January 20, 2015

Everville: The First Pillar by Roy Huff

Mr. Roy Huff sent me this copy through Good Reads First Reads! It's a pleasure to read the first book of the Everville series entitled The First Pillar.  This is a YA Fantasy book published on April 1, 2013. It all started with the protagonist, Owen Sage, being a freshman in college. During his first days in college he was slowly experiencing weird things as he was crossing, at random times, into a different dimension named Everville. It is fairly an easy read though some paragraphs are too descriptive which I think does not need more explanations. The story got me hooked from the start because I liked how it drew me in apart from the story itself but into the different dimension created as part of the story.

As for the characters, Owen and The Keeper, I can't see any character development although I did not really expect for it since this is the first book of the series and there are too many descriptive paragraphs explaining things apart from the character themselves. However, Owen started to understand some things in the other dimension: Everville that I think what makes the story interesting so far.

What's unique about this book from other Fantasy books I have read is that the setting can be confusing. The characters move from one setting to another: normal world and the other dimension: Everville. As far as I can remember, there was no problem in the writing in terms of shifting from one setting to another and vice versa. At the same time, this book is too descriptive that I had no problem visualizing the story. That is probably why I had no problem with regards to moving from two entirely different worlds.

Owen Sage's character is interesting in terms of his experiences that were put into words and phrases that somehow I can relate to. The story is great as a start of a series. It is very interesting and as one of the reviews says it is a combination of Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, and The Lord of The Rings.

Here are some of the quotes I can relate to:

"I should warn you, though, that even good intentions could lead to unintended consequences. As you gain more awareness and control, you should not lose focus of your end goal. Otherwise, it can lead to over-confidence and even corruption. [...] That's why it's important to stay connected with those close to you who share your principle values. They can help ground you and stay focused, even from a great distance."

"I knew life was not perfectly simple and luck was involved, but it was undeniable that hard work paid dividends and being lazy was not generally a good idea. I also believed that having hope and a general sense of optimism made one more likely to be aware of opportunities and take advantage of those opportunities when they existed. After all, a serial pessimist would have no reason to take a risk if he thought failure was the likely outcome."

"You see! If you come in contact with great power, you must not be overwhelmed by it. The secret to controlling great power is the same secret that you must apply in your daily life when you are faced with great challenges. You must calm yourself and quiet your mind. Learn to filter the distractions and focus on the key elements that really matter."

"The answer you seek lies in learning to combine the power of reason with the passion of emotion. If you let reason alone control your choices, you lose the power of intuition. If you let emotion control your choices, you will be a slave to every minor tragedy."

"The only thing that could be done now is to stay focused on the task at hand and try not to get distracted by the utter grandiosity of the moment."

"One of the foundations of truth in the universe is that courage is required of any truly great species, and not just any courage. A lust for death and a willingness to die does not constitute courage. Courage is when you are willing to sacrifice your short-term desires for a greater purpose. Courage is when you are willing to live and endure suffering to achieve a greater end."

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