Jon David’s The Savage Peak gives a glimpse into the background of Morgalla, a young demon from the planet Hell. He does a fantastic job with world-building, creating a very clear picture of the worlds on which Morgalla finds herself. While slower and less complete, his character-building is also fairly decent. Morgalla shines, but other main characters seem to be rough outlines. The development of Delilah feels almost Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde in that she swings between a teeny-bopper enthusiasm and a dominatrix with attitude. These swings make getting a feel for her and her true intentions difficult. Other characters seem to fall flat, living in their prescribed roles without really becoming more than the token sheriff/used child/angry woman/kind elderly woman/anti-hero.
The pacing was erratic. The first half of the book was brutally slow, with many details that seemed to actually detract from the forward progression of the story. Pages are devoted to Morgalla following Delilah around with nothing happening. Frequently, where details should be included, they weren’t. I found myself asking “Why?” many times. At one point, a random detail is disclosed that only creates more confusion, as it is never again mentioned. It’s a pretty important detail, but it comes out in the middle of a fight scene and is never brought up again. Contributing to the pacing being off is the fact that David doesn’t indicate in focus switches. While everything is in third person POV, the focus often switches between characters. During the epic battle scene, this causes some serious confusion, as the narrator focuses on 6 different characters. Many times, I found myself going back and trying to find the break that I missed because there was nothing to indicate that it happened. He also seems to have trouble deciding whether he wants to be an omniscient 3rd person narrator or merely a 3rd person narrator. The change between the two happens from one sentence to the next and back again. This also forces a re-read of the passage because the change in tone is jarring.
There were a few spelling errors/wrong words, but mostly this book suffers from a need for content editing. The language itself is repetitive, leading the reader to lose focus and grow bored. Where the reader wants more info, there is none, and there is tons where it isn’t needed. Overall, the story mostly carries the reader through these frustrations. The premise is fresh and amazing. I really wish the writing reflected that.
Check out The Savage Peak by Jon David by clicking on the link below.
I received a copy of this book and volunteered to review it.