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The Silver Ring by Robert Swartwood

 

17-year-old David Beveridge is in the wrong place at the wrong time. When a gunman storms into a convenience store demanding money, he becomes spooked and shoots the cashier before shooting David. Only David doesn’t die. Neither does the cashier. She dies, yes, but David manages to bring her back to life.

How?

With the help of a mysterious silver ring he found earlier that night — a ring with amazing powers that David cannot control, a ring he cannot even take off his finger . . . and a ring that the darkest evil in the universe wants for its very own.

It’s coming for the ring.

It’s coming for David.

It’s coming to destroy us all.

Note: The Silver Ring contains some graphic violence and harsh language.


A complete novel

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Listed: Jun 28, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

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Quick & Entertaining: A bite-sized adventure

By A. M. Harte, editor, author of Theatre of Horrors

Aug 27, 2009: What seems like any other day for David takes a turn for the worse when a ring he finds at the movie theatre ends up having magical powers beyond his comprehension. Just as he begins unravelling the mystery behind the ring, he finds himself chased by mysterious beings, and his very life is in danger.

This was a quick and easy read, the writing was free of mistakes and fairly solid. The characters are likeable and have considerable depth taking into account the length of this piece. I did think the writing could have benefited from a bit more emotion and suspense; the reader hardly ever feels any worry or concern for the main character because the powers of the ring are evidenced a little too strongly.

While, the plot line is intriguing enough to make up for it, although there were a couple scenes which to me simply slowed down the plot in what is otherwise a very short, snappy story. Also, I found the climax a little disappointing, perhaps even a case of deus ex machina. As a result I think the story could benefit from some expansion, and there is definite room for more.

The website layout is uncluttered, professional-looking. Readers can leave comments only after reading the entire novella, which while a little annoying, is understandable, considering how short it is.

Overall, a quick and entertaining read, which has a lot of potential. Robert Swartwood has built a unique world which really deserves to be explored a little more.

3 of 3 members found this review helpful.
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Most Helpful Member Reviews

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I think there’s a novel hiding in the novella somewhere

By Shutsumon, author of Tales of the First

Aug 28, 2009: The Silver Ring is a young adult fantasy thriller that opens with a bang and doesn’t let up until the climax.

The Good:

  1. Robert Swartwood knows how to put a cliffhanger at the end of each of his short chapters. I don’t know if he initially posted as a serial – but if he did he probably had readers champing at the bit for the next part. Even with its flaws (see below) it keeps you reading. If it was a dead tree book I’d call it a page turner.

  2. It’s well enough written to pass muster in a printed book I’ve paid for let alone free on the web.

  3. The character of David seems real and so does his family and the other human characters. Given that this is a novella and there’s not much space for character development showing this is good.

  4. It’s a novella and thus won’t eat your valuable time should you decide to read it.

  5. It’s free – and during the recession finding reasonable quality fiction for free is awesome.

Problems:

  1. Sometimes it moves a little too fast. Subplots were neglected and things raised never to be completed as a result. It feels almost like it’s a novel squashed down into a novella.

  2. The antagonists get short shrift in the character development stakes. The two primary antagonists have motives that are purely selfish and the big bad barely makes an appearance. I like my antagonists interesting and these just weren’t. Now, as I said above it’s a novella – there’s not much space for character development. But he managed it with the protagonist and his family, which just makes the lack here more noticible. It’s another thing that makes this feel too short.

  3. but the biggest problem with it is what happens after the antagonists have been dispatched. A. M. Harte is right to say it has a bit of a deus ex feeling to it. If you disliked the ending of Doctor Who (new series) season 3 then this will probably have you frothing at the mouth for many of the same reasons. It’d be even worse except that it doesn’t seem unreasonable given the revelations about the ring during the climax. I expected something similar from the moment the shit hit the fan – just not quite like it goes down.

Verdict – worth reading if you’re a young adult who likes fantasy thrillers, or an adult looking for something light and fun in that genre. Probably not for you if you love character development or really hate deus ex machina resolutions – even when they’ve been somewhat foreshadowed.

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