Photographer, book reviewer, mama, cat-lover in Seattle. Originally from England.
You can find my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, and Edelweiss+.
School library volunteer at my son's K8 school. Member of ALA and YALSA.
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I'm host on a blog tour for another book, this time it has already had its release date back on Feb 26th of this year, and while this is not the usual sort of book for me to read or review, I accepted it on a whim. Thank you to Rock Star Book Tours for including me on this blog tour. Make sure to enter the giveaway for a copy of the book after you have read my post and review!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, TROY DURANT
Troy Dukart is the author of the Venerate Saga (The Venerate Order, The Venerate Redemption, sequels to follow). Troy grew up outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota: Twin Cities. Troy is recognized by Toastmasters International as an Advanced Communicator Bronze and Advanced Leader Bronze. He's lived in Japan as well as California. He loves to travel. Make sure to stop by his website and sign-up for the newsletter to stay in the know!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Title: THE VENERATE ORDER
Author: Troy Dukart
Pub. Date: February 26, 2018
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Strafe Rocknus has suffered hard losses in his life, but now things are looking up for the college graduate.
He has a sizzling girlfriend, good friends and a bright career ahead of him. But one day, Strafe awakes in a mysterious cavern, discovers an ancient artifact, and unwittingly ignites a war that spans two worlds: his own, and one he never knew existed.
With the abyss of the unknown before him, Strafe enters the swirling darkness. Desperate, he must navigate a new and hostile world on the brink of catastrophe, and learn the truth of who he is, while facing a darkness with the power to destroy everything Strafe has ever cared about.
Soon, he will discover that his greatest strength comes from those he fights for.
The craziest thing about reviewing a book you know nothing about beforehand is all you are going on is a book cover, the blurb on the back, and you’ve heard absolutely no talk about it. Since I decided to review ‘The Venerate Order’ I went into it just a bit like that: just seeing some bright colorful artwork for a cover, and going from there. It turns out that the insides are very colorful too.
From the very beginning, the reader is plunged into the (pretty) near future of 2088 ‘New Santa Barbara’, a part of California that has been broken off from the mainland, due to a large seismic crack. This probably isn’t that far-fetched (every time I read something like this, it seems totally plausible). The main character Strafe has recently graduated with his pilot’s license, and is a budding engineer, and is keen on entering the city contest that seeks to find a way to bridge the gap between the city and the other cities around them, across the canyons created by the seismic shifts.
This is where Strafe, with the help of his pal Gain, and his girlfriend Yessa, come to catapult our main character across the divide, and essentially into a whole new world and role for himself. When he discovers an ancient artifact in a cave, Strafe couldn’t possibly realize that this would mean the beginning of an adventure where a secret organization would be on his tail, his girlfriend would be kidnapped, or that he would find himself on another planet.
Going along with the story in this book meant leaving absolutely all my disbelief at the ‘door’/portal. I immediately (and quite obviously) felt in love with Strafe’s large wolf/spirit animal called Brutus, who I found out is named after a dog that author Troy Durant had for 14 years. And right away Strafe is forced into fighting in a bloody battle.
All the characters and the story in general are colorful and fantastical, not just the giant talking dog. The main characters are all Guardians, Protectors of the World, representing the Power of Love, Joy, Elation, Passion, Pride, (it made me think just a little bit of something like Power Rangers, with their different colors) including my favorite Brutus. Strafe is an absolutely likable antagonist, ready for a challenge, and loyal to his friends, but there are some deeper levels to the writing of the book.
Durant shows from his writing how much he has been influenced by his own reading and learning; he has been been influenced heavily by various cultures from around the world (Asian, Middle Eastern, European), and also has said that he researched extensively about Samurai and ninja histories for the character of Zon and weaponry. There is also an obvious appreciation for ancient history and myth, and that was one of my favorite things about reading this.
What strikes me too about VO is how visual it is, and so when I think on it, and maybe this is because it’s high fantasy, the cover art, or my production background, I can’t help but see this as some kind of animated film. The fight scenes are particularly vivid and descriptive. I also happen to know that Troy is a ‘Final Fantasy’ gaming fan so I can see how that inspiration led him here! Beyond this book there are several more installments in the ‘Venerate Order’ saga; this one ends with a ‘continued in part 2’, so the wild adventures of Strafe, Taleri, and everyone else don’t stop here!
It’s a really wild ride!
And here's the GIVEAWAY!!
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE VENERATE ORDER, US Only.
You can enter through *THIS LINK*!!! GOOD LUCK!
There are some more blogs on the book tour; the full schedule can be found at this link here: VENERATE ORDER BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE - more reviews, interviews, and more!
You can also check out what other book tours are coming up and find lots of other book reviews on the Rock Star Book Tour site!!
Thanks for stopping by again, and checking out one of my reviews! Happy reading!