Friday, February 13, 2015

Dark Sun, Bright Moon by Oliver Sparrow

Once in a blue moon, an author/publisher is kind enough to send me an actual print book. So, imagine that I'm doing a happy dance, and that is totally my reaction to this book coming.

And for once, I was really glad that I had the print book to review. This book is a huge epic, and I needed to flip to the appendix first to get an overview of this world halfway through the book.

Wait, is the book that confusing?

Yes. You see, the book uses the belief system of the Andes as a core element in the book, and it's so different from what I know. I was thoroughly confused by it at first, and the appendix was a huge help in understanding it. If you're not a history student, or you're just like me and don't know anything, it's worth starting this book at the end, to find out what this worldview is going on, then start reading the story. It'll help a lot.

As for story, it's basically the life story of Q'ilyasisa. The first part is like a prologue, which talks about the significant events before Q'ilyasisa's story even starts. And because of reasons (in the first part), Q'ilyasisa has a very significant part to play in the Andes, as she's tasked to fight with what they call a contagion that affects the fabric of the empire.

There are two things in this book that make it quite different from the others. The first is that it's very lavishly illustrated with black and white photos. I liked it, but I know that's a personal preference. The second is that the dialogue looks like this:
- "I'm talking right now" says I, typing away on my keyboard
- "Oh, yes you are." Says you. 
It's a bit weird, but I figure that since the worldview is so strange, perhaps this is also something that the author does intentionally. And I quickly got over it.

My only "major" complaint is that I can't help but feel that this would be awesome as a trilogy. There is so much that I'd like to see more off, and a lot more minor characters that I'd like to get to know. If they were given a book or two to develop, I could see this work being even richer and detailed than it already is.

Apart from this, I see a few grammatical errors (Like "But. However." as two one word sentence fragments in a row), but it only appeared occasionally; certainly not enough for me to put the book down. (But enough that I made a mental note of it)

Overall: This is a really interesting book. There are a few small things, like the occasional grammar mistake, that pulled me out of the story, but overall, I enjoyed it. It showed me a group of people that I've never even thought about before, and made them real to me.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in return for a free and honest review.

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