Comments on Shadowfall

Just finished Clements’ Shadowfall. It’s the first of a series (trilogy?) that I borrowed from the library because I liked the cover and cover blurb.

The story didn’t disappoint. While the pace started a bit slow, it did pick up to the point where I really wanted to finish the book. That definitely puts it in the readable category for me. I don’t want to give away the plot too much, but the gist of it is, there’s a Fantasy world where Gods are real, and live with the people of each province (land?). They have abilities that they gift to humans through their..ahem.. their bodily fluids (yeah, all of them).

The problem is, someone (or multiple someones) want to mess with this arrangement, and one of our intrepid main characters gets blamed for it all. There’s some interesting worldbuilding involved, and just enough description to keep from distracting from the pace.

There was one drawback I saw. The bad guys (the real bad guys) are just plain bad. There’s no reason for their behavior, other than evil. That to me detracted from an otherwise good book. It’s a personal preference I suppose, but if someone is bad/evil, I want to know why. What’s their point of view? What’s pushing them to that state, or what ‘good’ do they thing they are doing with this behavior?

Otherwise, it feels like there’s a layer of depth missing for me. Mind you, I can’t guarantee my own villians have the depth I look for in a book, but it’s something I’ll want to keep mindful of in my next story.


Finished CJ Cherryh’s Serpents Reach

Just finished Serpents Reach and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s an early part of her alliance-union universe, and one of the first I think to talk about betas and azi. For those unfamiliar, betas are specifically bred and psychologically adapted as high functioning people. The azi on the other hand, have more specialized psyche adaptations, and that’s where things get interesting. The author has always handled different cultures well, and thus the azi are believable as people and you find yourself wondering – is this good for the azi or not.

And it’s definitely not clear or straightforward, which is what I love about this author. Her work is balanced in ambiguity, the gray areas. It leaves you as the reader to really think and understand there is seldom a situation or person who is always right or good (or evil, ec).

Definite thumbs up for this book if you can find it!

Finished reading Divergent

Just finished reading Divergent by Veronica Roth. It started a little slow but I got into it after a few chapters. It’s a YA fiction about a dystopian future. Society is split by factions based on dominant personality types – the thinkers, the selfless, the fearless, and the peace lovers. (the book has far better names but I don’t want to give too much away.

The MC has the typical issues of coming of age, but with a few twists. There is the expected angst of when a child realizes she is not the same kind of person as the rest of her family. Then there is the deeper angst – what if your differences go beyond the existing groups? What do you do then?

It’s a story that blends the need to fit in with the drive to be yourself, but in a society where differences can be deadly. It moves well, with a few unexpected twists. It is part of a trilogy, but I was fully satisfied by this first book.

If you like YA, this is a keeper. If you think YA lacks depth, give this one a try. It is an easy read, but a worthwhile one in my opinion.

(and m son’s opinion, who insisted I had to read it!)