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Book review: Knights of the Borrowed Dark, by Dave Rudden.

Shit. Shit, shit, shit. Okay, it wasn’t that bad. Or was it? It wasn’t good, that’s for sure.
I planned to read this within three days, but it was so bad, I ended up taking five. It is cliché, it is pretentious, it is slow, and it is boring.

The main thing that I didn’t like about this book was the characters. Denizen, the central protagonist, was only thirteen years old, which is far too young for a book like this. None of his dialogue, actions, and reactions were that of a thirteen-year-old. On top of this, the writing style did not match his age, at all.
He and all of the other characters were also for cliche and overplayed. There was not a single character in that book that had their own defining traits. Absolutely nothing to make them anything more than rehashings of previously seen – seen many times before – characters.
The same thing can be said about the plot. A young kid, down on their luck, finds out a big family secret and quickly becomes a hugely important character for no reason at all, and somehow saves the day. This is possibly the most overused narrative in the children’s/young adults fantasy genre, and this book plays it down to the very last sentence.
While on the topic of the plot, let’s talk about the plot holes and massive lack of information and detail.
Rudden has put so much of his book down to plot convenience. Not only is there a huge lack of information given to the reader about the story, the characters, and the fantasy world, but there is also a number of times when the story only progressed because things happened in an unrealistic way. Take the beginning of the book for instance: *SPOILER ALEART* when the villains come to find and kill the central protagonist, they leave him because he didn’t instantly show his power when they thought he should have. Putting aside the fact that these are villains who want to come and desroy the entire world, and who live on misery and despair, why would they leave him alive anyway if they thought he would be a threat. They’re villains.
Dave Rudden is a lazy writer. I have no doubts about it.

There are no interesting character connections in the book. No one to empathise with. No one to get attached to. No interesting romances to follow. Nothing. It’s as though they’re all traitless blobs trapped in a human skin.
A similar thing can be said about the story. Where is the intrigue, Dave? Where is the suspense? Where is the writing that makes you want to read on? It was so dull. I only finished it in the hope that eventually something interesting would happen. It didn’t.
The action sequences were lousy and short in detail. The dialouge was as plain as blank paper. There was a very poor balance of emotions. So much so that, I didn’t feel any. I think I maybe laughed once.

I want to say that the shock and awe factor was good, with the few suprise end reveals, but I would be lying.
Although the reveals were rather shocking, they were unnecessary. As were many of the things that went on in this book. Rudden has attempted to build mysteries within his work, but actually he has just added pointless filler.
The only thing I can genuinely say was quite good is his descriptions. His descriptions are creative and vivid.


I think it’s safe to say I did not enjoy this book, for many, many reasons. I would reccomend this to a younger audience, perhaps of around twelve years of age. More specifically, twelve year olds who enjoy stereotypical fantasy.

1.3/5.0

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