Oblivion by Joseph Brown
(Summary taken from an info. sheet sent from the publisher) "A lone renegade prowling the streets, Dark Elf rogue Lazareth is arrested and thrown into the Imperial City prisons. With the empire ready to crumble, the gates of Oblivion open and demons march upon the land. Emperor Uriel Septim and his guardians, the Blades, venture into Lazareth's prison cell, to make use of a secret escape tunnel. But dark on the Emperor's trail lurks the Mythic Dawn, a cult of assassins who have already murdered the Emperor's heirs. Only the Dragonborn, in whose veins flow the Septim blood, can
relight the Dragonfires in the Temple of the One and reinforce the barriers that protect the Land of Cyrodiil. With his dying breath, the Emperor entreats Lazareth, the only one who mysteriously can walk into the demonic world of Oblivion, to destroy the Oblivion portals, find the lost heir to the Septim throne and unravel the sinister plot that threatens to destroy all of Tamriel."
I didn't know what to expect from this book, and so I was a little surprised that I liked it. It did take me a good 80 pages to get into this book because I just couldn't relate to Lazareth at all. I honestly did not like him at the beginning. After about page 80 I started to warm up to him (a little) and the storyline started to take on a different feel. In the end, I thought the storyline was creative and the characters fairly well developed. I liked Lazareth most of the time, but there were still moments that I didn't trust him. I had mixed emotions: he had spent his entire life as a thief and worse, yet in this instance he tried to do the right thing and bring himself out of those negative habits. Had he not received the training he had from the Black Rose, he would not have had the necessary skills to even start on his journey. I hoped he would do the right thing and follow through with what the Emperor asked him to do, but I still didn't trust that he would. I thought the creatures Laz met on his journey were interesting. I thought Laz's new found powers were intriguing and scary at the same time. The Mythic Dawn characters were pure evil, along with the demons they released. Oh, I did not like them at all.
Mr. Brown's writing style uses a lot of descriptions, similes, metaphors, and descriptive words. Normally I really like descriptive writing, but there were times in this book that it was just too much and I thought it distracted from the story. I'd think, "Just get to the point!" I don't think I've ever read a book with that many similes. Some of them fit well and added to the feel of the book, but others were a stretch and were overkill. There is some language in this book. There is also quite a bit of violence. A lot of the time Laz is fighting monsters or demons, but it is quite grahic and gory. There were some scenes that disgusted me and made me feel yucky because of the evil the characters portrayed. Although I did end up liking the book, it was not my favorite. I would recommend it with the previous warnings.
Rating: PG-13+ (Language, gory and graphic violence, death)
Recommendation: 16 and up. Maybe a little older, depending on the sensitivity of the person.
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.