Now available on Kindle as part of the bargain priced 360,000 word epic Lodestone Trilogy!
On the planet Kelanni, life is cheap.
With the aid of the fearsome "Keltar" enforcers in their flying cloaks, a ruthless invader is forcing the native population to mine the colloquially named "lodestone" - a substance from another universe with infinitely destructive power.
The only ones who can stop him are a tiny girl with a fiery disposition, a former Keltar, a failed revolutionary, a musician and the mysterious creature Boxx, who seems to speak only in riddles...
Ail-Kar, a white-hole portal from another universe, rains meteoroids onto the surface of the planet Kelanni. But the so-called "lodestones" behave according to different physical laws, transforming Kelanni's society.
With the aid of the fearsome Keltar in their flying cloaks, the Kelanni are being put to forced labor to mine the lodestones. Shann, an orphan with a fiery disposition, witnesses a battle between a Keltar and a stranger bearing a similar flying cloak. She tracks down the stranger, and learns of the technology behind the Keltars' power, joining him on a mission to free the slaves and cut off their supply of lodestones.
Meanwhile Keris, a Keltar, is sent on a mission to track down the rebels. She is attacked by a flying creature and saved by the enigmatic Chandara. At their Great Tree, she learns that a mysterious "Prophet" is out to destroy the Kelanni people. Their only hope is a powerful instrument hidden in the distant past.
Pursued by Keltar, the party will encounter bizarre creatures, ancient technologies and terrifying dangers. Finally, they must seek to cross a massive storm barrier in order to reach the other side of their world, where a world-shaking revelation awaits.
Rising from the remnants of a shattered civilization, the native people of the planet Kelanni begin to discover the technology left behind by their ancient forebears. So begins the epic adventure of the award winning Lodestone Series...
The science in Lodestone is based on the concept of 'negative matter', as theorised by Dr Robert Forward, Hermann Bondi and others.
Those interested in the science aspects behind the story may wish to check out the following papers, as well as the article 'The Power of Negative Matter' by Robert Forward in the 17 March 1990 issue of New Scientist.
Bondi, H. "Negative Mass in General Relativity," Reviews of Modern Physics, Vol. 29, No.3, July 1957, pp. 423-428. Winterberg, F. "On Negative Mass Propulsion," International Astronautical Federation, Paper 89-668, 40th Congress of the International Astronautical Federation, Malaga, Spain, Oct., 1989. Forward, R. L. "Negative Matter Propulsion", Journal of Propulsion and Power (AIAA), Vol. 6, No. 1, Jan.-Feb. 1990, pp. 28-37.
About the Author
Mark Whiteway (1959- ) lives in rural West Sussex, England, near the former home of H G Wells. The Lodestone series of novels is built around the speculative concept of negative matter.
As an indie book reviewer, I come across a lot of, um, less than stellar fiction. Then, once in a while, I come across a self-published book like The Sea of Storms and I am reminded of why I do this in the first place. Planet Kelanni has three suns: a white and yellow that move across the sky much like our own Sun, and a large, dim, red sun that never moves, in much the same way as the Earth doesn't when viewed from the Moon. The inhabitants of this planet, though never described in detail, are (presumably) humanoid creatures ruled by a mysterious Prophet and his Keltar emissaries who routinely collect citizens as "tributes," never to be seen again. A young girl named Shann joins two men - Lyall and Alondo - in their quest to overthrow the Prophet and free the tributes. Meanwhile, forbidding Keltar Keris receives shocking information from the strange, somewhat beetle-like creatures known as Chandara, information that turns her world completely upside-down. Woven throughout the drama is a mysterious and precious mineral known as lodestone.
Though the book's title is somewhat misleading - the Sea of Storms is not actually reached until the last few pages - the story itself is quite good. The action is well-paced and the world is solidly constructed. I especially liked that while there were creatures clearly meant to stand in for familiar animals such as dogs and horses, nothing was described in comparison with Earth since, obviously, the Kelanni know nothing of Earth. Shann, Keris, Lyall, and Alondo are engaging characters, easily distinguishable without relying on stereotypes. Oliah came out of left-field, making her relationship with the leads rather unbelievable, but her appearance is so brief I can almost ignore it. The rest of the book is a marvelous trek through a fantastic new world.
I'm glad I was warned in the title that this is not a standalone novel, or I would have been irritated at the cliffhanger ending. As it stands, I'll have to see about getting my hands on the next installment in this promising new fantasy series.Read more ›
Concept/World This is a complex world both physically and culturally. Physically it has three suns, mysterious lodestones and a variety of alien creatures. Culturally it is almost medieval in feel, dominated by a tyrannical religion. The concept of the book is almost more fantasy than science fiction. I would have been perfectly happy to accept the lodestones as magical and wasn't entirely convinced by the scientific explanation of the lodestones or by the science underlying the "storm barrier". It is a mark of the quality of the writing, however, that I didn't start to question the scientific feasibility of the storm barrier until I was reading it for the second time, analytically, for review.
Story The plot moves along at a good pace. There are surprises and mysteries that kept me reading late into the night to find out what was going to happen. There was one inconsistency that poked me in the eye - Shann is described as riding a graylesh early in the story and then later has to learn to ride one because it says she's never ridden one before. That did stop me reading as I had to go back then and check that I'd read it right the first time.
Characters The characters are a great strength of this book. The Kelanni are not human but think and behave like humans. I really liked Shann to begin with though she became a rather whiny adolescent in her rivalry with Keris, a tormented soul with fierce combat skills. Lyall reminded me of Don Quixote, a would-be hero who just doesn't quite have the skills to pull it off. I liked Alonso and his dry humour. My favourite, however, was Boxx, truly alien in the way that he/it thinks. I loved his/its cryptic pronouncements, baffling the heck out of everyone else. Mark Whiteway also pulls off the feat of creating a really terrifying villain. I thought he (no spoilers) was just a fanatic until the showdown between him and Keris. That scene actually made me shiver as his insanity became apparent.
Overall This is a powerful story with some chilling, disturbing scenes, without ever resorting to gore. It is deeply absorbing and has moments that I know I will remember for a long time, certainly any time I see a wisp of smoke rising on the horizon. The final paragraphs were breathtaking and managed to give a satisfying sense of ending to that book whilst at the same time making me want to buy the next one immediately. Highly recommended.Read more ›
When something is strange to you, your instinct makes you take caution. When entering a strange land, you automatically go into defense mode. A strange world can make you scared, excited and anxious to learn all of its secrets. But sometimes that strange world disappoints you. Perhaps it is too strange. Perhaps the secrets it holds aren't that exciting. Perhaps the strange world is intolerable. Perhaps this strange world just makes you want to shout out loud about how stupid it is.
This strange world of Kelanni is the exact opposite. It makes you want to explore the whole land. Learn the secrets that it holds. Devour every piece of information that is available and makes you want to beg for more.
I dove into the book with extreme caution. From the synopsis only, I knew that it would be an interesting book but I didn't know how the writing, characters and the world would be. When I began, my interest grew, but I must admit that I was a bit wary of reading it. I mean, I wasn't going to stop reading it. I promised myself that I would finish it regardless of how bad it was. But, it wasn't bad! As the pages went on, I began to understand more of this different land. I began to get these feelings for the characters that showed how much I cared for them. And when the villains were introduced, I began to hate them just like our heroes did.
The Sea of Storms holds many stories in one. It's a book where five main lives get together. Shann is a simple village girl working day in and day out with her "adoptive" parents. Keris is a Keltar working for the Prophet and is beginning to question what is right and what is wrong. Lyall is a man who is trying to fix what is in his past by changing the future. Alondo is a humble, yet dangerous man, who is a friend of Lyall and an ally in the future quest. And a Chandara named Boxx, the only creature, who has powers to save them all.
What exactly makes this odd group come together? The answer is the past. A strange technology allows a lady from the past to come into contact with the group, letting them know that the one who everyone thinks is right, is not what it seems. And so with this message, the five set off on a quest across dangerous lands, against vicious creatures and meeting questioning people. With a future that seems dubious, they must try to make everything better, hoping that the world they know can be saved and peaceful.
Only telling a little bit of the story is possible. Giving any more information might make one's head explode with anxiousness to buy the book. What I can tell you more is that every character, from major to minor, is so cleverly written and wisely interwoven, that you begin to think that if someone who was only mentioned once in the background may have a future story at all.
Mark Whiteway's writing is almost indescribable. It's simple for children and teens, yet complex so that an adult may love it. The way he writes his characters make you grow emotions for them. His lands makes you want to explore them. He never gives anything up too easy, leaving some of the things up to your imagination. Which is one of the best parts.
He doesn't say, "this is this and only this!". He says "this is this but can be this unless you add this... then what happens?" One example is Lodestones. Lodestones are these, rocks I guess it's safe to say, that there are different kinds and they all do different things. And if you pair two up of different qualities, you get amazing results. But he doesn't tell you all of the results. He will tell you what each rock does, and sometimes he'll make you guess what the results would be if pairing two up. Sometimes when you guess it, it is when a character is about to experiment and it proves if you were right or wrong.
But aside from Lodestones, which play an important part in the story, "Lodestone Book One: The Sea of Storms" is a rich and amazing story all in all. The love and passion for writing, all of his emotions, shows in every word of every sentence of every paragraph. I couldn't help but fall in love with it in the end. It became an instant favorite with an ending that will make you want to buy the next installment, there's only one thing I can say.
You're missing out if you haven't read this book. And for a debut author, that's pretty epic!
Mark Whiteway (1959- ) lives in rural West Sussex, England, near the former home of H G Wells. For more information on published books as well as future projects, please join me at www.markwhiteway.weebly.com
"Writing SciFi has been a long held ambition of mine. As a kid, I read everything-Wells, Verne, Heinlein, etc., etc. At twelve years old, I wrote a novella. (I still have it, hand-written in a huge ledger). It was about our sun going nova, and the resulting breakdown of society, as told through the eyes of three boys. It had a pretty surreal ending.
"Following that, life intervened, and it was only in April '09 that I determined that I wanted to get back to writing. I had had several ideas running around in my head for some time, of which the Lodestone concept was probably the strongest. As I began to develop the story, it rapidly became clear that there was no way I was going to be able to cover it all in a single book, and so the Lodestone Series was born.
"For more information on published books as well as future projects, please join me at www.markwhiteway.weebly.com."
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