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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2010
Wow, what a surprise. "Mauria" by Steve North rocked me big time. The story grabbed me from the beginning, and then I white-knuckled it straight through the rest of it in one night! I must admit, it took me a few chapters to completely follow the lingo, but then I felt like I was a part of the world. Also, I kind of suspected where the plot was going, but how it got there was really surprising.
The story - without doing a spoiler - takes place before we existed, and makes a pretty cool case that we descended from the two races in the book - the Maurians and the Vuervee (that's plural for "Vuerve" in the book's lingo). The Vuervee are kind of like the creatures in "Avatar" except they're a little more animal-hippie like, they even have colored hair on different parts of their bodies. The Maurians are big fat misfits who need tubes to breathe - (the book isn't totally clear on how they evolved into this dilemma, except it's obvious they used a primitive science to genetically screw themselves.
The Maurians are grand manipulators, and are really into the whole business thing - and here is where it has so many relevancies to today's corporate issues. They've tried to stamp out messy things like emotions and sex. One of the big shocks of the book is that the Maurians hunt and eat the Vuervee (that's not a spoiler, since you find that out on page one).
The Bordt character is a classic scum who rises, and most of the other characters were well-developed in both civilizations.
The Vuervee are the organic side of the equation - and are pretty amazing to try and picture. I would have liked the book to illustrate what they looked like, maybe on the cover or something. How animal-like are they? Or are they human form with touches of animal hair? The author wasn't as descriptive about this as he could have been. (That's why I give it a 4 out of 5). This story would make a great movie, then the director would have to make these choices. Also, a map would have helped, so the reader could really visualize this world a bit better. It is a complicated story and these aids would have helped.
That's also a strength of North's Mauria though, a really complex set of characters and plot-lines which really do come together in a mind-blowing way. I'm not usually this surprised at the end of a book.
Anyway, it's a great read - and a quite an achievement, especially since the book's bio says it is North's first novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2011
Overall Feedback: At first this was hard to get into as I had to get used to the language and it uses. Once I was able to find the pattern of speach and get a basic understanding of the uses of wording it became a pageturner. As a first novel this would be a fair break into becoming a great author but just needs some fine tuning around description.

Point of View: The story unfolds from many characters viewpoints but ties together nicely at the end. I must warn that you will have to try and keep up with the differing viewpoints of which can become confusing during the initial reading.

Voice: This is where the author excels the most. He gives all of his characters great voice that compels the reader to forge ahead.

Character Development: If you focus on every character you will find some under developed but for the most part the characters grow and chage just as the story does.

Plot: Here is where a reader may get lost as the initial plot does not seem to fit about half way through. But Steve does a fine job of catching the disparity and bringing it back to the focus of the story.

Dialogue: This is another area that the author excels. He has had obvious experience with dialogue and using it to move the story from character to character.
Pacing: Initially the pacing slows the reader but eventually picks up to close out the book and leaving the reader wanting to know more.

Setting: Here I find myself at a bit of a loss. Going by the description of the book I would have thought that the author would have tried to tie humanity in with both races in the book (of which I saw him showing that each race displayed 1 part of what it is to be human) but I could not find this in the story. The technological experience of the Maurians should have been lessor than our own but I guess imagination does not have to explain all.

Continuity: There seems to be some things left out. Such as, what the meanings of Maurian time, money and other things are. How they are tabulated. I found myself a bit confused on these areas but they do not remove from the story as the reader can make a best guess.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2013
A society of genetically engineered future humans who breath CO2, do not sexually reproduce, and can only eat one food. What more could you ask for from Sci-fi? Metallic clothes? Sure, they've got those, too. But no flying cars.

It took a little time to get into the book. There's a little bit of a learning curve with dialect and terminology but what is a challenge at first becomes a sort of submersion into this world. The story is good and well worth the time it takes to become submersed. Unfortunately the editing didn't do the story justice as there were many places where there were no spaces so it was more "decoding" the sentence than reading it.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2010
I loved this. It is rare that you find so many unique characters and story twists in one book. I started this on an airplane and for the first time in my life I was disappointed when it landed. I needed more time.

