- Title: Duck Blood Soup
- Series: The Caldarium War #1
- Author: James & Frank Hofer
- Genre: Fantasy, YA
- Format: Kindle
- Source: Own Copy
- Reviewed by: Sonja
- Rating: 4 out of 5
Description: When Eizenfeng’s leading wizards combine science with magic, the world changes dramatically. Technological advancements, coupled with racial and economic tensions propel the country toward war with a longtime ally. Jeunelux is oblivious to the building turmoil; scorching days harvesting tomatoes and her annoying older brother are more pressing concerns.
Suddenly, strange dreams that haunt her nights become reality. Jeunelux, along with two other untrained and unlicensed teen wizards embark on a quest to save the girl’s father, rescue a giant, and prevent a war. The three friends must quickly hone their magical skills and take on responsibilities beyond their years to save innocent lives.
Review: First of all, do not do what I did. Do not read the sample of this book and then pick it up a couple weeks later to read. Unless you have a better memory than do I. Doing so caused me to take longer than I needed to get into this story. Because I was lost. Because I was lazy.
So. Starting over. This is either a political commentary, an exposition on racism, or another story about teenagers saving the world. Or all 3. I viewed it as the last.
The world created here contains several different species: Giants, a flying species and a vampire like (but definitely NOT vampires) species along with humans. Oh, yes, some of the humans are wizards. And dragonflies that breath fire. A very fascinating group of species. It did take me a while to separate the not-vampires from the flying species. They both start with ‘S’. And are unpronounceable by me.
It did take me a few chapters to sort through this and the relationships of all the characters. But, I liked them all well enough to keep at it. And, I am glad I did. The interaction between the species was very interesting and out of the ordinary. The magic system was new to me and seemed to be well thought out.
My biggest irritation with this book is that it is the first in a series. Grrrr. I would have continued reading. And, not because it ends on a cliff hanger – the battle is complete with the novel – but the war is far from over. I have several predictions as to how the story will play out – and I want to know if I am right. Darn it!
As this is self-published – I feel come editing information is required. It seemed to be a very professionally produced book. I noticed no glaring grammar mistakes and only one “thrown” instead of “throne” (that one took me out of the story (very briefly) and made me laugh). I thought it was well done and very tightly written.