Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Left Hand Of God by Paul Hoffman

"Listen. The Sanctuary of the Redeemers on Shotover Scarp is named after a damned lie for there is no redemption that goes on there and less sanctuary." 

The Sanctuary of the Redeemers is a vast and desolate place - a place without joy or hope. Most of its occupants were taken there as boys and for years have endured the brutal regime of the Lord Redeemers whose cruelty and violence have one singular purpose - to serve in the name of the One True Faith. 

In one of the Sanctuary's vast and twisting maze of corridors stands a boy. He is perhaps fourteen or fifteen years old - he is not sure and neither is anyone else. He has long-forgotten his real name, but now they call him Thomas Cale. He is strange and secretive, witty and charming, violent and profoundly bloody-minded. He is so used to the cruelty that he seems immune, but soon he will open the wrong door at the wrong time and witness an act so terrible that he will have to leave this place, or die. 

His only hope of survival is to escape across the arid Scablands to Memphis, a city the opposite of the Sanctuary in every way: breathtakingly beautiful, infinitely Godless, and deeply corrupt. 

But the Redeemers want Cale back at any price… not because of the secret he now knows but because of a much more terrifying secret he does not.

Stars: 1.5/5
Cover: D

Sigh. This book was just not for me. I was unable to get into the book from the first page. It wasn't a long book, but it still took me over a WEEK to read, which is a really long time for me to be reading a book.

For me, the plot was extremely difficult to follow. I found myself reading a page, and not really knowing what just happened. There were some exciting moments in the book that kept me intrigued for a couple of pages (that's why this book gets 1.5 stars instead of just 1) but for the most part, I just wanted to be done with the book.

I think the main reason I didn't like it because it was not my type of book at all. I'm not one for the medieval-time type of books. 

I'm sad to say this, but I really didn't feel any connection to the characters at all. There were so many of them, and none of them really had any distinct qualities, so it was hard to follow who was who.

The writing in this book was very formal. I think it was way too serious writing for me --- I felt like I was reading a non-fiction book (which I don't like).

The newest hardback cover of The Left Hand Of God is pretty boring. I don't think it portrays what the book is about. And even though the first hardback cover doesn't portray what the story is about, either, it's at least better than the newer version.

The Ending:
By the last thirty pages, I was so anxious to be done reading The Left Hand Of God, I don't really think I absorbed much information. The ending was pretty climatic, and it left you with a cliff hanger.

The Final Verdict:
I would be cautious with this one. If you like books based in medieval times, and that are mildly religious, I would say "have at it." 

I'm thinking about lending this book to one of my family members that likes this type of genre, just to see if it was just me who didn't like the book.

This book is the first in a trilogy, but I won't be reading any of the later books.

Even though I didn't really enjoy The Left Hand Of God book, I don't regret reading it, because now I know which type of book I don't like. :)

FTC: I received this book for review.

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