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The Brothers Three: Book One of The Blackwood Saga (Volume 1)

by Layton Green

Series: The Blackwood Saga (1)

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be plunged into a dangerous fantasy world?All Will Blackwood ever wanted was a little adventure. A fantasy addict and apprentice contractor in New Orleans, struggling to make ends meet, he has long wished for an escape from the real world. Late one night, he and his brothers receive a surprise inheritance: a staff with a mysterious stone on top, a pair of rogue's bracers, and a sword that Will can barely lift. A man with strange powers shows up to take the sword, and the three brothers barely escape with their lives. Searching for an explanation, it is not until a magical key whisks them across time and space, into a terrifying version of New Orleans ruled by wizards, that Will accepts the truth about his family's past. It seems Will Blackwood has found his adventure. But this isn't one of his fantasy novels, or a gaming campaign with friends. In his father's world, magic and monsters are real. Choices are life and death. And they have no idea how to get home . . .… (more)
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I do not review books on punctuation, grammar, or syntax. My reviews are on the plot, characters, worldbuilding, POV, and general storytelling.

To start, I will say this book took all my will power to read. There are spoilers from here on.

You have three brothers,
The oldest brother is Val. He is a corporate lawyer in New York who believes to be the guardian to his brothers since their father's death when they were kids. What happened to their mother? We do not know.
Val has no scruples. He appears to me like an Asshole, and he stays that way throughout the entire book. He pretty much is a reverse Robin Hood in dealing with his clients. In the end, he appears to have some magic, and I was wondering why he wasn’t the one with the thief’s ability.

The middle brother Caleb is a bartender womanizer that likes to touch waitresses against their will. He is another asshole with a Peter Pan syndrome, the adolescent man.

Will Blackwood has identity issues; he thinks he is not masculine enough. He works for a general contractor, and at a medieval-themed family restaurant. There he participated in stage fighting. He's suffered from panic attacks since childhood. His best friend is Lance, a New Orleans police officer.

In essence, that is the personality of the brothers, and I may have overlooked it because I lost interest in the book, but the brothers didn’t change. Not much of a character arc for any of the brothers.
Mala is a mercenary, the female character, and she can be found to kick ass at times, but her character wasn't developed, which is a shame.
The creatures were cool.

The story goes on until one day, Will and Lance run into a zombie Rottweiler and the weird guy who controls it. It was the bad guy Zedock. Why Zedock appear and does nothing to Will? That is a mystery to me.

The Blackwood brothers come into an inheritance; they were three items. Why this late in their lives since the father died when they were young? We do not know. I am assuming the items came from their father. At this point I don’t know, Layton Green never mentions it, and I am getting very annoyed.

They get contacted by a friend of their father, “Charlie,” he tells them that their father was a wizard.
Charlie does not give them any information on why their father came to earth or any background; here, you must believe all by faith.
So, Charlie gives them the three magical weapons, but then he gets kidnapped by Zedock, the guy who had the Rottweiler. They are still trying to figure out what happens. But a wizard shows up and talks to Will, telling him that Zedock, that is the name of the man who kidnapped Charlie, he's a necromancer from a parallel universe where magic rules. Here is where I have a few issues, Science does not rule in this other universe, magic does, however, you need to have some science laws established for the magic to work and be believable. And all becomes much. But I am willing to go with the flow of the book is fantasy.

Will tricks Val and Caleb to go into this other universe, and Lance is taken along with them. I still don’t know why they would want to go to an unknown place. Will is such a delicate man, that sufferers from anxiety attacks from Childhood. Him taking the initiative on doing something daring is out of character for a person with anxiety. I don’t see him taking the leap, but he was the one wanting to go. Why? I am not sure, because the reason is stupid, to save Charlie? They just met the man. They have a very weak motive. The four men must gang together with a necromancer they just met to save their father's friend that was taken by an evil necromancer. In the end, a simple plot that could have had a significant impact if we have had seen something more and unique. Why not make all Necromancers evil? Make a distinction that would separate Zedock from all others.

About the POV, I write in the third person multiple, and I do like to read books written in this style. However, with this book, the shift in POV perspective was a bit awkward and needed finesse in the movement of perspective. There were a few plot holes; however, I think those where intentional gaps to be filled by subsequent books. Or I hope he takes the time to fill in all those gaps.
I was disappointed when I finished reading this book. I wanted to like it. I tried to like it. I forced myself to read it at some points, but in the end, I can’t say I like the book.

I will not be looking for the second in this series. I might read it if I get it for free and have no other books in line to read. ( )
  OmayraV | Dec 14, 2021 |
DNF pg 59

The fantasy element was ... okay. The writing was ... fine. The characters were, not quite 1-dimensional, but a bit flat and stereotypical.

I just don't care what happens to these three brothers—not the youngest who lives in perpetual jealousy of the masculinity of other men, not the womanizing party boy who thinks it's okay to touch waitresses that have already made it clear that they aren't interested, and certainly not the oldest who thinks "it's just business" when destroying other people's lives so some rich guy can keep his riches. I just can't imagine spending four and half more hours with these guys. (Or rather I can, but I don't want to.)

The writing's not bad though.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway. Many thanks to all involved in providing me with this opportunity. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Aug 25, 2021 |
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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be plunged into a dangerous fantasy world?All Will Blackwood ever wanted was a little adventure. A fantasy addict and apprentice contractor in New Orleans, struggling to make ends meet, he has long wished for an escape from the real world. Late one night, he and his brothers receive a surprise inheritance: a staff with a mysterious stone on top, a pair of rogue's bracers, and a sword that Will can barely lift. A man with strange powers shows up to take the sword, and the three brothers barely escape with their lives. Searching for an explanation, it is not until a magical key whisks them across time and space, into a terrifying version of New Orleans ruled by wizards, that Will accepts the truth about his family's past. It seems Will Blackwood has found his adventure. But this isn't one of his fantasy novels, or a gaming campaign with friends. In his father's world, magic and monsters are real. Choices are life and death. And they have no idea how to get home . . .

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