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By Moonfeather, author of Nature's Kingdom

Sep 15, 2018: At the time of this review, I’ve only read the first story in TanaNari’s expansive universe, Price: Death of a Hero. This review will only cover that story.

We begin our journey following the young Imbued (or Metahuman) Zach Parker as he hunts for revenge against the murderer of his first love. Pretty simple plot and fairly good in execution even it seems a bit cliche. It becomes more complex as Zach is drawn into the world of superhumans and Imbued politics in a very public way.

Pacing . . . was decent. It’s a slow burn, if that’s your kind of thing. I could never really put the book down, so to speak, for more than a few minutes at a time. I read the whole arc fairly quick. It was that engaging. The slice of life moments was actually the best part of the novel for me and really added to the climax. Seeing Zach bring people of different social groups together, heroes and villains despite the negative aspects of his personality was a sight to behold.

I felt like the resolution could have been a bit more poignant, but I did like the ‘life moves on’ feeling from last chapters of Zach’s pov.

Speaking of point of view, the interludes sprinkled throughout the story, which followed the perspective of other characters were written in first person perspective like Zach’s. That’s not the way I would have done it, nor the way I would recommend. However, TanaNari manages to have the inner voice of each character sound different and distinct much like in his dialogue, which is pretty hard to do with first person.

The dialogue was good. Very witty, I found myself laughing out loud a couple of times. However, there was an occasional line or two that felt off coming from Zach or his close supporting cast. Some terms used, I felt could’ve been worded different, or it felt to . . . much like an adult trying to sound young. There wasn’t much of this though and it didn’t really take me out of the story. I attributed it to the characters being more mature and three-dimensional than they looked like at first glance.

This was probably the first time that I actually enjoyed side characters more than the main one, but not because Zach wasn’t compelling. The supporting cast just interested me so much more, probably due to interactions they had with Zach’s character. Even though most of the supporting cast had their own agendas I could see tightknit bonds they had with Zach, even if they themselves wouldn’t admit to it. Ailles and rivals alike.

I had read a couple of reviews before this to help get my thoughts in order. Many complained about Zach’s character or TanaNari’s handling of sensitive issues. I actually agree with some of their viewpoints to an extent, but since most have covered that along with the great worldbuilding aspects, I won’t go over that here.

I will say that I really enjoyed the female cast. Muwth, Muse, Laura, Cassie and even Anima, were absolutely fantastic. When you look at these characters from an objective viewpoint, (Not Zach’s ) you can really see them shine. Zach’s best friend for a majority of the story isn’t to far behind.

Overall if you don’t mind following the main character that can have a nasty and irritating personality at times, someone who can show selflessness and have a heart of gold underneath the cynical exterior, I recommend that you’d give it a read. It’s not a long story and the setup at the end will make you eager to see what happens next.

I enjoyed Death of a Hero and I’m looking forward to the next one.

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