This is a really, really hard review to write. I like the writing style of the book and found it clear for the most part, if muddied by missing words here and there and some not great senses of distance and time. The actual content though…
I had so much trouble understanding what was going on throughout the book. In all honesty, I wanted to shelve this under Did Not Finish and call it a day because I wasn’t enjoying it. I wish I hadn’t jumped the gun and bought both this book and the sequel at the same time, but I did, and that’s part of what kept me going.
The rest was hoping desperately for some answers to the many, many questions I had.
The book drops you right into the inciting action, but right from the start, you as the reader are going to suffer from disorientation and lack of understanding. This is done intentionally as the narration follows two characters who aren’t sure of what’s going on themselves, but that makes it all the harder to get into the world and understand everyone’s motivations. I found myself asking, “… but WHY??” far more than once.
I have a very, very long list of questions that I never got the answer to, but rather than piquing my interest for the second book, all of that just left me extremely frustrated. I’m not going to list them out here as that seems a bit mean-spirited but, for me, this was a frustrating and difficult book. It had a lot of promise but I felt that it fell far short. I found 98% of the character meetings too contrived and convenient to believe them, and as I mentioned, there were a large number of questions regarding major details, characters, and plot points that I just did not find any answers to.
One that I will definitely mention is regarding something that happens about halfway through the book. A mysterious archer in the woods saves Kalen from a random person who comes out of nowhere to attack him. I never quite figured out that random guy’s motivation, but glossing over him, the archer saves Kalen, then vanishes and is never mentioned again. Not even in passing. This isn’t the only instance of convenient appearances and disappearances, but I think it illustrates why I was frustrated with the book.
I don’t know if I just ended up reading right over all of the answers to those questions that I had, but for me personally, Storm Without End was way too disorienting of a book for me to process what the heck was going on. As such, I can’t really give this a rating.