My rating: 2/5
An ancient pact agreed between the ancestor’s of the Lesterall’s and the dark creatures from cautionary tales told to children, has kept the Lesterall lands and people safe for centuries. Whilst the Lestrall’s and there friends gather to celebrate the anniversary of the Pact, goblins and creatures from nightmares gather outside their walls, for the Pact is broken.
This is a short novella that starts with a brief interlude as the writer introduces the reader to Will Lesterall and his family, before quickly spinning out a short intrigue and the imminent destruction of the fort they live in.
The novella is barely longer than a short story and, although it spends some time early on to introduce the character of Will Lesterall, the writer doesn’t give himself enough time to explore the relationships between Will and his family. Will Lesterall is a ten year old boy that doesn’t like big family gatherings and rather hang out with his friend, a sixteen year old stable hand. We are told that Will has a bit of a crush on his nanny, but as it transpires, there is more going on in Fort Lestrall than Will is aware of, and his nanny has something to do with it.
The writing isn’t bad, in fact the sentence structures and word play is very good. Its just that there isn’t much of a plot, and what little there is, isn’t paced very well. The end is dramatic and the twist is surprising, but it could have done with being drawn out more, taking more time to establish the various relationships, the intrigues and a better build up to the breaking of the Pact.
This is already the second book this year that shows promise in the quality of the writing, but is let down by inexperience in the broader skills of the craft of writing. Hopefully Brown is just testing the waters and will furnish readers with a more protracted adventure as there isn’t much point to The Pact.