So I've had a few days to digest Firewall: Ianto. My brain keeps reaching back to this book, as if my subconscious is giving me a kick in the ass. Somethings I feel differently:
1) I would give this a solid 3 stars, instead of the 2.5 stars. If I were to ignore the formatting issues (because not everyone is OCD like me), then I would give this a 3-3.5 stars.
2) I mentioned Ianto as being stupid/naive in certain situations. Now that I think about it, maybe I should make some distinctions. Ianto is an intelligent person, in the over all sense. His faith in God is unwavering despite the games he is put through. But despite all this, he is naive. But a lot of that has to do with the fact that he was brought up that way. When he has time to think, he makes some very valid and intelligent conclusions. However, because he was a difficult character for me to get into, it was easy to label Ianto as naive. But really, it's more complicated than that (which wasn't reflected in my earlier review). Perhaps after reading book 2, I will get to know Ianto a bit better.
3) To just clarify: this book is the beginning for both Ianto and Sam. These characters are introduced to us, and you'll see the budding of their relationship (which will likely be revealed in the sequel). I mentioned that this book is not a romance. Perhaps the best way to put it is that this is a science fiction story first and foremost, with romantic undertones (in which case the relationship between Ianto and Sam will be explored later).
2.5 stars rounded to 3.
So Children of the Great Reckoning is one of those books that has a great storyline. Very original with the right amount of complexity and depth that makes it a great science fiction. However, I felt like the storyline was the ONLY thing keeping me going, and possibly continuing on with the series. So what made the overall experience a 2.5-3 stars?
Ianto. The story is told from his POV. We learn about his past as a 10 year kid who witnessed his mother's suicide. His captivity and awakening at 15. His experience to become a monk. His adventures for months through a forest, and the horrors of being a pawn of a bigger game. Yet despite all these events, I could not understand him. At all. I couldn't BE Ianto, and his decisions really did not make sense. There were also moments when he would express great intellect, but fail to make some very simple observations - almost like the author made him be stupid/naive in circumstances that would be convenient for the story's progression. So basically, I didn't really feel like Ianto was a fleshed out, well developed character. The other characters (the "secondary" ones, though they all felt like that) weren't much better either.
Asides, from that, there were issues with proofreading that distracted from the reading. Misspellings and omitted words were enough to make me reread several sentences repeatedly. Also, the paragraphs were indented too far and was not anesthetically appealing in terms of formatting. The lack of a table of contents for a book with about 40 chapters did not help either.
So after all this, I still have to remind everyone that despite the flaws I have mentioned, this book really shined in terms of storyline. The execution may not be superb (and the constant mention of God x 1000 times became annoying), but I am still interested in pursuing this series. It is labeled M/M, but I would not call this a romance. The second book may have more potential, as Sam is brought into the picture moreso. If anything, this first book was really the beginning or an introduction for what feels like an even bigger story.