Nicole’s Goodreads Review – 4/5!

“This book took me by surprise!

It took me a bit to get into this book but once I started I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The world was very well developed and I enjoyed the main character Pious a lot. The main plot point, once it became obvious to me, really captured me and took me in. It’s the type of book that I couldn’t wait to see what happened at the end and I’m glad I read it. It’s been a while since I’ve read a fantasy novel like this, and I would definitely recommend.”

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Katherine Parsons’s Goodreads Review – 4/5!

“Pious is a brilliant character, in equal parts heroic and mysterious, determined and frustrated. His lack of consistent memory forms a very interesting part of the book, as he becomes a character who is not only seeking the truth of the world around him, but also of his own part in it. This journey of self-discovery is excellently written by Chapman.

The world of this story is also well created. Many aspects of it can be likened to similar fantasy stories–as with many books of this genre, it owes much to the books and authors who have come before it. However, I didn’t feel that this detracted from the world-building and atmosphere of the book, as it is still an immersive and creative world. Overall, a great book, and will appeal to mystery and fantasy fans alike. I look forward to reading the next of the series.”

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Caitlyn’s Goodreads Review – 3/5!

“A long time ago in a galaxy far far away …”. The iconic opening lines of Star Wars could just as easily serve as an introduction to this book. The mix of references to other planets, interaction of species on an equal level, dramatic battle scene, and vaguely medieval world structure make this story seem like a fantastical mashup of Star Wars and Game of Thrones. An entertaining fantasy story in the truest sense, this book is filled with interesting characters and exciting details. One critique, however, as with many fantasy tales, the reader is plunged into an unfamiliar world with several references to places or personal titles that perhaps are difficult for the reader to keep track of or understand to what these titles refer. This book does provide a glossary, but it might have been more helpful placed at the beginning of the book instead of the end, along with a detailed character glossary.”

Click here for full review!’s Goodreads Review – 3/5!

“It takes quite a long time for the relevance of the first chapter (hunter versus beast) to be made clear. At first, I wasn’t sure if the story was part of Pious’ injury induced hallucinations or if he was simply remembering something he forgot earlier. His later conversation with one of the monsters he’s fighting indicates it’s a memory. The whole chapter amused me but didn’t seem to fit in with the rest of the story for a long time. After all, this novel mostly chronicles the adventures of Pious, a professional soldier whose suffering some mental problems as the result of earlier events. He starts out investigating some odd things that are going on in his hometown prior to the start of a local festival. The situation quickly escalates into something more.

This book has some good points, including the characters and their well-developed world. It’s nonetheless hard to follow at times because of all the different concepts (religions, military orders, time frames, castes, traditional practices, and so forth) that pop up without much explanation. There is an extensive index in the back, which certainly helps, but it still gets to a point that it’s overwhelming. Exhumation reads like the second or third book in a series, where there’s plenty of stuff the readers doesn’t know about simply because they came in late to the party. However, as the first book in the series, it could use some prologue information or something so that you don’t spend the whole book trying to sort things out in your mind rather than enjoying the story.”

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Heath Banyai’s Goodreads Review – 5/5!

“As a previous review said, this book takes a while to get into. Simon Chapman spends the first quarter or so of the book doing some fairly heavy exposition and world building. Every page contains a simply huge amount of new terms, social orders, social classes, units of measurement, historical events, fauna, flora, minerals etc that it takes a while for the story to get rolling.

But stick with it. Once the initial expositionary stuff is out the way, the story really gets moving fast. Chapman has created a great fantasy world and the books early set-up is evidence of the care and though he has put into populating his world. 

When things do kick into gear, the action comes thick and fast, and there are a number of great set-piece action sequences and fight scenes.

Hopefully this is the start of a great new fantasy series, I look forward to reading more. As it is, it’s a really enjoyable debut work.”

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Tanya’s Goodreads Review – 3/5!

“The book is difficult to get sucked in to due to the fact that the author spends a large amount of time focused on world building instead of having us connect to the characters, or at least integrating the two. The book also felt like a set up for future books and that’s not the way books are supposed to be. They should all have their own plots that are wrapped up but subplots can carry out and become main plots. Also, the amount of new words and history of the world is completely distracting and feels more like a history class than a fantasy book you can get lost in. 

But once if you stick through and force your way into the latter part of the book then you won’t be disappointed. The characters are fun and interesting and you are easily able to invest in them. This should’ve been done right away. This would hook and make the book much more enjoyable. But while the world building is very distracting, the author is very dedicated and his words are beautiful.”

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