- File Size: 2888 KB
- Print Length: 368 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: June 5, 2019
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07SVJ2QBC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #483,538 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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"Every once in a while, I stumble upon a book that is so entertaining, I don't need to think about why I like it, I just do. The characters aren't developed by taking sidebars that interrupt the flow but rather we are immersed in their world and it feels like we're part of it without being detached like tourists only scratching the surface. Even their technology didn't seem forced and details on how it worked wasn't needed. Everything just is without needing explanation." Amazon.ca Reviewer. --This text refers to the paperback edition.
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I found the storytelling to exhibit a certain measure of creativity and poesy, but the beginning of the book was a little drawn out, as the author tried to set things up for the reader to fully comprehend the ins and outs of this fantasy world...though I do appreciate the attempt, since many authors with a similar world-building proposal will just dump the reader into confusion.
I feel like the Amazon market is saturated with this sort of steampunk / futuristic material, but I appreciate S.A. Shaffer's knack for storytelling, and that decent work was put into the cover (which indeed represents the vibe of the book).
This is the story that takes place in a mythical land “of vast wealth and power, towering mountains and lush plains ….a bastion of hope between sweltering deserts and the raging ocean.” Within this land are individual countries that have been peaceful for a number of years but now unrest again is arising both within the countries and among them producing further tensions. The protagonist, David Ike, is a very young man who is the son and grandson of heroic pilots who are legends as saviors of the country in which he lives. Presently, his circumstances are rather dire. His father was killed heroically saving the boy and his mother in a disastrous air crash and his illustrious grandfather passed away shortly thereafter. He lost an arm in the crash and the bionic replacement, although quite adequate, precludes continuing his air cadet training. Responsible for his mother’s care, an invalid unable even to speak, he is her caretaker and ekes out a meager living until by routine mandatory public testing, it is discovered that he is of superior intelligence and is hired by one of the major representatives in the country’s parliament. Unfortunately, David is a quite naive, sincere individual with a strong work ethic and a strong belief in principles. As a result, from this initiating step, he is poorly fitted to be involved in the political arena replete with maneuvering that involves deceit, distrust, betrayal, treachery and even murder. The story continues until somewhat unexpected activity produces a conclusion that leaves little closure and only begs for further action.
Discussion: A somewhat unusual book with an interesting plot, set in a mythical world of the future with many sci-fi features, some mystery and a hint of romance. The characters are well portrayed and the plot provides several surprises. As such the reader will enjoy, but must be aware of a rather slow beginning consisting of largely unbroken prose with few conversational or other breaks - a tendency that persists throughout much of the ensuing material.
Pros- interesting steam punk world. Loved the flawed hero and even more flawed romantic interest; liked that it left me wanting more and a little unsure what to think will happen in the next installment.
- I had trouble getting into the story. Ended up skipping over the prologue entirely to get a fingerhold on the story. Glad the preview had told me it was steampunk as it wasn't coming across clearly in the beginning.
-Disliked the use of new terms for time that were not explained until much later. (If a "cycle" is 370 days...isn't it close enough to a "year" to just use the term we are accustomed to? and why wait several chapters to explain...I found it unsettling to be given time and distance units that were useless.)
- I disliked that the only rules and regs we understand about the government on this world are the ones we are told about to be exploited for the plot of the story.
-the hero, although flawed, it a bit too conveniently trained--brilliant mastermind of boring details of law, AND a masterful ship's captain, AND a world class hide-and-seek player, AND is a better crime sleuth than the police detective.
-I would have liked it better if there were one or two more characters with some development..<<<SPOILER ALERT>>> that didn't end up dead.
I will probably try to read the next installment when it comes out. It might be predictable, but it was a fun predictable in the end.
Readers who like books that contain mystery, murder, political corruption, action will find this book contains it all. And reading about a young man who starts out as a very ordinary person, albeit with a very high IQ, and then develops into someone who faces challenges in a heroic way is always good.
If you start reading this book and feel it’s a bit expected, keep reading because the last part will keep you guessing about what to expect.
Top international reviews
Really enjoyable and I hope I don't miss when the second one comes out.
Heroes always tend to be a bit shallow, too busy being heroic but here we have a couple of Heroes who have some depth though we'll have to wait for book two for one to shine.