In Bridgeworlds: Rise of the Magi Randy Blackwell’s fantastic ideas and concepts fall prey to awkwardly combined genres. A great story falls flat due to poor execution and formatting.
Omar Metzger, earth’s most brilliant scientist, is in a race against time to find his sister in another dimension before she dies in a coma. He has one week before his funding is cut so without hesitation he enters a portal to an unknown world to prove his findings and hopefully save his sister.
Myles Callaghan, an illusionist con-artist, has bitten off more than he can chew, swindling a Mafia Don out of several million dollars. On the run, Myles goes much further than he could have imagined. He encounters Omar on Musterion, and they form the Order of the Magi.
Kasey is a hired assassin with orders to assassinate the Israeli Prime Minister. Betrayed, Kasey must escape before she is captured. As she crosses an archway in the Prime Minister’s basement she realizes she has crossed much more than the threshold of a door—rather a portal.
As these three unlikely companions join forces on Musterion, they must find their way through an ever changing maze, fight their inner demons, and then escape to a new world, Soterion, before the forces of evil close in on them. There Kasey is given a sword that was once a Bible on earth. They must take the sword to a carpenter but the Great Red Dragon tries to prevent them. Rise of the Magi is filled with battle action, steampunk fantasy, and a touch of romance, It’s an epic tale of their search for truth and ultimately redemption.
I’ll be honest. This is not a review I wanted to write. I’ve promoted this book and the series to help boost awareness after Randy ran into some branding issues with a mainstream publisher. Nothing is more challenging than writing a review for an online acquaintance that is critical of his work.
I’ll start with the good. The initial premise and the world within the story is imaginative and rich. The personal struggles the characters face help endear them to the reader and make you genuinely concerned about their fate. The redemptive theme within the plot resonates with the reader and drives the story forward.
Despite this there are some considerable hurdles that made me put down this book after completing only half of it. It may seem unfair to review a book I haven’t completed but I became increasingly distracted by the poor formatting. Words are hyphenated mid-sentence and/or run together. Sentences and paragraphs break unusually which made following conversations between characters difficult. Had it not been for the formatting problems I could have overlooked some of the plot, characterization, and style missteps.
Some dialogue between characters is at times awkward and even childish. The pacing felt odd and some plot points forced me to suspend by disbelief. There are too many coincidences and convenient resolutions to conflict within the story. At times it felt like the author was holding me by the hand rather than letting me come to my own conclusions. Randy tells the reader what characters are thinking and feeling rather than showing the reader through a character’s actions.
While the ideas and concepts in Bridgeworlds: Rise of the Magi are fascinating, the execution and formatting problems on Kindle made it difficult for me to enjoy the story. The blending of genres in this novel feels strange. You may want to skip this one.