Indigo Inquest, book 4 in the Dragon's Bane Series, follows the life of Plato Kingsley, a Drackne and key leader of the Humankin in Bellato. Whilst the book can be read as a standalone, it does get a little confusing at times, especially if you start with the last chapter of Book 3 that's included as a sort of prequel/prologue. I'd recommend skipping this chapter snippet until later if you're reading this as a standalone; it doesn't really add much to the narrative until you actually figure out what's happening in the rest of the book.
The timeline of the book covers about 50 years, jumping back and forth between the "current" events of 2001 and Kingsley's history from his youth in 1953. It's a simple narrative device: the past is told as a series of flashbacks as Kingsley tells his story to a reporter while on his final quest to confront his greatest enemy. I'm not entirely sure it works for me--because of the way it's structured, it feels as if there is entirely too much backstory, though the entirety of the book is ostensibly meant to be backstory. There are also sections of news-like reports, which serve as a sort of historical touchstone for this alternate earth timeline where Dragons have destroyed most of human civilisation. At least, I think that's why they're there.
Overall, whilst the book is entertaining enough, it suffers a little bit from poor execution. On the plus side, Johnson plays with mind reading, time travel, and mysterious god-like powers, which always makes for exciting plot twists! On the minus side, there's a slight clunkiness to the prose that makes it feel like a lot is being crammed into this one book, including unnecessary backstory as mentioned earlier, and the time jumps sometimes makes it hard to keep track of things. The motivations and actions of the characters are also obscure and underdeveloped, with some relationships that either don't make sense or don't seem to develop naturally.
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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More about The Dragon's Bane series:
On August 8, 1956 there was a coal mine fire in Marcinelle, Belgium. At least, that's what Humanity was told.
The Dragon's Bane Series (Sunset Red | The Black God) follows an alternate timeline in the events of the war between Dragons and Humanity spanning much longer than anyone ever fathomed.
The main character in the series is John Ross Gerstung, grandson of the first Hell Bringer with whom he shares a name. The novels between his tales focus on prominent people in John Ross' life.
Indigo Inquest is the second of these novels.
Azriel Johnson is an inkspatter analyst by day and a serial writer by night.
Currently he can be found teaching English in China if you’re looking hard enough.
Most side projects have taken a back seat to this new adventure, the card game is on hold, the other stories have been sidelined, but he will resume them once he gets into the flow
of life in Asia.
He still does yoga (sort of), and exercises almost daily (nightly), while exploring as much as he can and getting lost (but not too lost) in a “small” city of five million. He also is attempting to learn Chinese, but it is still poor. He admires his students for trying to learn English as he thinks speaking English is much more difficult than speaking Chinese, although the written characters trip him up. His goal is to be bi-lingual by the time he leaves, even if he is still functionally illiterate in Chinese.