Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review of "An Unholy Encounter" by Tracey Alley

Summary:
It was meant to be a simple trade mission to Karameikos but an unexpected encounter with a massed force of skeletons and zombies has turned it into a night of terror. Everyone knows that the undead can only be destroyed with blessed weapons and High King Erich of Vestland, his son Slade and adopted son, Wulfstan have no blessed weapons with them.

Wulfstan overrules the objections of King Erich and volunteers to venture out into the night to seek out a temple and find a way to defeat the deadly zombies and skeletons. Wulfstan knows that finding a blessed weapon is their only hope of surviving the night and protecting the man he loves like a father and Slade, his best friend.

But the night holds many dangers and there is no guarantee that Wulfstan can succeed in his self-imposed mission. Now High King Erich of Vestland and his son, the Crown Prince, Slade wait in the darkness hoping and praying for Wulfstan's return.



Review:
This series continues with another action-packed installment.  While part one (A Very Hairy Adventure) featured all four of our young heroes, this story focuses on only one of the characters, Wulfstan.  As a story, I actually liked this one better than the first part.  Zombies and skeletons are always classic.  When are they not scary?

One thing I've thought to be kind of clever about this series is that Vestland, the kingdom where this all takes place, is at peace.  This is really perfect for the short story format.  They are not bogged down with the politics of war and the author is free to focus on minor (but fun) encounters such the one seen in An Unholy Encounter.

Since this story did just feature one character, it would have been nice to have had just a tiny bit more character development.  Some aspects of his past were touched on, but not many.  Normally details like this do not bother me in short stories.  But Wulfstan is a reoccurring character in what will obviously be a several part series.

Otherwise, I thought this was a great young adult story.  I definitely recommend this series.

3.5/5 stars
Reviewed by Alain Gomez

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