Borderlands Act 1 by Charles Gull
Charles Gull continues his series of loosely interrelated novellas centering on a war between the monster-fueled Realm of Chaos and humankind, with the war taking place on the Borderlands battlegrounds separating the two lands. These military fantasy stories each tell a different story, and so far, there are no characters that appear in multiple acts. As reader of each act, you gain a bigger perspective of the world at large, and a lot of what Gull does is interesting and commendable. However, this installment suffers in two distinct areas that left me unsettled and frustrated.
The book’s strongest point is the narrative first-person voice of Captain Doneir, who spends the story training his patrol harder and harder to try and achieve the highest ranked position. He’s a hypocrite, preaching that all his soldiers should care equally for each other, yet he’s secretly using them for his own selfish goals. He has daddy issues and wants to spite him while also trying to impress a girl. He’s a skilled leader but his motivations made me despise him. He was about to march scores of people to certain death out of sheer pride, and I was hoping he would get his comeuppance, or at least provide some arc resolution, but… the story just ends. And since I believe Gull does not plan to revisit any past POVs in future Acts, it was a frustrating finish. Perhaps we’ll revisit this story from another angle in the future, but as a standalone story, this comes up short.
Another aspect that left a sour taste in my mouth was the representation of women in the story. There were only two of them. Woman #1 is a barmaid who immediately eyes the Captain’s heavy purse, drops her neckline low, massages him, drugs him, and offers him sex, all while intoning she’s only after his money. Woman #2 is introduced completely naked, a willful sex slave to a lecherous relative, of which Gull spends five pages describing every pelvic angle or ‘elastic breasts’ or whatever the woman’s body was doing, before this pointlessly objectified sex toy scurries in bed and whines about wanting her man to hurry up so he can come keep her company. What was the point of this scene? Was it to show how lecherous this relative is for ‘owning’ this sex slave? If so, why are we subjected to five pages of inescapable play-by-play?
Gull writes with confidence; his trim and ordered prose echoes the military leads of his stories. The Borderlands setting is a fertile ground with many opportunities for exciting and powerful storytelling, but this novella misses the mark in a few important areas. Nonetheless, I get the sense that Gull has a larger goal in mind, so I’m hoping that these early Acts will eventually lead to something larger and more inclusive down the road.
This Borderlands Act 1 book review was written by Adam Weller
All reviews for Charles Gull's Borderlands
Borderlands Act 1
In the eternal battle against the Realm of Chaos, Captain Doneir’s discipline, ambition and trophy head count have brought him to the brink of legendary status....
Have you read Borderlands Act 1?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Borderlands Act 1 reader reviews
6.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a reader review for Borderlands Act 1 by Charles Gull; it really helps other readers find that perfect next read. Kindly enter your name, country and review below and click the 'Submit your review' button to send.
More recommended reading in this genre
A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen
Bled dry by interminable warfare, infighting and bloody confrontations with Lord Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, the vast, sprawling Malazan empire simmers with discont...
The Judging Eye
R Scott Bakker
The Three Seas are on the march under the leadership of Anasûrimbor Khellus. Khellus has spent these last twenty years conquering the various nations and forming the ...
Once Walked With Gods
The elves have fled to Calius, seeking to escape the overwhelming power of the demonic Garonin. A desperate last stand in their own dimension saved the race, at the cost of...
Chronicles of the Black Company
Darkness wars with darkness as the hard-bitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must. They bury their doubts with their dead. Then comes the prophec...
On the world of Kuf, the Macht are a mystery, a seldom-seen people of extraordinary ferocity and discipline whose prowess on the battlefield is the stuff of legend. For cen...
Shadow Ops series
Army Officer. Fugitive. Sorcerer. Across the country and in every nation, people are waking up with magical talents. Untrained and panicked, they summon storms, raise the d...
The Great Reawakening has left Latent people with a stark choice: either use their newfound magical powers in the service of the government, or choose the path of the Selfe...
The Divine Cities Trilogy
Robert Jackson Bennett
A special omnibus edition, collecting all three books of Robert Jackson Bennett’s acclaimed Divine Cities trilogy in a single volume. &nbs...
The Rigante Novels
Born in the storm that doomed his father, Connavar grows to manhood among the mist-covered mountains of Caer Druagh, where the Rigante tribe dwell in harmony with the land ...
Great books also published in 2019
A Brightness Long Ago
Guy Gavriel Kay
International bestselling author Guy Gavriel Kay's latest work is set in a world evoking early Renaissance Italy and offers an extraordinary cast of characters whose li...
The Raven Tower
For centuries the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by a god known as the Raven. But in their hour of need, the Raven speaks nothing to its people. It is into this unres...
The 10,000 Doors of January
Alix E Harrow
In the early 1900s, a young woman embarks on a fantastical journey of self-discovery after finding a mysterious book in this captivating and lyrical debut....
The Priory of the Orange Tree
A world divided.A queendom without an heir.An ancient enemy awakens.The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen S...
Meet Roger. Skilled with words, languages come easily to him. He instinctively understands how the world works through the power of story.Meet Dodger, his twin. Numb...
A Little Hatred
War. Politics. Revolution. The Age of Madness has arrived... The chimneys of industry rise over Adua and the world seethes with new opportunities. But old scores run deep a...
Beneath the Twisted Trees
Çeda was an elite warrior in service to the kings of Sharakhai. She has been an assassin in dark places. A weapon poised to strike from the shadows. A voice from the...
The Hod King
Thomas Senlin and his crew of outcasts have been separated, and now they must face the dangers of the labyrinthine tower on their own in this third book in the word...
Nona Grey’s story reaches its shattering conclusion in the third instalment of Book of the Ancestor.THEY CAME AGAINST HER AS A CHILD. NOW THEY FACE THE WOMAN....
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: