Friday, March 22, 2013
Review:Lodestone Book One: Sea of Storms by Mark Whiteway
This book peaked my interest right away. It has a prologue-I'm not sure it needs one- the author gave it one so I guess that's that.
This is the story of Shann - a young girl with a history that puts her at odds with the prophet and his religious order. As it turns out a lot of people don't like them, but she in particular has lost her parents to them. She lives with her relatives and helps them with their Inn. As the story opens we find Lyall trying to free the slaves being taken from Shann's village. Lyall is posing as a Keltar- one of the prophets enforcer guards. Lyall fights another Keltar and almost loses his life- Shann helps him to recover and escape.
This makes Shann a fugitive who will be pursued by many Keltar including Keris who throughout seems to be questioning what she and the other Keltar are doing for the prophet. Eventually Keris will join with Shann, Lyall and Alondo in the fight against oppression. Keris will have to first meet Boxx, a Chandara(bug like being about the size of a child), who will have the evidence she needs to persuade her to go against her beliefs and join the rebellion.
From here the five of them are on the run from the Keltar while trying to reach a tower that has a transporter that will take them to the other side of the Sea of Storms. Throughout we learn of how the lodestones are used to help the Keltar fight and to fly. Shann is trained to fight as a Keltar and though Lyall doesn't at first think he needs to learn he learns to fight better than he has in the past.
Alondo has a neat deadly musical instrument which seems to almost come out of one of those MMORPGs that are so popular these days. There's an ancient communicator that talks to the past.There are plenty of conflicts on the way to make things interesting. Eventually thing go such that there is a need to make a voyage across the Sea of Storms.
Many aspects of the world-building seemed to be sketchy. The lodestones take the forefront. What's missing is how the three suns sustain a world with life and whether the planet rotates on its axis and if not how that might effect the atmosphere which protects the planet's life from radiation.(ie; there might not be a field that blocks the solar radiation that would burn most the planet life away.)Those are not showstoppers for me but some people need to know these things. Also more emphasis on the fact that the Kalanni have tails might have been in order since it seems to be important to the story. Sometimes they all seemed just too human; though it's easy to see they are not on earth and the indigenous life is all quite new and strange.
The story is well told though sometimes there are terms that leak in from British English and take a moment to think about. There are some words who's usage might be indicative of the same situation, but struck me as a sort of word of the day - use this word in a sentence- type of usage. It seems almost to be a signature trait.If the whole novel had been filled with colorful and flowery language these few gems, which are now among common stones might have been less noticed.
There are more novel's to this series but it was quite satisfactory in itself, though somewhat cliffhanger -ish.
If you like fantasy with some heavy world building and science fiction with a bit less world building and romance and mystery and adventure, this series has a great start with a lot of potential.