Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Review: The Sorcery Code - Dima Zales

The Sorcery Code
Dima Zales
Series: The Sorcery Code, #1
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Rather meh
On Goodreads
There was a naked woman on the floor of Blaise’s study.
With an opening line like that, The Sorcery Code immediately grabs the reader’s attention. Blaise has been trying to create a magical object that will be able to interpret plain language and convert it directly to sorcery code, the language of the Spell Realm. Unknowingly, however, Blaise created Gala, a woman born from the Spell Realm. Neither Blaise nor Gala knows quite what she’s capable of, and throughout the story, we see Gala grow into herself and learn the full extent of her powers.

When it comes to this concept and the way it plays out in The Sorcery Code, is great. While reading, I wondered what was going to happen with Gala – it was clear to me what was happening to her, but she is naïve and hasn’t been “alive” for long so she could not figure it out right away. Gala was, by far, the most interesting character in this story. For her it was almost a coming of age tale as she realized what she was capable of, how she could use her abilities in good ways, and that there are consequences to her actions.

Being a sorcerer in The Sorcery Code is much like being a scientist in our world. Sorcerers don’t possess magical powers – sorcerers are those most skilled in mathematics and science. A sorcerer cannot simply just say a spell or wave their wand. In order to do magic, a sorcerer must do calculations and put in specific variables and coordinates depending on what he wants to accomplish.
As long as you wrote out the logic of the spell properly, then it was a simple dynamic of ‘if variable A is set to such and such value, action B happens.’
The way magic works in The Sorcery Code is really inventive and interesting to learn throughout the book. Although it was a lot of information and a bit confusing at first, it makes sense as the story progresses.

While Gala is adventurous and curious about the Physical Realm, the world she now lives in, Blaise is much more interested in the Spell Realm. Blaise is one of the best sorcerers of his day because of how intelligent he is. He is constantly researching and trying to find ways to make sorcery easier. Blaise is pretty much a nerd but in a way that puts you in awe over his passion and innovation. Although Blaise was much less interesting than Gala, I found that he was still rather interesting, mostly because his point of view was where we learned the most about sorcery and the world of The Sorcery Code.

Along with Gala and Blaise’s point of views, there’s also POVs for Augusta and Barson. I found these two characters much harder to connect with. While I appreciate seeing all their views and experiencing what’s happening in each of their lives, I think juggling four different perspectives made it harder to connect with the characters because there wasn’t a lot of time to really appreciate them. Barson was sort of interesting because he had a secret that I wanted to figure out, but I found Augusta a little hard to handle. While other characters had bigger plans for their actions, most of her actions were concerned with what she wanted above all else. Besides that, I found that Augusta just wasn’t all that interesting. I rarely cared what she was doing unless her actions were going to affect Gala.

While the concept (the reason I signed up to review for the book tour) and the beginning of this story grabbed my attention, I think the overall execution of the plot could have been better. When I read that first scene (which you can read on my The Sorcery Code Book Tour post here) I thought the book would be really fast paced. Unfortunately, there are a lot of fairly slow parts because there’s so much exposition for each character. There just wasn’t enough time to fully develop the characters and follow their stories with four different character POVs – especially because the characters were almost always completely separate from one another.

Overall, The Sorcery Code was by no means a bad book, I just felt very “meh” about it after reading. I didn’t quite fall in love with any of the characters and I felt no urgency to keep reading largely due to that. I think that as the beginning of a series (since the non-ending of this book NEEDS a sequel) this story has a lot of potential to be great, especially if Dima Zales continues to weave such a detailed and inventive world. Although The Sorcery Code is by no means my favorite book, I still enjoyed it and I think I’ll enjoy it even more after reading more in the series.

- Kiersten

How do you feel about multiple POVs?
Let us know in the comments!

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