Tag Archives: review of A Threat from the Past

review of a threat from the past by paul cude

Overview.

This is an original story. Dragons are the protectors of humanity. They live below ground, in the main, but some live among us in human form.
This is the story of how one young dragon foils a plot which would have devastating effects on humans.

Blurb

Can you be heroic and naive?

For one young man, the answer is yes, despite his magical birthright.

Blissfully unaware of what’s going on around him, for the most part Peter remains fully focused on blending in and keeping a low profile.

But fate and plain bad luck have other designs on him.

Not so bad, you might think. Until you discover the TRUTH!
Just like his friends, he is a… DRAGON!

Thrust into a life away from the underground dragon domain, disguised in a new, awkward human form in an effort to guide and protect humanity just like the rest of his race, all he has to do is uncover the diabolical deeds playing out around him.

With the help of his two young friends, a master mantra maker and a complete dragon stranger with more than a little history attached to him, will Peter manage to thwart the dark, devious scheme long in the planning?

Ever wondered how dragons use their supernatural gift to travel below ground at almost the speed of sound?

Want to know how they use magical mantras to transform their giant bodies into convincing human shapes?

Learn the true story of George and the Dragon, see if a prehistoric grudge turns into murderous revenge, and find out what to do if you meet a giant arachnid grinning at you when you’re wearing nothing but your smile.

Lose yourself in this unputdownable fantasy adventure NOW!

Characters

The main character is Peter, a very young dragon who works at the factory producing a very important element for dragons. He is naïve and somewhat gullible at the beginning, but he learns much and at the end he is a great hero, thwarting a devastating plot with the help of his two friends.

Tank is a large dragon, and in his human form, an equally large rugby-playing human. He is likeable and a gentle giant.

Ritchie, is a female dragon. She is feisty and not averse to breaking the rules. (Like showing off her superhuman strength by arm wrestling two rugby players at once.)

I liked both of them.

Writing

The writing is amateurish, to say the least. I got the impression the author had got to the end of his story, did a spell and Grammar check and left it at that.

There are innumerable (several on each page) uses of ‘just’ and ‘that’. He uses a number of clichés, and repeats descriptions many times. For example, he describes dragons as ‘prehistoric’ on numerous occasions. There are also a number of instances of using words wrongly, and horror of horrors, several strings of multiple exclamation marks (a well-known no-no).

He goes into great detail of a hockey match and of a match of a game played by dragons. There was no need to go into such detail. As, from reading his bio, Mr Cude is a hockey player, I understand why he would want to do this, but I skipped much of these descriptions.

There is also a section where he describes some of the fun ways of getting into the dragon realms below the ground. These added nothing to the story and could be left out with no problem. Some were fun to read, but we did not need so many in one chapter. They could have been spread out.

Finally, on the writing, the paragraphs were far too long, and he did not begin a new one where he should have. The same with sentences.
Long paragraphs of dialogue from one person (or dragon) could have been broken down with a few interjections or action beats.

Especially in the final battle he does quite a bit of head hopping. We are in Peter’s head, then suddenly, without warning, we are in his enemy’s head, then back to Peter.

Finally, when Peter is thinking, he says ‘he thought to himself.’ To himself is redundant. Who else would he think to?

It could certainly use a thorough edit.

Conclusion

If Mr Cude sent it to a reputable editor, or even had it beta-read or used a critique group, I think the book would be a much better read.

I did enjoy the story, but it was spoiled by the poor writing. Too much telling, too many filler words, too many repetitions (both of individual words in close proximity, and ideas).

Also he is unsure about comma usage.

I sometimes felt like saying ‘But you already told us that (several times). Or ‘Yes, I know. I can remember that dragons have eidectic memories’ on the third or fourth time he used it.

The story is worth reading, though, if you can get past the writing. I read a book called Story Trumps Structure, that said, basically, if you have a good story, that’s the most important part.

I will be reading the next part if only to see what happens next.

I love hearing your thoughts. Please leave a comment in the comments box and I’ll get back to you.

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