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The Two Doctors Review

The Two Doctors Review analyzes books and board games of all shapes and sizes. We’re fair yet critical, though we believe value rests in every story told and every game designed. Feel free to reach out to us for a review!

The Ocean Road: A Fanciful Tale

The Ocean Road: A Fanciful Tale

            Sonny Collins’ The Ocean Road is a relatively light tale filled with all the hallmarks of a good fantasy story: monsters, heroes, princesses, villains, and, of course, a glowing mythical stone that holds the key to saving the world. Collins’ work is very accessible, geared toward young adults, and could inspire readers of all ages to enjoy letting their mind untether from reality and float in the ether of fantasy for a while.

            Yet aspects of The Ocean Road, chief among them pacing and theming, left me both smiling and frowning. While it is clear some themes/characters arcs are ubiquitous within fantasy storytelling, I fell asleep to the dulcet tones of a hero, a warrior, a cook (turned bride), and the fallen outsider. (This also ignores the Wizard too, who seems to be a clone of famous fantasy wizards like Gandalf). Now, as this is not my first rodeo with fantasy and I can respect the nature of the genre, I was disappointed by the lack of development surrounding a good number of the characters and would have liked to see more, particularly for Rose and the main villain. With more development, I would have understood the underlying motivations for some actions within the work. Further, the main character Ecart seemed to be an exact clone of Bobby Pendragon from the Pendragon series. Ecart’s narration was well-written (and I did enjoy it overall), yet more world-building outside of the generous number of asides would have been appreciated.

            This is not to ignore the fact that the journey down the Ocean Road filled me with a sense of wonder, fulfilment, and interest for more (especially a sequel!). I remembered what makes fantasy novels great: the travels along the way. And Collins does this well. If you’re reading this please don’t misconstrue my review; I did enjoy the book. I felt as though more plot and character development would send it into the upper echelon or, as it were, get it over the 2nd bridge.

 

Writing: 6.5/10. The work was accessible and writing was clear, if not derivative at points.

Characters: 6/10. The characters were believable, but more development wanted.

Plot: 6.5/10. Straightforward, but could use some more development.

Setting: 6/10. I like the world and want to hear more about it, but could definitely use more.

Overall: 6.25/10. Congrats on a good three-star review. Good job, Sonny Collins!

You can buy Sonny Collins’ The Ocean Road in paperback, audiobook, and Kindle here!

Brian TimmComment