Wayfarers Highway by Peter Petrack

31952643A camper travels the back roads of America, but it is not what it seems. Pursued by powerful forces: a mastermind, a maniac, and a terrorist, its crew wonders if they’ll ever reach Journey’s end.

When Eloise Corwin – a longtime patient in her desert hometown’s infirmary – finds a wounded young traveler sharing her sick room; she insists that he tell her about his adventures. The young man, Orson Gregory, tells her how he found and stole a glowing gemstone, hidden for decades beneath the government-built factory beside his family farm. He tells her how he’s been chased ever since – by mercenaries, by terrorists, and by other, stranger enemies. He tells her how he threw in his lot with a real adventurer, a mythology professor, an innkeeper, and a duo of hired guns on a cross-country journey to clear his name and return home – something he’s currently failing to do. To reach safety, the motley travelers will first have to deal with each other, evade the foes that follow their every move, and tangle with other forces both strange and powerful, their fellow travelers on the Wayfarers Highway.

*I received a free copy of this book directly from the author in exchange for an honest review*

I was very intrigued to read this book because the blurb drew me in straight away with the mention of characters- a mythology prof, innkeeper, hired guns, etc… The hidden, glowing gemstone Opal is a straight giveaway we are dealing with some fantasy elements here, as well and being chased by terrorists and strange enemies would pick anyone’s fancy.

Orson, our MC is really just a regular guy (there’s nothing wrong using a regular guy for a change in a fantasy story) and his personal development throughout is truly solid from Wimp 2 Warrior (MMA, please don’t sue me for using your slogan!). He lives in Alabaster and locally he’s in the bad books (but I can’t even remember why, there was so much going on I forgot the beginning of the story!). His farm, including a factory, is bought off by rich Cyprus and Orson ends up snooping around in the factory close to midnight. He shouldn’t be there of course, and when the security appears, Orson finds himself in the tunnels beneath the building where he discovers the Opal, a powerful gemstone which in the wrong hands can do a lot of damage.

By having the Opal, Orson ends up on a months’ long adventure with many associates. He finds out there is more to life than what is visible to the eye. Some magic perhaps? When he meets Ophion who helps Orson escape a group called The Hierarchia, Orson realizes there is much more to the Opal, and the Blitzkrieg agenda is more powerful and reaches further than just some local rich guy business plans.

I’ll be quite direct and backward with this review because I am going to reveal my rating early on- 2** meaning it was an OK read for me.

So, what’s my problem with the book? Well, it didn’t truly pull me in until the very end with the action. At times I felt the writing was a bit mechanical, or clunky, i.e ‘he then did this. They went there.’- kind of thing. In the first half of the book there was some repetition of facts (especially the very beginning when Orson goes to the factory, it felt a bit drawn out). Then in parts I found myself congratulating the author for subtle ‘show, not tell’ aspects around the characters. For example, through the characters’ dialogue I was able to easily sense the mood- paranoia, flight or fight, fear, etc. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters which tells me this is a plot-driven book. Now, I know readers fall into two groups, so if you love a plot driven story- go for it. You’ll get plenty of action, plenty of characters and plenty of adventure with a touch of conspiracy and otherworldly!

I would have loved to have seen the author fully use the fantasy elements to their full potential in the book. Sirona being a fire elemental was all well and good, but what about all the other elementals- air, water, earth? Where did the powers come from, what could elementals do with their abilities? Yes, the Opal’s power was the centrepoint of the good versus evil but the fantasy aspect fell to background as the government and overly ambitions villains (yes, there are more than one, it’s complicated) play their own games in which our good guys are pawns for.

From my personal POV, I feel maybe there was too many chesspieces in the game. Long, complicated plots come with a risk of losing reader’s attention as happened to me and that’s my own fault, you may totally disagree with me. Other reviewers on Goodreads were able to enjoy this book to high ratings so I suggest you try it out to make up your own mind.Β  All that being said I totally acknowledge that every character, environment, adventure and scene from this book was used well in the story.

Amazon UK | USA

26 comments

  1. Clunky writing can be rather annoying at times and it’s always a shame when a book doesn’t pull you into until the end.

    Sounds like it could have been a good read, especially if the fantasy elements had been used better and more explored to.

