By John Phythyon
The first thing I noticed with this story is that the author is very concerned with setting things up. A bit too concerned in my opinion. I became increasingly aware as the story progressed that this was part of larger story. It was difficult to keep engaged at the beginning. I wouldn't expect a story so short to have that much exposition, but it is there, and it's more than necessary to keep the reader grounded in the story. Actually, it was a distraction for me to have everything explained twice. Fortunately, all that falls away once the action begins.
The characters weren't that fully developed, but they served their purpose. One character, though had my suspension of belief a-shaking. What person this age speaks this way? However, it could just be a by product of the world Wolf inhabits. I like the use of Wolf's Shadow powers, and while they were a bit convenient for getting him where he wanted to be, they were nice to see in action. The ability to become invisible in shadows must be very useful.
Overall, I liked the story; it was an easy read with a beginning, middle, and end. The pull of the story overcame the rough start and the confusion of some of the storytelling (for example, I couldn't tell at one part whether it was Wolf thinking). I may check out more adventures with Wolf Dasher (if only to learn if that's his real name).
Verdict: While not perfect, "The Darkline Protocol" has enough action to keep you entertained throughout, with a nice blend of fantasy and espionage.
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