No Deadly Thing (Twisted Tree) - Tiger Gray There is just too much of this book to summarise – Ashrinn, an ex-special forces soldier returns, injured from Iraq and discovers a whole new magical world, powers he never imagined, his own personal connection to the divine and, above all, a purpose. A purpose to save not just his home, not even just the magical community – but the entire world. And in the process find his own personal family life shook to the core.That is such a brief and pared down summary of the vastness that happens in this bookThis book has some of the best characters you could hope to meet; even side characters have a sense of history and personality just waiting to be discovered. Even side characters banter off each other well. It has an amazing level of diversity with GBLT people, POC and disabled people. Each of these characters has the foundation of some truly excellent development to them. Their interactions promise lots of real connection and development.The world is rich with many layers and powers and I long to delve into it an examine every corner. We have different organisations, a myriad of powers and forces for me to explore and discover.The protagonist is someone I can really get behind, with poignant experiences, considerable competences and a lot of personal growth and revelationsThe story promises to be exciting and action packed, with close emotional dramas, epic conflicts and world balancing feats that is interspaced by personal revelation and discoveryThis book has every element of being awesome. This book has all the ingredients of being one of the best books I ever read. This book not only has every sign of being a 5 star book – but it has every sign of being one of those books I can’t stop reading, a series I follow with an almost fanatical religious devotion and adore to a level that is frankly creepy in its excessiveness.I cannot understate the incredible core of this book. I cannot understate how utterly and unbelievably amazing this book could have been.Could have been.So much potential – but it was badly let down by the execution.It’s very overwritten. There were huge sections of the book I was tempted to skim because they were overly descriptive, they gave background or side information that wasn’t useful, snippets of world insight that add too nothing and endless, endless pages of internal monologue that is repetitive and often goes nowhere except to reconfirm the same issues we have already seen over and over. I know Ashrinn’s issues, Liu’s issues, Mal’s issues – but we rejoin their headspace for long long chapters of little happening but following their thoughts as they cycle round the same issues again.I think there’s a real attempt to truly establish these characters and the theme and atmosphere, but it loses me in a lot of really heavy text I could skip over.Worse than being overwritten, this book felt like several books squished together:Book 1: Ashrinn has his awakening moment, comes home and is introduced to the supernatural by Randolph, training in what that means, what he can do, what is out there and what Randolph wants to achieve with the OrderBook 2: Ashrinn, member of the Order starts to get things into shape, organising the order, fitting into his new life, some relationship issues with family and friends.Book 3: Opening up to non-paladins/mages. Establishing and training Storm, getting the unit to work together, dealing with any issues between members and making them an effective, elite team.Book 4: Battling the Cult, escalation, fighting the cult, cult avatar sets up, beginning of the warBook 5: All out war, world in chaos, humanity learns about magical things – panic, death, government breaks down, human-only zones, anti-magic backlashRead More