Today on Twitter, @evilmynx @PavartiKTyler shared a review of a book currently on sale at Amazon… for FREE. I’m a sucker for free, given all our many expenses, and Pavarti’s review was so good I had to see for myself what the fuss was about. It was totally worth the gushing! I had a hard time not snapping at people who were trying to interrupt my enjoyment of this apocalyptic romantic fantasy.
The tagline reads: The DOGs want to destroy the world. The gods want to make a new one. The trick is to survive both.
It grabbed me from there and took me places I never expected. I know I’ve complained in the past when an author inserts a Deus Ex Machina moment into a story… But this author COMPLETELY earned her nomination for Best Romantic Science Fiction/Fantasy in 2010 and Best Debut Book in 2010 by The Romance Reviews; she knows how to break the rules in such a way that the reader is carried right along on the current of the action with no further question than “WHAT NEXT?” I’ve gone ahead and started stalking her on Twitter too (she’s at @LK_Rigel for everyone else who picks up this gem and is converted by her storytelling genius).
Many of the reviews already out there on this tale emphasize the very subtle, bite-sized introductions to the world Rigel spreads throughout the narrative. They flow so seamlessly into the action and the dialog that they are worthy of plaudits. But this story really stands on the strength of the characters and the way they develop as individuals, enhanced by the way they play off each other. Char starts out as a reluctant not-quite-evacuee and learns to live again in a remarkably credible series of scenes in a very short book.
The layers to Jake, from his start as an unassuming flyboy to a real person and valued partner are as deftly limned. Even Mike, a guy you really do need to hate by the end of the story, doesn’t immediately show up on the reader’s radar as anyone other than what he’s presented to be: a friend with some inside information, taking care of his girlfriend’s sister.
The primary leimotif regarding the gods, belief, and religion plies both ends of the spectrum, with one early commentary representing one end:
The Space Junque rolled over, and they were looking at the earth. Rolling tufts of benign white obscured the planet. The clouds looked like angels diving to earth from heavenly cliffs. She’d pray if it weren’t ridiculous.
and a later one indicating a developing sense of faith:
Sky was definitely dead then, and Char was about to be. Maybe she should be comforted knowing that the afterlife indeed existed. Heaven or hell, here I come.
All of these elements lend real credence to a world gone pear-shaped, and the other very interesting leitmotif about being “natural” carries the thread of the potential resurrection of a much-abused planet to a very strange, but nonetheless convincing conclusion. I’m all but slavering to read the next books in the series–and will have no problem shelling out $4 and $5 bucks for the next two installments already available. Excellent strategic marketing idea to add to the author’s skills, then.
So I have to reiterate the injunction that moved me: Get thee to Amazon and download this quick read for a very satisfying foray into what the apocalypse could very well look like!