I was totally caught up in this book. The cast of characters was broad and captivating. Did I like each one? Absolutely not. But I don’t like everyone I meet, either.
I rather detest Anna, and while she was obviously a protagonist as the book started out, with Dobie as her foil, I am beginning to wonder if in future volumes, she will shift to be an antagonist, which would be a nice turn not often seen in literature. Tatiana was a little too crazed for me, Magali too self-hating. But this is what makes an interesting cast of characters, and this is what breathes life into a novel. Too often, all the protagonists are the quintessential goodies and the antagonists the quintessential baddies. Milar and Dobie were perhaps the most likable characters, but the breadth of the cast is what makes this book special.
One point I would like to make is that a reader does not have to “like” a character to like reading about him or her. I have read elsewhere some people complaining about a book because they did not “like” the protagonist. I did not “like” Gollum in LOTR, yet I certainly liked reading about him.
One literary device that I simply loved was the first chapter told from Dobie’s (Ferris’) point of view. This was clever, but not clever for clever’s sake. There was a purpose to this chapter and the few that followed, and it served to help show the change in Dobie once he became Dobie.
One very moving piece of pathos right out of the Greek tragedies was when one protagonist killed a child. The guilt associated with that, despite the intentions, has to tear that character apart. This is the type of internal conflict that creates full-bodied characters rather than trite cardboard cutouts.
There was a subtle sense of humor that helped give a little variance to the more serious nature of the storyline. I laughed out loud when one character complained that two hours into a romance novel, there was no sex.
The pace of the novel was fast, and it flowed well. I am not sure I bought every aspect of the universe as created by the author, but she was able to pull me in so that I didn’t care if not everything seemed logical to me. This is the author’s universe, after all, and I was merely a visitor to it.
I plan on remaining a visitor, though. I will be reading the next volume, and that is probably the bottom line in any book. Does the reader want more? If he or she does, then the book is a success.
About the reviewer:
Jonathan Brazee is a retired Marine infantry colonel who after years of writing non-fiction, wrote his first novel while serving in Iraq. He independently published it, hoping to sell a few copies to friends and family, and was pleasantly surprised when the book gained traction among the general reading public. Twenty-three novels later, he is now winding down his post-military career overseas to become a full-time writer. A majority of his books have a military bent in science fiction, paranormal, historical fiction, and general fiction, but he has also written non-military scifi and paranormal. He writes three to four hours each day with the help (or despite) the attention of two rescue cats who insist on sitting on his lap or keyboard.
Jonathan is a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America, the US Naval Academy Alumni Association, the Disabled Veterans of America, and is an officer in the VFW’s Department of the Pacific.
Learn more about Jonathan and his work at http://www.jonathanbrazee.com