    Great review as always. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Drew… πŸ™‚
      Maybe I am biased because I like fantasy and would always expect more of the elements of fantasy being explored… at the same time, others who are not that into fantasy will enjoy that the fantasy isn’t the main factor here.. I don’t know… I still don’t know why this book didn’t work for me.. just a feeling during and after reading.. just did not pull me in completely! Oh well… πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bleh!! Awesome review! Sometimes the writing style can totally kill a book. Also, it sucks when you know there’s potential and the author doesn’t use it (Ex: when you mentioned the fantasy elements). Hope your next read is worth it =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! πŸ™‚ I hope I didn’t sound too mean… I couldn’t lie about liking the book even if I tried but it wasn’t totally bad either.. just some things didn’t work out…

      Rousey, hey?! Will definitely be interesting… I am on the fence about her at the moment… There’s a slight contradiction to what she sayd about her career… she says fighting is the most important, then she turns around and says- hey my work here is done, women are in the UFC, I just want a house in the woods and have babies… and I’m like- huh? πŸ˜€ Also, I wasn’t all that entirely impressed by that first staredown she had with Nunez where she just stormed off with a big massive pouty face like someone had kicked her in the nuts… that didn;t work in her favor I think… what do you think? πŸ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

      • No, I don’t think you did. I might not be the best person to ask. Lol πŸ™ˆ Yeah, I’m not so sure about her anymore. I think she was always too focused on movies and everything other than fighting once she became famous. If she wanted to be the best in the world she should’ve left that bum trainer of hers and found someone better. Her striking and blocking is awful. She always has that look on her face. lol I guess it’s her mean fighter face. πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 2 people

          • So true. I also think she relied too much on her Judo and not enough on striking. I swear she thinks her face is a punch mitt. I’m always screaming at the TV for her to put her hands up. It’s crazy. How about a simple bob and weave…anything? She’s all ground game and to me that doesn’t make her this amazing fighter. I used to get so mad when Joe Rogan would say she’s the best fighter ever and I was like, Um, no! He was definitely drinking the CoolAid. πŸ˜‚

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yeah, agree with you guys… It has looked like a bit of a ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’ with her… In all honesty, her ‘fight talk’ doesn’t convince me that she actually believes it herself and I so look forward to the fight because Nunes has a proper fair chance at winning. Nunes looked fierce in her last fight… but we shall see… any fight can surprise πŸ™‚
              Ha, Joe Rogan and CoolAid.. we all know what his CoolAid is! πŸ˜€

              Did you happen to see Emil Meek’s debut fight with UFC a week or so ago? Was alright fight, but he did this proper ‘lift the guy and drop him’ with the craziest smile on his face! Talk about eyecandy, and he fricking knows it too! πŸ˜€

              Liked by 1 person

              • Yeah, I’m looking forward to the fight. I want to see how she handles this one. She needs to chill out and focus. She’s always like a dog running out of a cage. πŸ˜‚
                No, I didn’t see that fight. Eye candy, you say? Damn I can’t believe I missed it then. Lyoto Machida is my favorite eye candy. 😍 I call him sexy karate man. ❀ I haven’t watched any fights since I moved to Florida. I was planning to buy Ronda’s though. I feel so out of touch. I’m a picky UFC buyer. I wanted to buy the McGregor fight and totally spaced out when I got here. I want Bones to start fighting again. And of course, Silvia is the reason I started watching the sport. Old or not I love him.

                Liked by 1 person

                  • Haha! I love me some Machida. That’s my sexy karate dude. πŸ‘ Weidman is even cute but I hate him and his crap personality. And I hate what he did to my Silva. No, the inspiration for Luca was my love, Vincent Piazza, the actor that played Lucky Luciano on Boardwalk Empire. I love him. 😍 The fraternity part of Luca is based on my friend in college who was the president of the Delta Sigma fraternity. He had this awesome room slightly similar to the one I describe in the book. He let my friends and me hangout there so we didn’t have to chill with all the ass gropers downstairs. Lol I had the VIP treatment at this fraternity, so I thought Izzie should have the same. It’s nice to know the Prez! πŸ‘

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • You know what? we would make great wingmand for each other because our taste in men is totally different πŸ˜€ hahaha… alas… I can only wing you now as I have hubby here but… you have an interesting taste πŸ™‚

                      Hehe πŸ™‚ Knowing the Prez always comes with benefits… I don’t even know if we have that whole fraternity thing in Estonia… I haven’t heard of it anyway… then again, I didn;t go to Uni… I must check it out … it seems like the fraternity etc things is unique to America?!

                      Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent review!! πŸ˜› I swear, I was quite hyped when I read the blurb as well. But then everything went downhill from there. I do hate clunky writing + when author’s don’t do more “show, don’t tell” through their writing. At the end of the review, it really felt like the author got 40% of their idea on paper and didn’t manage to go… for a 100.

    – Lashaan

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you… ! πŸ™‚ I think in terms of plot the author managed the 100% but I felt disconnected from the characters, and I love me some character driven stories… There were readers who really enjoyed this read, and I guess that’s a brilliant example of tastes differ πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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