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Sunstone: A Fantansy Reality Paperback – March 22, 2016
The Amazon Book Review
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About the Author
Holly's world is shaped by her love of family, the beauty of the natural world and an irrepressible creative drive. She has always been curious and sees life through questions. These four characteristics color her writing voice and her stories frequently evolve from her asking “What if....?” Her tales tend to have non-urban settings with nature contributing to the plot, building discordant themes inside a seemingly peaceful refrain. Holly weaves alternative worlds with threads from today.
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Synopsis (from the author): The steam-powered civilization of Myrn is a thriving adolescent culture. But the rapid industrial development has given rise to greed, and the triumvirate of government, banks and industry leaders has lost sight of those it is supposed to serve and protect.
When a mysterious incurable illness sweeps through the impoverished masses, increasing the suffering to breaking point, rebellion seems unavoidable. Society is on the brink of revolution, and the planet is marked for destruction.
M'nacht, his son Kes, and his team of researchers investigate a legend about three sacred fossils that could save the people and rebalance Myrn. However, they are not the only ones looking. Where they see salvation, others see power, wealth and control.
Will the gifts from the goddess Navora be found in time to save their world, or will the sacrifice of innocents be lost under the weight of human depravity and corruption?
What I liked: Holly Barbo’s steampunk world of Myrn was an intriguing construct. Part scifi and all steampunk, the blend of the two made for an interesting read. Kes and his father play their roles convincingly, and the greed and disregard for the populace portrayed by the elite fit into the narrative nicely. I liked the support characters, and the fantasy element of the Sunstone and the connection with the goddess tied everything together.
What I didn’t like: The general population’s treatment at the hands of the bankers and corporations was a bit too cliché for me. I would like more description of the goddess and how the Sunstone brings about change. Improvement in those areas would make the story more real.
Overall impression: Sunstone by Holly Barbo was an intriguing read. Cool steampunk gadgets, well-done characters, and a good storyline kept my attention throughout the book. I would recommend this one to steampunk and fantasy readers!
My rating: 4 Stars
This book focuses on the Steam-powered civilization Myrn and three elemental stones blessed by the Goddess Navora. These stones are wanted by corrupt businessmen for greed and wealth. But there is still people working for the better good of the civilization and it is up to them to get to the stones first to protect Myrn.
I really enjoyed this book and the characters in it. There was such a great mix of characters from different fields working together and it was very ironic on how the book ended.
Kes and his adopted father M'nacht are both working in the scientific fields and notice different things happening that leads them to try and discover what is really going on and who is behind it.
There was so much unrest in Myrn that it was really interesting and I loved all the gadgets that they used for information and all of the secrets panels!
Most of the fabric of society depicted in this steampunk reality reflects accurately what is happening in 2016 Earth time. Same political structure. Same corruption. Banks, corporates and 10 of the richest family dynasties pull the strings behind the scenes.
The Council of Elders now exist only in remote tribes powerless to help the modern world. A few whistleblowers manage to heard briefly until the media bury them in shame and constructed villainess.
I note a few differences though: the people of Myrn all believe in one deity: the goddess Navora (huge positive compared to our religious factions all claiming theirs is the only real god); no recreational drug and no mind control/virtual reality spread by tv, movies, digital games, cyber world, amusement parks; nature is left untouched but the contamination of water by a huge corporate pharmaceutical entity. And there is no army, only a faction of guards.
Sunstone's story brings hope that maybe, just maybe, our fate can be changed overnight with a shift of paradigm, with th consciousness that this planet is our Home and what affects one concerns all.