The Bane of Yoto – Joshua Viola with Nicholas Karpuk- Part I THE BOOK REVIEW
I had the extreme pleasure of reading The Bane of Yoto. I have to admit I was like a kid at Christmas waiting for the newly released Limited Second Edition to hit my front porch. My first thought after seeing the cover and the size of the book….wow! As if it couldn’t get any better, when I cracked it open and saw the full color pictures in the back as well as the black and white pictures of each of the characters I was ecstatic! In addition to all of that, it includes 16 pages of Bloodmoon, the prequel to The Bane of Yoto. Now just let that digest for a minute. So far I’m super impressed, but does the story live up to the awesome cover and all the goodies contained in this limited second edition? The answer is a resounding hells yeah!
The characters have depth, some likable, some lovable (in their own way) and some you love to hate. Each of them has their own demons to overcome. Young Yoto sees his slave parents brutally murdered before his eyes. His older brother Eon becomes the leader of the rebellion while Yoto becomes a quiet Manager in the slave mines under Olokun rule. Yoto is content not to rock the boat even though his brother tries to get him to use his talented mind to help them overthrow the Olokun and take their lives back. On the Olokun side we have Cadoc the son of the current ruler, Vega. Cadoc has major daddy issues and is trying to take Vega’s job as ruler. Of course there are several other characters in the mix. The beautiful witch that Vega disfigures in order to teach her a lesson, Vega’s mom and dad are there, as well as Celeste. Her and Yoto had a ‘thing’ and at some point Yoto realized he still loved her. Is it too late for these two to make things work? Does Eon overthrow the Olokun and free the Numah from their years of slavery and abuse? Does Yoto grow into the man his father hoped he would be? And who the heck is the giant dude on the cover of the book? I could answer all of these questions for you, but it defeats the purpose of you actually reading it. I will say this…from cover to cover it’s an awesome book, it has perfect flow and kept me engaged from the first page. The details in the story are amazing, the world the author created jumps from the pages and no details were left out. When I say no details I’m talking about the font used for chapter numbers, the various pictures scattered through the text as well as the page break lines. Who looks at this stuff anyway? Apparently I do and I was so impressed, that I was compelled to download the audio version to see what the author did with is.
The Bane of Yoto – Joshua Viola with Nicholas Karpuk – Part II THE AUDIO BOOK REVIEW
Just as the story and the book didn’t disappoint, the audio was amazing. J.D. Hart and Deb Thomas did an awesome job bringing voices to these complex characters. In listening to the book I realized I had been pronouncing Cadoc’s name wrong the entire time I read the book. Celeste had a far more sensual voice then I had given her, and Yoto’s voice was just cool. Seriously, it was cool. There are a few well placed musical interludes and I must say that was a pleasant surprise. The music was done by Celldweller and added a little something extra to the audio book. I’ve listened to a lot of audio books over the years and this is one of the few that actually had male and female readers. Nothing is worse then listening to some old guy with a British accent try to sound like a teenage girl. Ew!
So if you aren’t getting what I’m saying…I’m saying do yourself a favor…if you like science fiction with some violence, some cool characters, an amazing, well thought out story and some cool character pictures, go read get this book. Did I mention there is also an app for that? Joshua Viola has a lot of irons in the fire and I expect to see more and more great things from him. You can check out his latest stuff on his website at http://www.joshuaviola.com. Did I mention he even has his own Yoto Beer? I haven’t had the opportunity to partake of this yet, but I think it’s in my future!