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The Sity Kindle Edition
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The story opens with Victor, who discovers he possesses a superhuman power fueled by rage. He escapes from an alien-run freak show into the sinister Sity. Memory wiped, only faint impressions of his mother and sister remain, but he's certain that they are still in the clutches of the evil alien, Zaku. Victor vows to exact revenge on Zaku and rescue his family.
Carina, a young girl who lives on the streets of the Sity, comes across a fight in a dark alley and rushes to defend the alien on the losing side of it. But it turns out that the alien is Zaku and the aggressor is Victor. Zaku repays her kindness by capturing her and putting her up for sale as a slave. Burning with anger, she too discovers a hidden power and breaks free. Too many to handle on her own, Carina quickly realizes she's in trouble, but is rescued by Victor just in time.
The two bond through their power and their hatred of the Sity and it's depraved alien inhabitants. But, Victor seems to be confused between attraction for Carina and an urge to protect her as a girl who reminds him of his sister. Separated early on, the two continue to fight against the aliens as best they can, and they never quite reconnect with each other. Still, their efforts rock the Sity to it's foundation and spawn a wave of retaliation from the President and his Medtronic enforcers.
Overall, the plot is well developed. Elements are introduced with purpose and are tied together neatly in the end. And, the action scenes are fast-paced, vividly described, and bloody.
The characters are introduced and developed in three main ways: 1) through narrative dialog as they describe their pasts, thoughts, fears, and hopes in detail (not my favorite approach), 2) through dreams, and 3) through flashbacks. Of these, I enjoyed the dream sequences the best because they're abstract and specific all at the same time and because they reveal the true extent of the scarring and trauma the characters have had to survive. I especially like how they go from good to weird to nightmare so smoothly, and how, just like in a real dream, the dreamer accepts everything that occurs in the dream at face value.
That being said, I would have been happier with less dialog in the form of quicker exchanges and fewer mid-sentence pauses. The use of ... is rampant and unnecessary and distracted from the story. Commas or periods would have been a better choice. Besides that, the pauses seem to accentuate the repetitive nature of much of the dialog. Additionally, I found the use of all caps and enlarged fonts for emphasis to be totally unnecessary and awkward. Often, the emphasis is placed on odd words and it would totally throw me off. I think that if these issues with the dialog were cleaned up in a future edition, the reading experience would significantly improve.
I really started to enjoy the story at about 60% in when everything started coming together and the writing tightened up a bit. All the intros were over, I had a feel for the characters, and some really intriguing twists were introduced. The story leaves off in a cliff-hanger (really well done) and left me excited to read the next book in the series. I really want to find out what happens next to the humans in the Sity and their alien sympathizers.
Overall, there's room for improvement in the language mechanics, but the story itself is captivating and edgy.
May 24, 2013-Post review update: I am pleased to learn the author has incorporated some of the suggestions from my original review, mostly by removing some of the ALL CAPS and "..." breaks. Apparently, those are widely used and accepted in his other creative outlet: comic books. The revised edition is expected to be released next week!
But don't let that above statement lead you to think that is in any way a bad thing. The Sity reads like something in the vein of Neal Stephenson, but with the (awesome) added benefit of having humanoid velociraptor aliens in it. I sincerely did not make that sentence up.
You could probably say I was jonesing for a far out sci-fi read and this bizarro novel did not disappoint!
The kind of Sci-Fi\Fantasy that I love the most is one which explores the human element more so than the technical or magical elements and Geist delivers. Right from the first pages, you see these characters in the depths of their suffering and as the story evolves, you see them emerge to accept their destiny, their contribution, and the suffering they must endure to put an end to the evil ways of their filthy and cowardly masters.
I also feel compelled to mention the timeliness and relevance of the human trafficking and sex slavery which this book exposes so well. We hear more and more about these horrific places almost every day. How they steel our children, dope them up, and then torture them for nothing more than self gratification. Anything that brings us into that world solidifies our resolve to stand against it. Hopefully, people will read The Sity and recognize the darkened little corners of our world...if they dare to face it. This is exactly what Sci\Fi is all about. Good Sci\Fi lets us look at ourselves from a distance, some far away place, some distant future, but always at ourselves.
Highly recommended with 5 stars.
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The story behind “The Sity’ is not like anything you have ever read, and if you don’t get chills reading it, I...Read more
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