HOP Book 1: Dragon (Rustin Petrae) Book Review

Another exciting review for me, as it’s a book sent to me for review. It’s something I’ve found quite surprising – these new authors really want for their books to be read, reviewed. At first I was worried that, in offering to review a book for somebody, they’d simply think that I was trying to get a free read out of it. I was so very wrong. The author of this book, Rustin Petrae, seemed very thankful that I had reached out to him. Thinking about it, if I had written a book, I too would want to know how people felt about it. Anyway, this book is the first in a series of four, the second of which is to be expected July this year. Well then, on to the review!

The Rooks are a race of people far technologically advanced, able to create almost anything they need from small nano-bots that are kept with them at all times. The Terraquois are a colony of people dwelling deep within the forest, in tune with nature and the animals. Many can alter their form to a beast representing their nature. The two people’s are at war. There’s a new player though, and when the Rook city is attacked by the Blak Army, a young Terraquois girl saves the life of a Rook Prince. And that’s where things really start going wrong.

Book 1: Dragon has a very compelling plot-line. Once I was into it, I really couldn’t stop reading. It is not, however, very linear. I found it a little hard to follow at some points. That is, when I wasn’t fully concentrating. I don’t think this book is an easy read, I had to sit down and ‘actively’ read it. Don’t take this for a bad thing though. I find that generally, books thy force me to pay attention are deeper, more interesting and give a better experience. I’m glad this book had me wanting more, looking for time to sit and read. One thing I wasn’t too find of was the author’s use of perspectives. As you move through the novel, you are following lots of different groups of people, and they aren’t all in the same stretch of time. I found it quite hard to follow who was with who, and where, and when. Having people in different places in time can work really well (just look at Lord of the Rings), but sadly this one just didn’t come out on top. Overall, a thrillingly compelling plot, just slightly convoluted. Oh yes, and the ending is amazing – totally unexpected and I really can’t wait for the next book!

There are quite a few characters to keep up with in this book, which is a good thing. It’s not one of those books where you’re given the main characters and all others are nameless accessories. This does have the slight disadvantage that each character does not feel wholly developed. Yes, they are good and interesting characters, but they’re not quite as good as they could be. I hope that the author tries to build his characters somewhat more in the second book, as opposed to just bringing more and more in. They have potential – the diversity of the two races is phenomenal, and could be played upon brilliantly. I really look forward to seeing more of the characters in book two (which will be called ‘Roc’ if anybody is interested. I think I’ve put across a rather negative view on the characters – it was not my intention. These are fun, interesting characters, just not at their full potential.

I am glad I had the opportunity to read Rustin Petrae’s Book One: Dragon. At the end of the day, perhaps that’s all that matters. Not the little numbers I give to the books, but whether it was a worthwhile read. This book is a worthwhile read, and I’m looking forward to the next few books. I highly recommend you too pick up a copy. There’s something special about knowing you’re helping out a ‘real person’ not an author that’s already up to their ears in money. If you enjoy fictional sci-fi, or even fantasy like I, you should enjoy this, and I implore you to pick up a copy!


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