Review: Water and Chaos by Larry Kollar
Water and Chaos
Summary From Goodreads:
Infiltrating a nest of rogue sorcerers can be hazardous… to your heart.
Mik and Sura are growing ever stronger as apprentice sorcerers, but neither knew what living in Mik’s hometown would do to their relationship. Torn apart by misunderstanding, Mik volunteers for a hazardous mission in a distant land. Now Sura must learn to trust, and Mik must learn the true meaning of home.
I received an eBook copy of Water and Chaos from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Water and Chaos was released today! If you’d like to pick up a copy you can do so here.
Water and Chaos picks up right where Accidental Sorcerers left off. Mik and Sura are training to hone their powers while blossoming as a young couple. Then we are plunged in a series of adventures each of which seem more perilous than the last. Sounds cool right?
Here’s what I realized after finishing Water and Chaos, this series is, at least to me, romance with fantasy elements. I don’t think that is what I expected when I was introduced to the series, but the transition from Accidental Sorcerers (mostly fantasy but with romance intertwined) to Water and Chaos (romance abound with magical happenings around it) seems to lend itself to that type of series going forward. Also in my review of Accidental Sorcerers I mentioned that I thought AS was more Middle Grade than YA. Well Water and Chaos moves more into the younger YA range so it appears that as the MC ages (13 in Book 1, 14 in Book 2) the audience and corresponding writing styles go with it. Nothing is wrong with any of these adjustments in perspective, just some guidelines to go by.
Mik continues to be a very strong MC. He’s likable, he’s got a good sense of humor and he’s an all around good guy, easy to root for. Don’t get me wrong, he isn’t perfect as we find out in this book, but he’s a solid model of goodness in most cases. Possibly my favorite change from AS to W&C is the edge Mik develops. I can’t say why without spoilers but it breathes some life into his character to keep him from being a cliche.
Sura, on the other hand, becomes a whiner prone to fits of jealousy. She can’t handle even the hint of competition for Mik regardless of what he says to reassure her and even goes over the top at one point despite everyone around her assuring her she is seeing things that aren’t there. She pouts, she’s moody, she just bugged me. Worst of all the reader is stuck watching Mik deal with all of her crap, none of which he deserves. Not a fan.
I highly doubt it had anything to do with what I said in my review of AS, but Kollar incorporated the previously mentioned relationship issues just like I hoped for. It did work in the sense of providing some needed conflict between the lovebirds, though not all of the side affects of that were desirable as I pointed out. What I didn’t expect was that the conflict in their relationship would push the rest of the plot and mightily influence it to boot. It shows in the initial adventure to Mik’s hometown and in the one to “distant lands” even more so. What the book lacked though was action. I made a comment on Twitter while reading that 25% of the way through the book “the main action point has been chasing cows…admittedly with magic but still” and it didn’t get much crazier. Oh sure there was some minor skirmishes and displays of magic, enough to keep the book a “fantasy” and not bordering on some type of contemporary. However, there weren’t any “shock and awe” type of moments or large displays of magic to really excite the reader. That didn’t hinder the story, but it definitely changed the feel.
The world building is the shining success of the Accidental Sorcerers series. Kollar gives depth to his characters and the areas of the world they came from. There are different languages, ancestries, cultures, and everything else you could ask for. The landscapes come to life, spiny mountains, winding rivers and a certain narrow isle are described in beautiful detail. Between the diverse societies each with their own unique culture, the amazing lands and seas to discover and the in depth character development Kollar makes you want to read on and learn more, this is where the drive is to read the next book in the series each time.
Overall Water and Chaos is a good book with a character flaw, it’s human and there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that. It isn’t an action filled book and Sura could have done with an attitude adjustment in a major way. However, the romance is typical of young teenagers, the ups and downs are to be expected. The world Kollar creates is remarkably well done and I know in the next book I will enjoy exploring it along with a very solid MC in Mik, one with an edge to him that I really appreciate being added. I look forward to the next book and maybe a bit more magic and awe than romance, but we shall see! Thanks as always for reading!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #103/200