Book Review: Chimera


by Jacob Madkiff

Series: The Chimera Chronicles, Book 1

2012. 336 pages.

Genre: Supernatural

3.5 out of 5 stars (story)

1.5 out of 5 stars (editing)

Final Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars



Kyle Evans’ life had been one tragedy after another. No hope, no love, no one to count or lean on. Only himself, until Valentine walked into his life. She gave him love, hope, and someone to give his heart to. When she died in his arms, murdered, his whole life collapsed and he was changed into something else by her blood.

Her death was the light that showed Kyle that he was not normal, not human. Thanks to the blood of his beloved his eyes were opened to the darker side of the world in which we live, one populated by vampires, lycans, and witches. A world that does not follow the rules of civilized man but of survival of the fittest, where only the most cunning and savage survive.

Now, Kyle is on the hunt for her murderer, Merlin. Not the great Wizard of legend, but a murderer to transcend centuries, killing to prolong his own life and increase his already great powers. All those who help Kyle tell him that he is doomed. Maybe he is, but as long as he ends Merlin’s reign, does he really care?

First Sentence:

The leaves had just begun to turn with the coming of autumn and the path had only its first dusting of leaves to signify the need for a sweater along with the brisk air.

My Thoughts:

Editing: I feel I’m being a bit unfair with my rating since it’s based more on the poor editing than the actual story.  I found a signed copy on the shelves of 2nd and Charles, picked it up totally at random and thought the title sounded cool.  Because it’s a personalized signed copy (which obviously didn’t mean crap to the guy it was signed for since he traded it in), I am assuming it was probably a first print, because it reads like a first draft.  Misspellings everywhere, punctuation and word errors galore! Such is the burden of a self-publisher; you have no professional editor picking through your work and it’s amazingly difficult to catch mistakes in your own writing when your brain is already telling you how it is supposed to read verses how it actually reads.

I almost had to put it down after the first two chapters beacause it was irritating me, but I pressed forward because the story itself seemed intersting.  Luckily, the chapters that follow the first two were not so riddled with error that it was unbearable.  I won’t lie.  I was tempted to take a red pen to it a few times.  After comparing it to the Kindle version, I can see that the story has since been updated and it reads a lot more smoothly, so don’t let the bad editing from my personal reading experience scare you away!

Story:  The story itself was great!  In fact, had it not been for the Madkiff’s storytelling skill, there is no way I could have made it past the first two chapters of bad editing.  Despite the errors, I was able to push forward with great interest to find out what happened next, and after completing the story (as well as the extra short story, Son of Sam), I decided that I would like to add Book 2, King of Arcadia, to my reading list.

Chimera takes place in the modern day world where witches, vampires and lycans (werewolfs) live alongside the rest of us while keeping their true natures confined to the laws of their own system.  Madkiff offers his own unique take on all three of the world’s most beloved fantasy creatures and creates his own special hybrid, known as a chimera.  The story was paced well, descriptive, well organized and the characters were well developed and fun!  The action scenes are great and there are plenty of them, as well as the more laid back moments that builds the character relationships.

Overall, I enjoyed Chimera and look forward to learning more about the Chimera world.  I only hope that the next book contains less distracting errors; which I’m sure it will!

Favorite Quotes:

I thought that love was just that surreal.  Nonexistent. A myth written of a thousand times but never once witnessed.

But, even love is only as strong as the person’s heart and a heart afterall is quite a fragile thing.  Easily broken and even more easily destroyed.

I also understood why vamps would try to dehumanize them to where they thought of them as nothing more than cattle.  Don’t get attached and you don’t feel sorry for the food.  That and not caring what happened to them stopped the population of vampires from going through the roof.



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