Review: The Ouroboros Key by Patricia Leslie

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Publisher: Odyssey
Publishing Date: March 2014
ISBN: 9781922200334
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 2.1/5.0

Publisher Description: Prophetic dreams have haunted Dan Tenney since childhood, foretelling him of a life-changing event that is soon to take place. But before he can learn the meaning of his visions, he is attacked by a shadowy group of extremists: the Brotherhood of the Grail.

Finding sanctuary underground, an ancient relic comes into his possession and Dan begins to understand the path his visions have laid out before him. His quest will be fraught with an otherworldly people and an event that could tip the balance in favour of human existence—or disastrously against it. The mysterious Brotherhood will do everything in their power to prevent Dan from fulfilling his destiny as the Bearer of Ouroboros.

Review: They blew it on the cover art. Cave + water + design + raven = lame. Should have expanded the raven as a focal center.

This is a tired and well used story-line that a lot of authors have attempted to re-create in the wake of Dan Brown’s success. Sangreal, Christ’s lineage, Templar offshoots with some fantasy (magic) events thrown in here and there in an attempt to grant the story-line some relevancy. This started out entirely too descriptive as the writer took way too much artistic license in scene development. This is a constant theme throughout the novel. Every scene gets this lengthy expansion addled with descriptive details. It may be interesting that, say, Simone likes Thai and orders from her favorite expensive restaurant as she has high-end tastes in clothes yada yada yada but I don’t need to know that in order to enjoy a story-line. There are pages and pages of descriptors that really don’t enhance the scenes. Even during chase events the author takes a minute to describe why Simone has turned off her phone.

There were some fall downs where weapons came into play like “She put her hand on the butt of her .38 special.” What? She put her hand on a caliber? In another scene he “pulls out his H&K pistol.” H&K what? P9? USP? P7? P2000? HK4? What caliber? Then Glock’s are thrown in with no model number and a Ruger P97 “guaranteed to blow the proverbial shit out of whatever I fire it at.” Huh? Since the P97 comes in .30 luger, 9mm, .40 and .45 calibers, which is the author speaking to? Also blowing the “proverbial shit” out of things is a function of the shooters ability coupled with the caliber. Using a Ruger P97 definitely lessens any innate ability a shooter may have. Elliot mentions his desire for a Armalite MH-12 Maghook (used in the Shane Schofield novels by Mathew Reilly). Too funny as this tool/weapon is fictitious.

Although I enjoyed the story-line I really hated seeing a fairly good writer start using the dreaded word crutches of “scowled, scowl, growled, growl, muttered, mumbled and grumbled” to expedite dialogue in an attempt to convey emotion without truly developing the characters at any point in the novel. Again, when I see those friggin’ words again and again I am disappointed for the author and her obvious fail. Also there was some weird southwest cowboy accents thrown in. Yeah, maybe people in Colorado or New Mexico talk like that, if they are transplanted from Texas. What was weird was that Dan would talk with an accent through one passage, then it would go away. His accent was like a boomerang throughout the novel.

If you like really long novels with a stretched out story-line, lots of dialogue and scene descriptions, then look no further than Ouro.

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