Book: The First Man
Author: Tobias Wade
ISBN: ISBN No: 9780662326237 

About Book: Farris Mathalion did not believe in the old stories, not until her own brother was kidnapped by monsters to send her on a fantastical journey. She travels both within the mind and without, taking a path of harrowing adventure and personal enlightenment as she strives to rescue him.

THE FIRST MAN is the first volume in a two-partyoung adult/fantasy series that can be read on many different levels; whether the reader appreciates the excitement of the many fast-paced action scenes, the surreal beauty and mystery of new worlds, the philosophical musings of the guides along the way, or the spiritual path of overcoming reality that Farris finds before her. She will travel through the seven kingdoms of the earth, each woven into the deep mythology of the land she passes, and each representative of one aspect of spiritual enlightenment.
In the first volume she passes through the surface world as well as the lands of fear, pleasure and illusion below the earth. She is accompanied in her journeys by a variety of strange creatures, including her faithful pet goat Bumble, Gloria the magical fish, and a romantic interest that makes uncertain love and looming betrayal pervasive themes throughout.

About Author: As a child I constructed a spaceship capable of superluminal speeds powered by a fusion core reactor. The submission was denied by NASA on the grounds that it was made entirely of legos. In high school I was told that I could do anything I wanted in life, while only being taught everything that I didn't want to be. I probably deserved the detentions I received. In college I completed two bachelors of science in psychology and physiology, working as a neuroscientist with plans towards medical school. At last I had life figured out! Then a horrible thing happened. I actually achieved my dream. The infinite potential of my future lay down into ordered lines, and I knew that the only logical choice was to give it all up and become a writer.

Publisher: A-Argus Better Book Publishers, Inc.

**I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

The First Man by Tobias Wade is what I would call a young adult fantasy novel with some mythology, folklore, and a small hint of romance thrown in. The book definitely gave me a Lord of the Rings meets Norse mythology vibe.

 The First Man tells the story of Farris, a young girl who enjoys listening to the old tales her grandmother tells her and her brother. She doesn't believe any of them, though, knowing they are just made up for entertainment. And perhaps to give her and her brother a scare on occasion.

It isn't until strange creatures come to her land and kidnap her brother that Farris begins to believe there is more to the stories her grandmother tells than she ever thought possible.

Farris, along with her friend Sasha, her goat Bumble, and one of the creatures who stayed behind, sets off on a journey into strange new lands in the hopes of finding and rescuing her brother before it's too late. Alas, poor Farris has no idea what she's going to get herself into.

When I first read the synopsis of this book, I was intrigued enough to want to read it and see for myself just how magical it was. I will admit, it started off slow for me, and I had a hard time getting through the first half of it, actually. But after I made it past the 55% mark, things started to pick up for me and I was able to finish it a bit more quickly. I'm not a huge fan of fantasy novels, though, so that could have been why.

I also had a bit of a hard time getting attached to any of the characters. Farris wasn't exactly likeable. She had moments, and you knew she was only trying to do the right thing, but I found her a bit frustrating and annoying. There were honestly times I didn't care what happened to her at all.

Her brother doesn't have a lot going on, since he gets kidnapped early on, so I can't say I was really attached to him, either. I also didn't really find myself rooting for him to be saved.

Sasha, Farris's friend, is a decent enough character. I liked him well enough, but had no real fondness for him overall. He, along with Riften(the creature that tags along on the journey), were the only two characters I even remotely had a small bit of caring for. I guess Bumble the goat counts, as well.

Plot-wise, the book moves along at a decent pace, I suppose, but like I said above, I found it a bit slow and hard to get into. Once Farris leaves the surface world behind and begins her descent into these new lands, the book does pick up and get a bit better.

I didn't care much for the first part of her journey, although it was fascinating. The second part of her journey, which involves strange spiders and endless amounts of pleasure(nothing adult), is much more interesting to read. I rather enjoyed those scenes in the book.

The creatures, and some of the plot, definitely reminded me Lord of the Rings in a way. There were other parts of the book, and one creature, that reminded me of Norse mythology moreso than Greek or Roman. I quite like Norse mythology, so that helped me enjoy the book a little more.

There were a few grammatical errors here and there in the book, as well, but nothing too major. I was able to get through the book without having to constantly stop and edit the sentences in my head before continuing on. That was a plus for me.

Overall, I'd give The First Man a solid 3.5 stars out of 5. Yes, I struggled with it at times, and there were things I really didn't care for, but it wasn't a bad book. If you like fantasy novels with magic, myth, and adventure, you'll probably enjoy reading The First Man. Get yourself a copy and give it a whirl.

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