One would argue that the most important ingredient for a great hero or heroine is a troubled past. A childhood loss, something that will shake them to their core and change the way they see the world. But a childhood trauma is also a key ingredient to create a fearful villain. This is what is shown in TO ENTER THE PATH.
Zendra is the Vendrix, an all-powerful being who can conjure any spells without the years-long training of a wizard. This means being possessed by a bloodlust demon, the Victus Lameit. But it also means wielding the only weapon that, if controlled correctly, will assist her in avenging the death of her loved ones. Accompanied by a wizard, his good-humoured warrior friend, and a (quite frankly useless) map keeper, the four of them trudged onto the Path of Fatality hoping to kill the powerful sorcerer who changed all their lives.
TO ENTER THE PATH, the first installment of a series, gives its reader something simple: an unlikely band of individuals journeying into the most dangerous place imaginable to do something near-impossible. All throughout the book, Stephanie Flores pens action-packed scenes that will make the reader cheer on for the group as well as humor-filled dialogues between the characters. But the pacing and how the book was laid out felt wonky.
The first half felt dragging. Some chapters were too long, and there seem to be some kind of pattern as to how each arc in the book folded out. Zendra and her group would run into trouble, and either Zendra saves the day with her almost inexhaustible power or the Victus Lameit comes in to kill whatever obstacle they face. This kind of pattern is very typical in an action-adventure YA series but one usually only finds a couple in every installment. More than that, it ends up feeling repetitive.
There’s also the problem of Zendra’s near-limitless power; it feels too perfect and does not give any room for further conflict in the story. You could always count on either Zendra or the Victus Lameit to save the day. There’s also the way the book ended with no clear resolution whatsoever. Rather, there were plenty of holes left uncovered.
Nevertheless, the book is an enjoyable read and a good start to a series. The wisecracks of the characters—Brevle and Wulard, especially—will bring a smile to your face and at the same time the unexpected end will leave you wondering what would happen next.
Filled with incredible fight scenes, cryptic characters and a few often useless yet lovable characters, this book is worth checking out if you love a good action-packed story and lots of mystery and questions.
The Rating3 Stars (out of 5): Pretty good. Sure, there were some issues, but it was still worth the read.
The Pros & ConsPros: Dialogue, Humor
Cons: Plot Sometimes Jumpy, Plotline, Starts slow