Today we have a recent novel by Geoffrey Storm, Progeny of Gods: Vertuem Destiny.
The plot centers around 19-year-old Greyson Wight who has traveled to the Kingdom of Viaeden to join the military. This is a land where trees grow to be miles tall and whole cities are built on their branches. Greyson, along with best friend Tay, have dreams of serving their kingdom aboard "bark ships" which are airships made of wood from these trees.
But on their first mission, things go horribly wrong. Under Greyson's orders, a fallen angel named Stiqula--who previously terrorized the kingdom decades ago--is accidentally released from his tree prison. Viaeden's king Huey, already paranoid, is now furious and orders Stiqula to be dealt with immediately--or else! But Stiqula's on a mission to free Refsiel, the lord of darkness, and unfortunately for the citizens of Viaeden, this requires much carnage and bloodshed. Many souls must be offered up to Refsiel before Stiqula can get what he wants, and he wastes no time getting to work.
To end this nightmare, Greyson and Tay are given their own ship to hunt down Stiqula, but Greyson must first come to terms with his status as a vertui, a green-eyed human of murky origins whose destiny it may just be to save the world. But vertui are viewed with (sometimes homicidal) disdain, and many people outright hate them. Can Greyson step up to save the day, or will the world's superstitions (and Stiqula's incredible power) be the end of all mankind?
I had a good time with Progeny of Gods. It has riveting action scenes, clever sci-fi tropes and good character development for Greyson. The author does a good job of exploring his struggle with his own darkness and his search for redemption for the many deaths he feels responsible for (which he's not even sure he deserves). You can easily root for this protagonist.
However, a few issues bring down the experience. The first is the author's choppy writing style; sentences start and stop abruptly, and it breaks the flow of the narrative. It comes off as amateurish.
The second issue is the immature dialogue. Character's repeatedly say "gunna" instead of "gonna," and Greyson and Tay's bromance gets annoying as they banter. Tay's not a particularly likable character to begin with, so I really didn't a crap about his relationship with Greyson.
Still, these issues don't hurt the novel too much--they're just mildly annoying. Give Progeny of Gods a try and you might just find a good read.