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A Vanishing Glow (The Mystech Arcanum) Kindle Edition
|Length: 347 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Well, I’d say “steampunk,” but it ain’t. I’ve been wondering what this sub-genre should be called. Like my novel “BREAK!” it is a fantasy, but set in a dawning industrial age after man has bent magic to his will and harnessed it to power machines. (What, nothing could possibly go wrong!) I would name the genre “magitek,” but that’s just ripping Final Fantasy off.
Bah! No matter! Call it what you want – this book was great! The world is in upheaval, society reeling from the first couple of decades of an industrial revolution (that’s not an easy change to go through) with a fractious young federated government at the helm. In this environment – realistically complete but never overbearing in its description – the book follows two main protagonists in parallel storylines fraught with ambition, treachery, and heavy emotion. These are heroes who would not view themselves as such, weighed down as they are by heartbreak and self-doubt stemming from past events which are gradually and naturally revealed through the course of the story, taking you deeper into the weight of their old wounds even as the action and rising chaos drive onward to a thundering climax.
This is not a gentle book, but there is a gentleness and empathy in the author’s treatment of her characters, so that even the villains are allowed their humanity. As fantastical as the setting and events are, the characters are so realistically wrought in their drive and motivations that the story easily comes to life in the mind. This has the side effect of turning some of the triumph at the end into tragedy – it’s harder to feel good about the bad guys failing when you realize that they aren’t evil, just broken. The story becomes less of an escape and more of a reflection. But I wouldn’t have Radcliff change it for anything. This world is real to me, these people matter, and I’m eager to read what comes next.
Radcliff has created a fun and varied cast full of all types of personalities. Not only did the individuals captivate me, but the way in which Radcliff develops the differing regions and the resulting peoples was fantastic.
As a whole this was a wildly imaginative and quite intriguing tale. Radcliffe has created a multifaceted world that is well developed, crating the perfect backdrop for her characters to shine.
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
I'm not one to typically reach for political/war story lines, but I will happily say that this book was a thrill to read. Multiple character points of view alternate at a satisfying and exciting pace, without the confusion that can sometimes accompany that style of storytelling. I literally couldn't put it down.
If you're looking for a gripping tale of intrigue, suspense, with plot twists wrapped up in the whimsy and excitement of steampunk esthetic you need look no further.
I'm not entirely certain which genre best fits this novel, or even if this is truly one novel or two shorter novellas? That is part of why I liked it. There were enough things that I couldn't predict to keep me interested until the very next surprise. A Vanishing Glow is billed as Volume 1 & 2 in the Mystech Arcanum but it feels like neither section would be complete without the other.
Set in the world of Ghavarim, the beginning of the book is complex and requires a degree of attention and some rereading, as the world building and character motivations and interactions are non-stop. Fortunately Alexis Radcliff proves to have a very firm grasp on the reality of her world and the loves, hates and politics of its young government. The characters quickly become fleshed out and I found myself reacting to them as I would to real people, adoring some, irritated by others, worried for the ones I really cared about and unable to stop them from making their own choices and putting themselves in danger. Hating a couple, as we should.
This story has sons and their Fathers in healthy, and in dysfunctional relationships, it has friends, and loyalty, betrayal and mourning, it has a lot of politics and intrigue and a murder mystery, and commitment and heroes. It has clockwork armies and steampunk tech, but most of all it has two strong story lines that you will care about.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thought the book was an excellent reed and I can't wait for the next in the series to come out.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A great short read. I cant wait for the next in the series! Meantime, I'm getting another to give to a friend.Published 3 months ago by Josiah
There were a lot of cool world building things in this book, but I had a hard time finishing it. For fans of steampunk/flintlock action and aristocratic politics this might be the... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Dan Absalonson
A Vanishing Glow is an engaging fun mix of magic and industry, with compelling, relatable characters who wrestle with real issues. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Philip Hoffman
This is a very well written fantasy novel with elements of steampunk. If this is any indication, other books in this series will be very intriguing to read. Read morePublished 4 months ago by L. Ruetz
This was a hard book to put down. It's somewhere between Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan political intrigue and J. K. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Roadkills-R-Us
It's a fun read and I enjoyed seeing the different characters grow throughout the books. I also appreciate the openness within the communities to acknowledge different types of... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amy Wyman
***I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Gabrielle Guerra
Super engrossing, steam punk tech like, but also an action packed political intrigue. My only issue is that it's no where near an end. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Alia Willingham
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