At first I was kind of put off by the idea of a college student pulled into an alternate world and larger than life adventure. What new thing could Steve Biddison bring to a genre that I think started with Alice in Wonderland? But there’s at least potential here for a great allegory.
Biddison’s got plenty of homage to the great SciFi and Fantasy books and shows geeks love. He’s also got a group of young people prepared to save not just one world, but multiple worlds, while keeping ours safe too. I had to consult my History expert husband about this solid silver sword business, even though it is a fantasy. He says a number of famous fighters in history had swords of solid silver, and although they were ceremonial, you really can fight with one.
I loved so many of the details in this story. Lost in a cave? Maybe you’ve just found out a foreshadowing secret you’ll need later. Your soldiers only “exist” for five minutes per wave? Plan your battles very carefully. The Feelings of Faith were a little disturbing. I would rather have had a Holy Text they could rely on. Feelings can deceive us, and Biddison even brought up the ability of their enemy to deceive. Hope he develops this idea more in the series.
The book also deals with issues teens can really relate to. Why does the nasty one get to be the leader? Why is the outcast still outcast after all these years? Why don’t I fit in? Who do I trust? What am I here for?
I have now read quite a few Indie Authors and I am hopeful about the ideas and the talent out there. I am also hopeful honest and trustworthy editors and proofreaders will step up and work something out with these struggling new voices. This books does need that kind of help, but not at all to the point where it’s unreadable.