Written by Sanford Begley
I hesitated to do this review. I like William Lehman and wanted to do a jump up and down happy review. I can’t quite do that. I can give a positive review and will.
We will start with the best part of the book, Harvest of Evil, which in my opinion is the solid knowledge behind almost every aspect. Lehman wrote from what he knows, from the Navy to police operations, to the Pacific Northwest to the S.C.A . He obviously knows what he is talking about and it shows. His writing is crisp, clear, and very “readable”. You can easily follow all the little strands of information in the book right back to the source and they ring true.
Since I was taught say something good, tell the bad part, say something good, we’ll get to the bad part now. He gives his protagonist too much. His character in the book starts as a Navy Seal, retired into police work, Federal police work. Then he adds were-cougar. Then he adds Berserker, then he adds magical ability, then he makes him a priest of Tyr with a direct connection with the god. Add in the Uncle who is the High Priest of Thor and a Guardian of Asgard and you see where I consider it a bit much, even without a few other things he gains along the way.
Save for that problem, which is probably due to being a new writer and wanting to set up the whole world he has had in his head it is a very good book. The hero is heroic, and he screws up from time to time. The heroine is charming and a power in her own right. The family troubles ring true, and most of the ancillary characters do as well. The writing itself is a pleasure to read and the conclusion bittersweet and full of hope.
I hope to see more of William Lehman’s books in the future and will be happy to watch where he goes from here. Altogether a solid debut novel and a good foundation for a long and enjoyable career.
2 thoughts on “Curmudgeon Review: Harvest of Evil”
Taking the bad part of the review under consideration, other writers have had larger than life characters. E. E. “Doc” Smith exemplified the qualities of his characters (as was pointed out by no less than Robert Heinlein) and John Ringo based his character of Dr William Weaver on a later collaborator of his.
I’ve found that quite often people are more than their evident parts.
Oh, I didn’t mean you shouldn’t read it, and buy the sequel. Simply that it does have issues and an honest review points out flaws as well as virtues.
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