Official Review: Requiem, Changing Times by RJ Parker

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Kendra M Parker
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Official Review: Requiem, Changing Times by RJ Parker

Post by Kendra M Parker »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Requiem, Changing Times" by RJ Parker.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Most fantasy tales either take place wholly in another world or involve someone from the “real” world venturing into a fantasy environment. RJ Parker tries something a little bit different in Requiem, Changing Times by bringing the fantasy characters out of the fantasy world and into ours.

Clint Holden is your average seventh-grade boy, planning how to ask his crush to go to the Halloween dance with him. As part of a blended family, he struggles with his own identity, the loss of his birth father, and adapting to life with his new siblings and step-father. When an imp attacks Clint and his best friend on the way to school, Clint’s life suddenly becomes much more interesting. A special forces team from a fantasy realm appears to protect Clint and his family, informing Clint that he is the key to finding the Requiem. The leader of the team explains that the Requiem is a magical object that makes the difference in the battle between the “good” side, which wants freedom for all, and the Fury, which wants to rule the world. Life suddenly got much more interesting for Clint, his friends, and his family.

Parker’s creativity shines in the characters that he brings to life on the pages. Each of his characters brings personality to the story. Witty dialogue combined with outrageous actions from all of the characters makes for plenty of opportunities to laugh while reading. Parker also brought the humor of school life into the story with the interactions Clint has during his school days. As the Halloween dance approaches, Clint’s best friend also attempts to help him in his quest to secure a date, with hilarious results. I especially enjoyed the recurring episodes that detail how his best friend’s efforts forced Clint to deal with the school’s most popular girl instead of gaining the attention of the girl Clint really likes. All told, Parker’s creative storytelling produces an enjoyable read from cover to cover.

Unfortunately, Parker’s novel needs the assistance of an editor in several areas. While he tells the story very well, I think it could benefit from a few content cuts. Parker tends to follow the characters almost doggedly, causing the story to occasionally feel slightly tedious. He could have used chapter breaks to cut from one scene to another, but Parker’s chapters usually only separated one moment from the one immediately following. With some trimming of unnecessary elements, I think Parker’s work could become even more dramatic and exciting.

Another area that could use some assistance is technical and grammatical editing. Parker starts out well, but it is clear to me that his work needs the help of a quality editor. As the work progresses, more grammatical errors appeared. While these errors do not significantly impact the reader’s ability to enjoy the story, they are noticeable and should be remedied to help this novel reach its full potential.

While I would love to give Requiem, Changing Times a full score for creativity and humor, the editing truly does leave something to be desired. Therefore, I give Parker’s novel 3 out of 4 stars. Readers that enjoy fantasy novels, especially urban fantasy or children’s fantasy, are likely to enjoy this novel. I highly recommend this one to readers that enjoy a hefty dose of humor with their adventures.

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Cynthia_Oluchi
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Post by Cynthia_Oluchi »

The characters are well developed. If Paker employs the service If a better editor, this book will hit a dour star. Thanks for reviewing!

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AJ_Drenda
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Post by AJ_Drenda »

Thank you for your review. Let's hope the author and editor take your comments regarding editing on board.
If I may add in reference to the fantasy genre modes you mention below:
Most fantasy tales either take place wholly in another world or involve someone from the “real” world venturing into a fantasy environment. RJ Parker tries something a little bit different in Requiem, Changing Times by bringing the fantasy characters out of the fantasy world and into ours.
The modes that you mention, in which the fantastic enters the text, are definitely popular. But I think you might be talking about two different things: the setting of the novel and the way in which the fantastic enters the text. If a fantasy takes place in a whole different world, then we're talking secondary-world fantasy, like The Lord of the Rings or The Game of Thrones. If it takes place in 'our' world then we are dealing with a primary-world fantasy. The second question is how the fantastic enters the text. It looks like Parker has chosen the intrusion fantasy to tell his story, a mode used often in children's literature, and in American literature as such. The fantastic invades the reality that is accepted as 'normal' and stays. Having said that, you can have in intrusion fantasy in a secondary-world setting.
The Hobbit
is a good example of one. In case you would like to know more about these fun combinations, Rhetorics of Fantasy by Farah Mendlesohn deals with it in detail.

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Amberlily
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Post by Amberlily »

This book has an amazing concept. And I love the age at which the story is told, it isn't often that we get to read something in the eyes of a 7th grader! Just a bit of editing and it would be in good hands.

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NetMassimo
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Post by NetMassimo »

Probably I'm too old for this novel, but it seems a great choice for young people who like fantasy stories. Thank you for your informative review!
Ciao :)
Massimo

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Post by SunVixen »

"Another area that could use some assistance is technical and grammatical editing. Parker starts out well, but it is clear to me that his work needs the help of a quality editor. As the work progresses, more grammatical errors appeared. While these errors do not significantly impact the reader’s ability to enjoy the story, they are noticeable and should be remedied to help this novel reach its full potential."

Look like another good book with bad edition. Anyway, thank you for great review.

praise+anyi
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Post by praise+anyi »

I must say that Parker rolled out an interesting and a unique fantasy story. Even though fantasies aren't in my interest zone, the author is really an embodiment of creative ideas. I pray he finds a good editor that will help this work reach it's designated audience.

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Post by Nafreezy »

Despite the mentioned grammatical errors that may have made an enjoyable experience a bit exasperating the book overall sounds quite interesting. We almost always have earthlings venturing into alien worlds and not have the aliens cross over and carry out a storyline on our side. This is refreshing.

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