Sunday 22 August 2021

BOOK REVIEW: The Search for Synergy by Brett Salter

The Search for Synergy
Series: The Talisman
Author: Brett Salter
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy / Adventure
Publication Date: 31  May 2017

Book Description:
"The Search For Synergy" is the first book in The Talisman Series by author Brett Salter. It follows the exploits of two middle-school boys, Rome Lockheed and Julian Rider, as they transition from normal kids into epic warriors fighting for the existence of the Earth realm. Rome is secretly a fire dragon from the Den of Volcana placed under a spell which hides his true form. Julian is an oddball, up-and-coming knight with a case of the "try-hards". Together, they perform an ancient pact which bonds their lives and souls forever. Under the tutelage and guidance of an eccentric, local librarian, Mr. Jones, the two learn of an impending invasion from an archaic evil desperate to invade from the other side of The Void.

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This story centres around 13-year-old Rome Lockheed who isn't quite what he appears to be. After accidentally setting fire to his neighbour's tree and being spotted by Julian Rider, a fellow pupil from his school, Rome discovers that he's a fire dragon, placed under a spell to appear human, and Julian is his knight. After learning of an ancient dark force trying to break through The Void and invade Earth, Rome and Julian have to figure out how to achieve Synergy, a ritual that will bond them together to awaken their full power, enabling them to fight the dark forces.

This book was full of adventure and mystery. The story was straightforward and the characters likeable enough to leave an impression. I especially liked the relationship that developed between Rome and Julian. I enjoyed the banter between them. Right from their first interaction, you could tell that their bond would be strong, one of loyalty and admiration on both sides. I think it was the heart of the story for me, seeing how these two different characters complemented each other and worked together to overcome their adversaries. The dialogue and the characters' actions sometimes made them appear younger than they actually are, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it was just very noticeable. I would have liked other characters to stand out more as it's only Rome and Julian that captured my attention and kept me engaged.

I'm a sucker for Arthurian legend, so the connection to this story was fun to read. The battles were decent, I must say. The story went by rather quickly. I loved the action, but I would have liked a little more in the way of backstory of how certain things came to be rather than having something mentioned momentarily. I believed it would have helped more with character development.

Overall, an enjoyable story with a lot of action. With a good edit, I think it would do well among middle schoolers.


Rating: 3 Star
Source: Author

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