I’ve just finished my fourth book in my Self Pub book review tour, and I’ve come to an important conclusion: Amazon’s book finding system sucks. It really, really sucks. I have the Kindle Unlimited membership, and it seems like all they want to do is upsell me to other books not covered by the subscription. If Scribd had more Self Pub books on its roster, I’d switch back in a heartbeat.

Whew. Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s talk about the latest book. This one is The Pillar of Dominance (The Windore Series Book 1) by Valya Boutenko.

The Mile High Summary

A wizard lets his hormones turn him into Mr. Furious at just the wrong time and screws up the whole world. He inexplicably stays alive for a thousand years to become Yoda (without the riding on the back thing) to a young man named Warren just discovering his wizarding power. It’s up to the two of them, plus a mental patient named Nella, to put things right for the next 1,000 years by sticking their own stone in the newly appeared Pillar of Dominance.

Pictured: The Wizard on his hormonal rampage

My Thoughts

It’s probably just the books I’ve found so far, but it’s fascinating how these Self Pub books have unique ideas that are probably just a bit too weird for the traditional realm. The Pillar of Dominance is a magical column of light that controls the destiny of a world for a thousand years based on who puts in a stone. We’re not exactly talking a representative democracy here, but sure, why not. Certainly no weirder than some watery tart throwing a sword from a lake. Some specifics that left me wanting, though. For example, I understand some people make the world good and others make the world crappy, but I couldn’t quite connect why someone would want to make the world crappy. Or how the pillar managed to make the stone thrower dominate.

Maybe I’m wrong here, but it seems like it benefits everyone to have a nice green world instead of a wasteland world, no matter how much you can dominate the wasteland world. Even Hitler eventually gave up on the Russian tundra.

There’s also this Windore thing that wasn’t explored quite enough. It’s a portal between the world of magic and Discipline Daddy Pillars to our world, but we only got a glimpse at the connection. I wanted to see more of that. Considering “Windore” is in the series name, it probably is covered in Book 2.

As for the plot, it did some things very well. Like ending. I don’t mean that in a douchy way, either. Too many series have a hard time actually having a plot resolve before starting on the next arc (I’m looking at you, The 100), and I was worried this one was going to fall into that trap as I neared the end, but instead it wrapped up quite nicely, leaving open just enough of a window (windore?) for the series to continue.

The pacing mostly worked well, except for when I realized that the first 25% of the book was basically an extended prologue. We’re following one wizard, getting to know him and like him and understand his motivations. Then, boom, he pours out a Costco-sized can of suck on the world and we’re thrown forward a thousand years, following a new wizard. All that emotional attachment we developed was thrown out the windore.

All that intro wasn’t really even necessary, since the guy we end up following is likeable and well developed. If the prologue had been shrunk down to a few pages, then we could have got on to Warren and Nella and and Bloom in the World of Suck earlier and formed our Special Reader Bond with the people on the pages.

Those shortcoming notwithstanding, it a fun take on Young Adult fantasy. Nothing vastly new in terms of the magical realm, but fresh enough to keep things interesting.

Titillating Tropes

You know, honestly, although it had a fairly standard magical system, and clearly the whole screwed up master taking on an apprentice to redeem his mistakes isn’t new, it didn’t feel too, uh, tropy?

That can’t be a word. Whatever. Next!

Self Pub Setbacks

The editing was very, very clean. Probably the best I’ve seen yet. Some of the paragraphs were a bit too long for my liking, but that’s hardly a Self Pub thing.

Recommendation Level

If you’re looking for a YA Fantasy book that is fresh without trying something crazy new, you can certainly do much worse than this book. I enjoyed it. You probably will too. Grab a copy over here.

Disclaimer: I read this book on Kindle Unlimited without any coercion, including knives to my back, guns to my head, anonymous threats to my family written in cut out magazine letters, fear of public humiliation, fear of being forced to run for public office, or any hope of getting paid any money whatsoever except for whatever pennies I get through Google Adsense. If any of that changes in the future, I won’t update this disclaimer unless I also update my review.