Shadow of an Empire Brings the Praise

Well readers, Shadow of an Empire has been out now for just over a month, so I thought that, in light of yet another excellent review it picked up last night from Frigid Reviews, it would be timely to go ahead and look at some of the responses to the book thus far from readers! If you have not read Shadow of an Empire yet, this may be the post that hints that you should!

So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at some reader feedback for Shadow of an Empire. We’ll be looking at excerpts, but you’ll be able to click the title of each review to get a look at the full text yourself.

First up, we’re going to look at the latest to arrive, from Frigid Reviews. Frigid Reviews has been reviewing a variety of books since July 2014, and has been providing weekly reviews for more than two years of that time. I first caught wind of Frigid Reviews when a fan of mine recommended me to the reviewer, which led to them reviewing Colony, which they enjoyed quite a bit.

Shadow of an Empire they enjoyed even more. But I’ll let them tell you about that.

Shadow of an Empire by Max Florschutz

A lot of the book rests on the interaction between Meelo and Salitore; luckily the two characters play off each other rather well. In a kind of a break from modern convention, there’s not a lot of quipping humor here but instead straightforward conversation and professionalism carry this relationship. Additionally what personality clashes there are get solved in a reasonable adult manner. This might not sound like a lot but after watching a number of writers drag out interpersonal drama for the sake of padding the story? I kinda enjoy it. It shows that you don’t need artificially generated drama and angst to tell a good story. Mr. Florshutz manages to write Meelo and Salitore without making them into unconvincing idealists or turning them into jaded cynics. So instead we get a pair of people who know that there’s a lot of bad in the world but there’s plenty of good people and good things worth defending and taking satisfaction in their ability to do so.

… The story is told entirely from Salitore and Meelo’s point of view and we never really get a first hand look at the insider of the villain’s head. This helps preserves the mystery of what Nirran’s plans are and what he’s doing but it runs the risk of making the conflict between him and our heroes abstract at times, as they’re mostly opposing each other on the grounds of one of them being a pair of law enforcers and another being a career criminal. This could have been a weakness of the book but instead it gives the plot an air of mystery as Salitore and Meelo struggle not just to chase down Nirran and his crew, but to figure out just what it is they think they’re doing and how they’re going to stop them while outnumbered about twenty to one. Mr. Florshutz also uses a good amount of action and suspense to avoid that, giving both our main characters secrets that they are holding but that he hints to throughout the book using the reveal of each secret to best effect.

In Shadow of an Empire, Mr. Florschutz creates a tightly woven story with gun battles, fist fights, and death-defying rides; all in the service of solving a mystery while on horseback. He does this against a background of a harsh but beautiful environment under a hot sun … It’s a very different book from Colony and shows that Mr. Florschutz is capable of a good amount of flexibility in his writing and I look forward to seeing what else he can bring to the table in the future. I will note that Shadow of an Empire is a good bit shorter than Colony and they are both only available on Kindle at the moment. Hopefully we can see him arrive in print someday. Shadow of an Empire by Mr. Florschutz gets an A-.

Again, you can read the whole review at the link

How about Goodreads? Well, we have this glowing, Five-star review from reader Katy.

Rip-roaring good yarn! I haven’t plowed through a fiction book like this in a while (two days) or been on the edge of my seat like this in a while (I know I did a bit of literal nail biting at some points). It has chases, shoot-outs, pursuits, knife-fights, with a set of nice fantasy elements.

I admit that I made some close guesses on a few things but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story. There were moments I went WHAT! and found I just had to keep reading to see what would come next (which is probably why I finished it so fast).

… 5 star ratings are exceedingly rare for me to give (most stuff I like I just give 3 stars, this quite a bit better than that).
Fact is, I kind of want to reread it already.

Amazon delivers a lot of praise as well, with this review from Pat Patterson

Not steampunk, but some of the same feel; a rich story of a fantasy Western with special features included.

Okay, here I wish to testify of the brilliance of the author. In almost ANY other work, what immediately gets set up is an “I only work by myself” bit, followed by the new partner having to prove herself, and then sexual tension mounts, and they do the tango under the moonlight before the bad guys kidnap her and he saves her, winning her hand in something. NO NO NO NO NO! That doesn’t happen here. None of that happens here! Instead, they develop a camaraderie, and they both contribute to the cause. By deliberately avoiding all the above-mentioned tropes, Florschutz kept my interest solely by means of an excellent story. Well done, well done indeed, sir!

Several nice things about this work. In the first place, we are thoroughly involved in the story before the bizarre stuff appears. Secondly, the gifts are sufficiently constrained so as to avoid the need for Kryptonite. Boilers, for example, who have the ability to manipulate heat, must store it by natural or artificial means before they can use it, and it takes time to build it up again. Therefore, Sali and Meelo have to use their brains, eyes and ears to solve problems, not just blast every bad guy into smithereens.

Secondly, there are several sub-plots running. We get enough hints to know this is the case, but I doubt you will guess EVERYTHING that happens before the reveal.

Until I started writing this review, I didn’t check out the size of the book. At 842 pages, it’s a monster. More bang for the buck, as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t ever get the feeling that the story was dragging, so it’s not a novel stuffed full of fluff; it’s just written in the length that will accommodate the story.

And there you have it! A sampling of Shadow of an Empire‘s reviews! With more on the way too, as another professional reviewer that has enjoyed my work before is putting together their review for the end of July, so there are more to come.

Of course, you don’t have to be a professional critic to leave your own feedback on Shadow of an Empire or any of my other works. Just head over to Goodreads or Amazon to leave feedback of your own and let the world know what you thought of Shadow or any of my other works! As always, I encourage it. The more reviews from readers like yourselves there are on books, the more eyes stop to look at them!

And if you can’t leave a review for any of them because you haven’t read one yet, well what are you waiting for!? Hit my books tab up and get started on your collection!

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