this rant I did quite a while ago and honestly, it led me to one misadventure to another.
now that things have stabilized, I stand by most of it still.
Oh where to begin.
When I first picked up the book, my first response was "wow, great cover." As I read further, I began to notice it was pretty much the best part of the book.
The book was less a world book, as it was a book about the four horsemen of apocalypse and erin tarn's adventures in the world, with a few mediocre pieces of world information tacked on. The horsemen are a great device of destruction, but one thing is needed before you destroy a world. Namely you have to build it up first. If there is no emotional attachment to the characters, culture and continent, no one going to give a flying fudge that they are being destroyed by these powerful creatures, even if the world is at stake.
It would have been better to begin with the people, cultures and civilizations, got the movers and shakers of the continent, make the reader enjoy it. When he realizes that these people have faces, and exist in a way other then a people in a bunch of huts, rubbing their bellies and pointing to a large pot, they become a part of the reader's imagination.
Then when the horseman are summoned, they become victims that we see and understand, and become willing to come from as far away as North America help them.
My second point is a variation on the first. The information presented in the book was very idealistic and sounded like it was presented in the 19th Century instead of the 20th century. Native cultures are presented as primitive, but peaceful people who only use magic against supernatural creatures.
What a bunch of horse manure.
Even today, people who believe in magic can be just as petty as anyone else and may commonly associate with a witch or witch doctor (which, contrary to Kev's beliefs, is not always considered an insult), to put curses or insults on one's enemies (as long as they don't perform them themselves). Furthermore, witchcraft was commonly used as an excuse to ostracized or kill people who went against the rules of the society, even if they had no talent for magic. As for peaceful survivalists, they consist of many cultures that practiced female circumcision, extremely bloody wars (even before whitey showed up), slavery, cannibalism and other disgusting practices.
Peaceful, yeah right.
Then explain to me why the African continent is one of the most war torn areas in the world.
Thirdly, many of the O.C.C.s and R.C.C.s should have been listed in other books and were not specifically African related. For example, the necromancer should have waited till federation of magic and the Mind Bleeder (a really cool R.C.C.) should have been listed in other books. What R.C.C.s that were listed were based on the above assumption that I listed as my second point and were based on primarily Maryann's trip to the Serengeti. But they didn't even list out a generic tribesman warrior template (such as a Masai moran). For the Rainmaker, they saw that they could use air and water spells, but don't specify whether this includes warlock spells. Plus, he failed to play up on many myths and legends after announcing that they consider this place "the coming of the spirits."
Fourthly, the book was extremely limited in new creatures and monsters of the African continent. It felt like a dumping ground for Rifts Conversion.
To be fair, it listed a few monsters, but it was extremely incomplete and should have gone into more detail about its spirits, after hinting at them (and after doing a little research, there are a few).
Fifthly, the Egyptians gods, while cool, could have waited till either Conversions 2 or Dragons and gods to free up space for more world information.
Sixthly, there were missing the experience tables and the tree people stats (which was a real pain in the ass until they finally released the errata on the internet).
Seventhly, as of the 21st century, the continent is extremely war torn and you think its development in the golden age would reflect this.
Which means there should be surplus military machines (even if there are only S.D.C.) waiting around for the taking, even 200 years later. That is if somebody hadn't gotten there first. Plus, even if the tech is down, most of these people would congregate into large population bases, especially if the Phoenix Empire reach isn't nearly as big as they would like (although they are, power wise, the C.S. of Africa).
Eighthly, what would be the incentive of anybody outside the continent going to it, outside of saving the world. Remember, that south Africa has some of the deepest mines in the world and would be an excellent place for an old fashion dungeon
I think that pretty much sums it up.