Well written, five star, speculative science fiction, that is great entertainment especially for those that like the zany end of the Sci-fi family of genres.
I have a fundamental criticism, but I hope it doesn’t put people off reading. This book has plenty of merit so that really wouldn’t be justice. I have no idea whether the lack of descriptive writing of the finished work was due to the pen of Twiss or the scalpel of the editor. The book certainly has the harsh editing of tangential description that is so fashionable. We are repeatedly told that this thin-form style is necessary to overcome the short attention span of modern readers. It is certainly a love of ‘fashionable’ book critics. I feel that this was a book written twenty thousand words longer only to starved of anything more than was strictly necessary to keep the heart pumping fast through every chapter. Sadly, we had to get to the final pages of the book before we could really appreciate the ‘form’, the fat, of the principle characters. Unfortunately the minimalistic prose leaves the early chapters with the narrowness of focus expected in children’s rather than adult literature. If I was the author and had actually written a less stripped version I would strongly consider editing back some of the flesh.
I felt that the author has read as widely of mythological plotted books as of science fiction genres. To me, the plot carries a lot of re-inventive mythology, (traditional fantasy), though clearly set in a future virtual world. Certainly the beasts’ names and the line-drawings in the book were very similar to chimera type creatures and other mythological hybrids. They added a lot of creativity to the plot outline.
As some others’ have suggested, Twiss may have been done better by putting the ‘end notes’ at the start of the book and also included character profiles; noting that this content was for reference not initial reading. The e-book format means that most readers are unaware of the help pages until they have already finished the book. I am particularly aware of this problem having published and being criticised for making this same fundamental mistake.
Great book, which I believe has been seriously over content edited by either the author himself or his editorial team. It is a testament to the quality of the writing that this reads so well even though we are kept so blinkered. My overall view is, wonderful, when can I purchase the next in the series?