August 8, 2011

The Tower of Parlen Min (Blog Tour)

I received a email from the author of this book, Matt Xell requesting me to review (and do other fun stuff) for the Tower of Parlen Min blog tour. I'm always hesitant when I'm approached by the author of a self-published book because often they're lacking the professional writing style, but I gave this one a try...
Summary: Ves Asirin wins a trip to the Tower of Parlen Min. There, with 19 other children, he competes in the Sword Challenge; a series of puzzles and tasks, for $12 million. As fantastic and glorious as the tower seems to be, Ves finds that it keeps a dark and secret history that he has been connected to for over 150 years, a secret that will define his destiny ... if he can escape 'The shadow'.
So I began the book very skeptical, not sure if I was even going to survive the first volume (there are three). But the only thing that made this book seemed self-published was the typos, take those away and you'd think this was published by a major publishing house.
I love the world Xell created in this book, as my friend, author Patrick Jennings, says, "It's difficult to create your own world, it's like being god." But Matt Xell pulls it off wonderfully and creates a unique environment that drives the story.
The one thing I did not like at all about this book was Ves. For a main character he was pretty lame. At first you start out feeling sorry for him because he has memory loss, which must suck majorly but all sorrow you feel after about 10 pages is replaced by a strong desire to strangle him and that feeling will stay with you to the last 20 pages of the third volume. If you're an author you strive for the readers to want to do that to your villians, your heroes not so much. Ves is snotty, rude, arrogant and over-confident. About halfway through the first volume he almost beats a girl up and risks his and her life in the process trying to get revenge for her having stolen something that was his, when she in fact didn't even steal it and was trying to return it to Ves. Ves definitely does take a lot away from this book and I would have enjoyed it a lot more (not to say I didn't enjoy it) if Ves was a bit nicer and more interesting.
Matt Xell is a natural story-teller, and I found it very hard to believe this was his first novel. He adds a lot of suspense.
I love Xell's portrayal of the supernatural in this book, because he makes it seem well, natural. Xell doesn't have Ves gape at the all unnatural goings-on but for the most part Ves embraces them.
A main part of this book are the wolves. Who throughout the story change a lot in terms of if you think of them in terms of good or evil. There have been so many myths about wolves, humans that turn into wolves, wolves that turn into humans, wolves who huff and puff and blow your house down, you get the idea, right? Lots and lots of wolves. But no one, ever as far as I know has came up with talking wolves that have superhero-type powers, crash festivals for the sake of others, and give you pretty epic piggy back rides.
Matt Xell also has a really cool idea of witches and warlocks. My favorite character is the book, Tammi (who Matt Xell will be writing a guest post on her for my blog) who is a Wicca, the race of people who have witch like powers.
Another defining element of the book is how their is a blend of history and technology in one object. Xell had a really neat idea where statues would be able to talk, move, and think like the person they're based on. It adds a whole lot of suspense, I mean if a statue was giving me a history lesson as it debated if it should kill me or not I'd be pretty freaked out too.
I really hope that Xell can find a publishing house because with the help of some great agents, editors, etc he could really shine and become a major author the stature of Rick Riordan or Brandon Mull.
This book is a fast paced, fun thrill ride that is perfect for fans of super intense action packed novels (a.k.a. me) defiantly worth the $2.99 on your ebook.
And now- to make author Matt Xell's day, he has told me to tell you what a jerk he was because he thinks he's too cool. Happy now, Matt?
Book Battle Update: This is my tenth book read in the book. Smooth sailing from here (Maddz has read 5).


  1. What a great review of this action packed book. You covered all the elements. I was particularly drawn to your review because of your age.

    In my opinion, this books should be middle grade and not young adult, because I feel like the target audience is boys about your age who enjoy action packed read. Since you rated this one a 5 out of 5 I think I'm on the right track.

    One last thing, I had a lot more sympathy for Ves's rude behavior, not because of his memory disorder but because of his tendency to have autistic tendencies. If you look at him from this aspect, it may shine some light on his bizarre, rude and sometimes violent outbursts. In addition, it will explain why he prefers to be by himself than to work with a group of kids.

    Anyways, great blog - I'm certainly going to follow it as I'm impressed at your writing style, especially since you are only twelve. I feel like you really have a gift! :-)

  2. Gina @ My Precious- Thank you so much! Yes, maybe it should but there was a lot of gore so that might of added the YA label, though I tend to read a lot more YA then MG.
    I never thought of that, but it's true!
    Thanks so much, I'm going to use that on my Testimony page!


Thank you for the comment, I love and appreciate each and every one! As of March 2012, The Non Reluctant Reader is an awards-free zone. I'm honored to be considered, but do not currently have the time to pass the award on. Comments are the best award I can receive though! If the comment requires a reply, please be sure to check back for one. If it is a feature/meme leave a link to your post and I will stop by and comment if I get the chance!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Under the Dappled Shadows kit by Lorie Davison