Review for Exiled (The Never Chronicles #1) by J.R. Wagner

Exiled by J R Wagner

TITLE: Exiled
SERIES: The Never Chronicles #1
AUTHOR: J R Wagner
PUBLISHER: Greenleaf Book Group
PAGES: 246 pages
SOURCE: NetGalley
RATING: 2 stars

Let me start off by saying that I really wanted to give this book 3 stars, but I just can’t. It was so bloody boring that it was nearly impossible to get through and even though the plot finally picks up in spots, it was too difficult to make it there for me to really have enjoyed it. I almost felt like I deserved a medal for making it to the half way point, much less beyond.

James is a sorcerer, maybe the best one ever, certainly one that has been prophesized about for centuries. With that in mind, you can imagine that James’ life was never normal, always expected to save the Faithful’s (aka the wizarding worlds) existence from the Epoch Termiuns, which is the beginning of the end for the Faithful. Beyond that, I can’t really say much because the whole plot is so drawn out that I don’t know what would be considered a spoiler and what wouldn’t.

I had two big problems with this book which is why this review is so late. I received a digital copy of this from the publisher sometime last year and tried to read it then but just couldn’t get into. Recently I have seen a ton of blogs doing “Review Copy Cleanups” and that kick started me to finish up all the eARCs/review copies I haven’t read yet, whether I am drawn in initially or not. With my renewed fervor, I set out to take this book out rather quickly and not let it set unread any longer. I promptly realized that this endeavor would be a bit arduous because my first issue is that the writing style is a little boring. Think about the beginning of the first Harry Potter book. No, not the bits where Dumbledore and McGonagall where dropping baby Harry off at the Dursleys doorstep, the rest of it. The following Mr Dursley around during his day job where weird shit keeps happening. The writing was all cut and dry and rather dull, right? That’s how most of this is written. I didn’t become particularly attached to the characters, I didn’t invest in their lives, and I certainly didn’t feel their emotions. I just felt rather bored. I will admit that I found the world of The Never fascinating, especially the bits on the Severed Heart, but it wasn’t enough to keep me dying to find out what happened next.

My other problem was all the flashbacks. Every other chapter was a flashback. Every. Single. One. It opens in “present” day then the next chapter is a flashback, then back to the present, then another flashback. The flashbacks aren’t even consecutive memories, just seemingly random bits of James’ past. In one flashback James is 5, then he is fourteen, then he is ten, and there is one that isn’t about James at all. Each flashback ends in a mini-cliffhanger-y fashion, but the subject is never touched on again! There is one where James’ mom goes to get him up one morning and he has run away and then end of chapter, back to present day.

And every chapter ending before going to flashback-land ends with a mini-cliffhanger. One minute James is dangling on a rope in the middle of a waterfall and then you have to read a whole chapter of boring, non-essential info before you are allowed to find out if he falls to his doom or not.

On a whole, I just can’t bring myself to really want to recommend this to anyone or read the sequel. I am vaguely curious as to what happens next because whole thing ends with a dreadful cliffhanger. I just found it too dull to truly love.

****Thank you to Greenleaf Book Group, for providing me with an eARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review****

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