I am an avid reader, and this is probably the most unique book I've read in a while. It brought me back to my childhood, watching The Neverending Story, and my teenage years, reading the old Greek myths. If you're in the mood for something truly different--perhaps your reading material seems rather humdrum and predictable lately... give this book a shot. "Nails Jane" will force you to think outside the box. Author Trista DiGiuseppi creates worlds within our world. Her story begs the questions: "Just how vast is our universe? Is it endless, always erasing itself and starting anew as time forever spirals, without beginning or end?" This book is well written and worth the $4 it cost me on Kindle. Check it out.
For science fiction fans, the occasional dig at human (at least those on Earth) religions is pretty much par for the course. Nails Jane does more than dig. It paints a very different and at times very dark picture of humanity and its various faiths and foibles and is one of the more original s/f works I've read lately. I enjoyed every word.
The style: While DiGiuseppi demonstrates her ability to write very elegant prose, in Nails Jane she also demonstrates her determination to write her story, her way. Many editors and or publishers might have slashed much of the text, especially some of the more theological parts. I'm glad that didn't happen. It would not have done the story justice. So, while I found it just a teensy bit long-winded at times, it is a great read - especially if, like me, you enjoy reading an original take on the creation of life, the universe and everything.
Almost the entire book is written in first person, mostly from the protagonist's point of view. However, many of the supporting cast also get to say their bit, also in first person. That was a bold move, and probably something a traditional publisher might have gone into spasms over. In a way, I can understand that - it could have gone pear-shaped, but DiGiuseppi pulled it off nicely. It worked well and added to the originality of the book.
The setting and plot: Earth's a mess and many planets throughout the universe are in worse shape because a nasty, life-hating machine called Versinon is hell-bent on controlling and or destroying or corrupting mankind and all other sentient life. The force resisting Versinon and its foot-soldiers, called Humanoids, is a mob called Backsliders, of which the main character Ati, is one.Read more ›
Apart from this book being a ripping read from the get-go right through to the end, it introduces some fascinating new concepts here. There is fantasy. There is philosophy. And there is a definite departure from themes of conventional religion. Apart from some beautiful hand-drawn illustrations that she created herself, Trista DiGiuseppi uses some advanced devices to illustrate in words the self-discovery of the main protagonist, Ati, a female soldier who turns out to be a creation of a god who has taken animal form. The book is full of mystical fantasy figures and there are some beautifully-crafted scenes on far away planets and in down-to-earth Michigan.
I promise you will not want to put this book down! It is very compelling and has been created with some highly unconventional writing methods. For example, the way that the main narrator, Ati, transitions through the story, it comes over like a voyage of self-discovery. DiGiuseppi uses a technique of shifting the perspective, that sometimes catches you off-guard. But the sense of the story is quickly regained and lots of the drama is played out between fantasy figures who seem as real as people you would meet on the street. The story is not without its moments of strife too. Ati, dying from her wounds and with a broken arm, scrambles out of a broken spaceship on to a cold unfriendly planet, where she struggles on to find the opening to the mountain. There are touches here of the supernatural and the immortal, but really DiGiuseppi is describing humanity in all its magnificence.
I am determined that this review shall not be a spoiler! So get the book and read it! I feel sure that whatever you are looking for here will be in it...
This is a very interesting story that I think science fiction and fantasy fans will really like, especially as the beginning instantly sucks the reader in. I thoroughly enjoyed the beginning of the story, meeting the characters and finding out what Ati does as a soldier living in space. I do have to admit, however, that I personally found some of the story hard to follow--a bit disconnected--as it unfolded, but I'm also not a strong science fiction buff, and am easily confused, so I don't think it is the fault of the author.
This story is told from multiple perspectives, which is one of my favorite styles for storytelling as it allows the reader to obtain different perspectives. But, while the story is there, and it's a fairly fast paced, science fantasy piece, I found that I didn't connect with the characters as much as I would have liked to, and I think, again, it has to do with me not fully following the story one hundred percent. I was a little confused between Eva and Ati and the other worlds within the novel, as well as with the military lingo, but even so, I still found this an enjoyable novel.
(Please note: I use the rating scale of goodreads, which is different from that of Amazon. Overall, I liked the novel.)