Manual A Guiding Light (Sudden Dearth)

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This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Aug 21, Philip rated it it was ok. Probably the main problem with this story is that the author really hasn't done a very good job to make me care about what is happening.


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Back at the beginning of the first book, when there were only Walters, Berbatov and K'san, and they were all different and interesting and trying to survive, I was definitely rooting for them and cared. Then that book continued and this one became more of the same as the second half of the first part.

Walters really isn't at all the same as he was in the first p Probably the main problem with this story is that the author really hasn't done a very good job to make me care about what is happening. Walters really isn't at all the same as he was in the first part of the previous book.

And not in a character development different type way; more of a lost much of his personality and became rather bland and indistinguishable from the rest of the characters type of way. Perhaps that's what happens when one becomes a demi-god or whatever. But it's not just him; for the majority of these characters I am unable to tell who is who without their name being mentioned since there really isn't enough defining or differentiating their personalities from the rest of the characters.

MORE THAN A MISSION

Which is too bad, especially as it makes me feel less involved or interested in the story. From these first two books in the series, it appears the overarching plot is Walters et al embarking on some quest to obtain some artifacts. The blurb for the series says there are seven sources of power, so I guess he's going after those, though it was never mentioned in the story.

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As I mentioned frequently in my review for the first book in the series, there seems to be a lot of missing background to this universe. Another I guess I'm on the third, now reason that I found myself not really caring about the story is that as the point of view is less from the viewpoint of Walters, I find myself not being convinced of the justifications for the other characters to follow Walters. It appears to me that as a demi-god, he is simply dragging his followers around the universe and into battles, getting many of the killed, so he can get these undefined artifacts that presumably make him more powerful.

Sacrificing followers to gain power isn't a good way to get me on your side, Walters. Sure, he shares that power with some of his followers, which I suppose is some reason for them to kill for him, but there are others who haven't received such a blessing, yet still seem very eager to do as he asks. Perhaps part of the reason we're supposed to like Walters is because he's better than the other demi-gods if that's what they are like Shan and Master Arshavin, but then again they're not particularly worse that I could tell.

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Sure, Shan's modus operandi is somewhat unpleasant and gruesome, I'm not yet sure that it is inherently worse than Walters, mostly since I'm not yet sure what Walters is really going for or why; they both seem to want these powerful artifacts and they both use their followers to get it, so I don't have a reason yet to think one is better than the other.

There does seem to be some unexplained prejudice against Taurens that we humans are supposed to have, but that's not enough to make me think one is better than the other without some reasoning behind the prejudice. Then there's the Church who's supposedly spreading lies because Walters said so and perhaps we're not supposed to like them because they're big, organized and presumably corrupt? Thus, because of all those points, in the first part I had little reason to cheer for Walters' troops as they went to get whatever was in the tower and in the second part I had no incentive to want Walters to view spoiler [take the power away from Marius hide spoiler ] or kill the other factions.

Which resulted in a story that I was unable to be drawn into or be particularly engaged with. There is one definite positive that I need to mention about this book. Whitfield's descriptions and imagery can be incredibly sharp and vivid at times. There were parts that were cinematic in the fantastic scene he painted in my mind. And a number of parts that rather had me reeling see previous note on Shan's powers being gruesome. So even if the plot nor characters particularly held my interest, the writing for some of the action and such was enough to pull me along as I continued through the story.

It seems that Whitfield's biggest strength is writing close action scenes and other specific, powerful happenings; just like in the beginning of the previous book.


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  • Unfortunately, as the scope of the action increases, there are more problems. At the beginning of the battle at the planet with the tower, there was fighting on land, fighting in the air, beings trying to move between the two, etc. While each specific happening was written well, I never got a sense of the overall picture of the fighting; what was happening where - why did the fighter pilots not notices these drop pods, where are they fighting on the land and where are they trying to go - that sort of thing.

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    So I had to rely on the notes in the narrative to know who was winning, which is less desirable for me; yet at the same time, it seemed rather obvious to me the entire story that Walters would win. I'm trying to think now what in a story makes that happen and I'm not sure; some authors, despite having a story that you can guess correctly from the beginning who's going to win, are still able to make it feel throughout the story that it's anything but guaranteed. This story, though, not so much.

    I mentioned before how the character's personalities left a lot to be desired. The worst occasion of that was view spoiler [after Marius transformed and then encountered Johns and Viker. Apparently his attitude towards Walters had changed enough that Viker had decided he was a threat and thus started more fighting. Besides Viker saying it, I did not feel that at all. This, again, had the effect on me that I didn't really sympathize with any of the characters. Lastly, and least important - how have these artifacts or whatever they are been around from so long the descriptions of their housing give the impression they've been there for ages yet no one has tried to retrieve them until suddenly everyone is now?

    Lots of stories include other similar things of multiple usually two factions trying to do the same thing at the same time, but this occasion seemed especially egregious as there are more than two groups going for it at the same time with no mentioned trigger like many of the other stories include. Usually I am all for having more than only two factions involved in a conflict, but this time it just seems dumb that these multiple powers all suddenly have the same goal and arrive at the same time.

    It made it feel super contrived. But, probably the least important of my complaints. I guess a summary goes here.

    As the scope of the story increases - the battles get bigger, more characters and factions are introduced - my interest in the story is declining. The increase in characters is resulting in them blurring together - besides some superficial traits.

    A Guiding Light (Sudden Dearth Book II) by Gerard A. Whitfield

    The strength of this author's writing seems to be in writing more intimate stories; if he wrote another series about a single character or three in Walters troops, who was dragged from battle to battle, just trying to survive, I think Whitfield's writing would work for that, as he would be able to make the characters interesting, keep the focus narrow, and the fact that I have no clue what Walters is trying to accomplish wouldn't be a problem at all as these lowly soldiers wouldn't know either and it wouldn't matter.

    Though Whitfield would need to give them a reason to follow Walters, I think that scope of a story would work. What he seems to be trying in this current series, though, not so much; I doubt I'll read any more of this series. Learethus rated it liked it Feb 01, RoseAnn Bruns Zimmerman rated it it was amazing Jul 19, L rated it really liked it Jan 01, Paul rated it it was amazing Jul 27, Brittani Aagard rated it it was ok Sep 29, Roland Hagge rated it really liked it Sep 03, Albert Davies rated it it was amazing Feb 27, Aaron rated it really liked it Aug 24, There were no production values.

    They were ugly, awful. The people of Peapack should have sued. Their town could not have looked worse on television. It was clear that under Wheeler, there was no rehearsal, and no respect for the actors, forget the fans. The ratings simply tanked. Wheeler did nothing to correct the situation. She just made it worse, adding loud rock music to scenes. It was impossible to hear the dialogue. She says, fans communicated to her that they liked the new format. This is highly unlikely, unless they were related to her.

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