I recommend this book to all readers, not just fans of science fiction. The insight into human nature and spirit makes you feel like you are a part of the characters or should I say, they are part of you.

This book is destine to be a classic. Even though it will arrive late it will be a Christmas present for more than one of my family members and I await the next exceptional literary ride Mr. North chooses to take me on.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2012
I found it very difficult to get into this book straight off. This, in itself, is not unusual but, for me, the writing was not very persuasive. This is more of a personal comment as I tend to find books written in third person harder to get into but I did find the pace of the story kind of abrupt at times. I did not engage with the immediate love between the main characters therefore I had no urge to read further.
I always recommend reading books for yourself as what suits my taste may not suit yours.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2013
You are ~3 pages into Mauria. There is a voice in your head telling you to put the book down for good; the lingo is just too hard to get into.

Do not listen to this voice. This voice is wrong.

The other reviews do a good job on the plot summary, so I'll forgo this.

This is very impressive as a first novel. Why does this book have so few reviews?
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2011
This is a great book, hard to believe that it is just the first novel from Mr. North. He writes like a very experienced author (as he really is, from his experience with TV shows).
The story shows the conflict of two civilizations, the Maurians and the Vuervee. The Maurians are manipulators and the Vuervee are naturalists, more animal like creatures, that are hunted and eaten by the Maurians.
The idea of a civilization controlling emotions and sex reminded me of "1984" by George Orwell. The creation of all details of a fictional world is as complex as "The Lord of the Ring" by J.R.R.Tolkien with his middle-earth and all the particular language of each group of characters.
This book needs to be read slowly so you can savor all the rich details it brings into scene on every turn of a page. Initially it is difficult to follow the complexity of the Maurian society, so I had to go many times to the "Power Structure of Mauria" reference page at the end of the book. Once you assimilate the structure, everything flows smoothly.
I would recommend this book to any science-fiction fan, but it is really hard to classify this book in just this genre. It is dense, it is intense, it is unique, it is a wonderful novel.

This book was written by Steve North and it was published in 2010 by (Brook Forest Entertainment) BFE Press and they were kind enough to provide me a copy for reviewing. Thanks, Mr. Steve North, for such a wonderful novel.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2010
I really enjoyed reading Mauria... and I am waiting for a sequel and a prequel. Not only is it a great story, but the spiritual, political, intellectual, economic and emotional dilemmas the book poses, though supposedly taking place in a pre-historic time, almost forecast the future of our world if we don't address the polarization existing on our planet today.

This is a book that captivates the reader and at the same time, makes you think. The world of Mauria and the world of Veurve each have their wonder and their torture. Both worlds seem unlivable, as is the case with most extremes. If you are in love with the organic, living in Mauria would strangle you. If your idea of rustic camping is a week-end at The Holiday Inn, Veurve would be an unbearable culture... and North really paints a picture that allows you to experience both poles.

Well thought out, interesting characters, fascinating story... Looking forward to the film. I'd certainly buy that ticket, and the DVD!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2010
"Mauria" is a wild trip, and creates an amazing world that existed just before we got here. I'm not really a sci-fi fan, I only got it because a friend of mine turned me on to it. And this is the thing about North's novel - you really can't put it into a category like sci-fi or fantasy. It's just a great story, and I won't ruin any of it by telling you any of the plot twists and also the shocking ending. The world of the Vureve is fantasy like, the world of the Maurians not at all.

Sometimes the "corporate" structure of the Maurians was a little hard to follow, but it all made sense as it later played out. Loved the character Bordt. Really glad I read it. Would make a great movie; can't wait to see what the Vuerves really look like physically.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2011
I am not a writer. I am a reader. And Steve North's MAURIA was an emotional page turner. I was extremely connected to the characters and without doing a spoiler, I hope Mr. North is working on a sequel or even a prequel for that matter. His descriptions of the Maurians and Vuervee allow the reader to go crazy with our own imaginations to picture how these 2 civilizations actually looked. A movie would be an amazing followup to see what special effects and graphics could do for this story. Ive worked in the corporate world and seeing how the Maurians 'attend' to business and life is not too far off our own narcissistic existence. Bravo Mr. North! When's the movie coming out??
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