Review: Nate Temple Supernatural Series Books 1-3 (Boxset), Shayne Silvers

Pros: Total young male wish fulfillment fantasy
Cons: Total young male wish fulfillment fantasy
Rating: 2.5 out of 5

The Nate Temple Supernatural Thriller Series: Books 1-3 (The Nate Temple Supernatural Thriller Series Boxset), by Shayne Silvers… I don’t remember how I came across it, but I wish I remembered, because it hasn’t appealed to me all that much and I’d like to skip accidentally doing that again. It’s an unabashed young-adult-male wish-fulfillment fantasy set in a contemporary fantasy universe. All of the female characters kick ass, but they’re always happiest when making their men happy (save for one lesbian relationship, which still followed the same pattern). In case it matters to you, note that there is some sexually explicit material present. As I wrote in my notes: “Nate’s awfully misogynistic, and the quota of stunning sexpots is ridiculously high.”

In this set of three books, Nate and his friends start out trying to figure out who or what killed his parents. It’s certainly a good coming-of-age setup, which Nate badly needs. He’s the standard billion-dollar playboy vigilante/hero/whatever, except younger and apparently much less cunning.

This is one of the most over-the-top, purple prose-laden pieces of work I’ve read in a very, very long time. To me it read like someone who has a fair amount of talent but not much learned skill pouring his heart out on the page, which results in a series that sometimes I quite appreciated and at other times hated. Another pass by a copyeditor wouldn’t have gone amiss as well–particularly in Fairy Tale, which has more than the usual number of words that aren’t used correctly. The author could also stand to write out a meticulous timeline to make sure that everything happened when he said it did, and that he didn’t accidentally change his mind a few times.

The character does so many contradictory things. He wants to keep the police out of things, then baits them for fun. He also seems to be a prodigy at nearly everything. He’d be a male Mary Sue except for the fact that he does occasionally suffer the consequences of his actions. He can’t remember a thing, then two sentences later he remembers it as if he’d never forgotten in the first place. There are demons who leave Nate alive pretty much ‘just because’ which is the biggest “uh, I dunno” a writer can use. Someone grabs him by his bloody jacket just after he threw it away. There are a lot of mistakes like this throughout the series.

In book two, there are finally a few good quotes, although overall the dialogue was pretty terrible. Also, I think that when your new girlfriend threatens to chase you down and beat you up if you don’t tell her every last one of your secrets in three days, then maybe you shouldn’t go out with her.

The characters aren’t remotely balanced (any game master running this as an RPG would shake his head sadly at the lack of creative use of powers, as well as the distribution of them). For instance, Nate has near-cosmic power but can’t seem to use it to get money. Okay, fine, you can’t summon gold or whatever, but there are nigh-infinite ways of making money with the kind of power Nate has.

I’ve saved this upcoming quote because I think it will give you a good idea of whether you’d like the series. Enjoy the purple prose and weird narrative? Cool, march right ahead. Can’t take how the author approaches women and can’t enjoy the weirdness? Slide on past.

Ashley and Indie had several silent conversations with only their eyes. Tory and Misha jumped in on a few of these exchanges, learning the same information by estrogenic osmosis, and each of them silently proceeded to take care of the men, encouraging us, congratulating us …

I find it difficult to believe that the author has ever met a woman. Anyway, it probably now seems as though I should have given a lower score given how I feel about all of the above. But the truth is, there’s an awful lot of creativity in here. There’s plenty of exciting adventure. The author clearly has a lot of talent to work with, and I very much hope he’ll put some effort into acquiring the kind of skill that will hone that talent to a fantastic shine. I also hope he’ll learn that women are just people too, but we’ll see.

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