F.N. Hammack’s debut work, “Captive”, is part 1 in a 12-part serial. While it lacks the polish that many seasoned writers obtain, Hammack is able to fully immerse the reader in a world where magic and greed have caused conflict on a massive scale. This appears to be written in a “sink-or-swim” manner (my favorite way to go), forcing the reader to immerse themselves full right away. The opening scene gives a good idea of who the villain is, but nothing is concrete.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this story is the fact that 90% of this part takes place in a dungeon cell. There is very little in way of outside elements, which leaves the reader (and author) focusing entirely on character development. Surprisingly, for not most the story taking place in a dungeon, we meet a lot of the main characters and are given a pretty good look at what motivates them and the range of personalities that are important to the story.
There is a lot of foreshadowing in this part, each character introduced is obviously important in some way (even if we’re not entirely sure how), but the use of flashbacks to foreshadow is kind of brilliant. Going back in time to get a glimpse of the future is crazy, but it really works. The flashbacks give us a glimpse into who these people are and how they are tied together. On occasion, they also show us how they might be tied in the future.
There are a few misspellings and incorrect word uses, but nothing that makes this a difficult read. Overall, this was enjoyable (and a nice break from the overwhelming influx of Urban Fantasy/PNR books). I am looking forward to the next installment and to watching Hammack grow as a writer!
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