Monday, October 12, 2009

Review: Alec Thrace and the Lost Medallion by M.D. Griffith

Alec Thrace is a nineteen year old privileged son of the mighty House of Thrace on the magical island of Atlantis, far beyond the Pillars of Hercules in the Atlantic Ocean where science meets prehistory and intermingles from time to time with magic. Alec learns of a great adventure that his missing father left for him, to find and use a long lost medallion to bring the body of a great king back to Atlantis before the warring factions of Rome and Carthage can lay claim to it. However, Alec soon learns that there is more to the medallion than its golden exterior. Within it lies the secret of the one for whom it was made. Together, Alec and his friends race through the world discovering how dangerous it can be and how precious their mythical island nation is as well as what some would do to lay claim to its wealth and knowledge.

Alec Thrace and the Lost Medallion seems tailor-made for fantasy fiction fanatics. If you are one, and also happen to like history, read away! I am sure you will love it. However, I strongly believe that any book should somehow appeal to more people than just its target audience. M.D. Griffith's debut novel fails. I was never grabbed by the sleeve of my shirt to go investigate further with the characters of this first installment in the Atlantis: The Hidden Kingdom series.

This does not mean that M.D. is not a talented writer. I am happily anticipating whatever is coming our way from his pen next. His vivid descriptions are a great proof of this. Mysterious, fictional places such as Babylon or Atlantis itself were almost Tolkien-like. However, as I read I missed the anti-religious coloring of Phillip Pullman, or the refurbishment of classics that J. K. Rowling is so good at. Alec Thrace and the Lost Medallion covered a big time period, but like many other fantasy writers, M.D. Griffith made the mistake of not making it about something that transcends myths, puzzles and cliches.


A big thanks to M.D. Griffith for the review copy!


Chad Sayban said...

It sounds like one of those books that paints a beautiful picture, but doesn't take the reader anywhere. Thanks for the review!

Melissa (My World) said...

I am sorry you didn't seem to care for the book as much. It sounds good by the back cover discription.

I hope your next book is better.

Peter S. said...

Hi, Lilly! Thanks for posting your thoughts about this one. I actually saw this in a bookstore the other day, and I didn't pick it up since it somehow reminded me of the Percy Jackson series.

Anonymous said...

I am an all over genre fan and I really enjoyed Alec Thrace. Definitely not one for everybody but I always figured that detective novels were intended for the fans of that genre, as are romance, thrillers, urban fantasy, etc.

I certainly won't read a genre I don't enjoy, so I don't understand why somebody else would. This is definitely a fantasy fiction and aimed at fantasy fiction fans, would Christian Fiction want to target the Dark urban fantasy fans? Would Western writers want to target the Regency romance fans? Doesn't make sense. I don't know a single author that doesn't specifically target their target group.

I dunno, sounds like the point of having more then one genre.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I hope you don't feel that it was an attack on you. I understand what you mean and totally respect that what one person likes another one doesn't. LOL. I just didn't want to come off as snarky, at all!

Nikola said...

Hi Anonymous.

I also believe there should be genres, and I never claimed to think otherwise. However, I think all literature (at least, all good literature) should rise above its genre and reach a universal level. By reaching this level, the work of art becomes cathartic/interesting/important to everyone, and not just fans of the particular genre. This is why we read after all - and even though we choose different genres based on our interests, different pacing, etc, the effect on the reader should always be the same.

I am sorry you feel this was an unfair review, but grading it any differently would mean being dishonest. Alec Thrace just didn't do it for me, which of course doesn't mean other people will not like it.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nikola,

I definitely DON'T feel this was an unfair review at all. You like what you like. What I like may not be another's cup of tea, AT ALL!

Laura Fabiani said...

It's so important for a reviewer to be honest. After all, that is why we review, to give our personal assessment of what we have read. As both an author and a reviewer myself, I can appreciate this.

Nikola said...

Thanks Laura!

Anonymous said...

My issue was NOT with the review of the book, I think you both are misunderstanding my point. I NEVER said my issue was with your opinion of the book, NEVER. As a published reviewer, I respect others opinions on books. What one person likes, another doesn't. Myself, I thought Twilight was the biggest piece of written vomit. I also can't stand the gossipy tones of the Jane Austen canon, but I love Tolstoy and Patricia Briggs.

This has zero to with your opinion on the book as it had with the statement that all genres need to have universal appeal. I felt that was strange and extremely naive. If this was a positive review of Alec Thrace (or negative or positive of any other book) and you said that, I STILL would have left the exact same comment. This has zero to do with the book, and absolutely everything to do with that one strange statement.

Should all authors have readability to all demographics? Absolutely. Do all genres need to appeal to all other genres? Absolutely not.

Nikola said...

All right, man. You disagree, I get it. However, do not just push me to the side as someone who doesn't know what he's talking about. Literature is my field of study, so this is not just some bored teenager's babbling.

What I would love to see is you opening up a blog and writing a review of Alec Thrace. I would be the first one to read it.

Addicted Book Reader said...

Wow, there's some disagreement on your review haha. I think it is great : D I gave you an award here:!

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

Book choices are so subjective. This was a good discourse and I'm all for that.

I tend to get stuck in my rut of reading my favorite which is urban fantasy. I try to go outside my genre just to broaden my horizons. Sometimes I find something that works and sometimes I don't.

I think you're right, Nikola, there are books that can appeal to a large audience even if it wasn't someone's genre of choice, but I don't think that happens too often. Not enough good writing out there. Twilight appealed to me because I'm a huge vampire fan. But funny enough I'm not a huge romance fan, which is really what that book is (and it's the most popular genre.) You can love Twilight or hate it, but you can't deny it hit a chord with a VAST amount of readers.

I thought your review was fair. You said you didn't like it and why. That's all you can do.

I didn't mean to ramble so much. Oh, well. Keep up the great blogging and interacting with the commenters!

Nikola said...

Thanks for your thoughts Alyssa!