Initially, the author jumps around too much. He doesn’t spend enough time with each character before jumping to the next, introducing too many too quickly, at times, even fracturing the world he’s trying to generate by exposing too many facets all at once. It frequently takes longer than one would like to get back to characters you want to hear more of.
The second chapter should have been moved back much further in the story (if included at all), to a point when we have a much better grasp of the environment. At that point, we had no idea who Disciples were, who these people were, and all I really wanted to know was what would happen to Maya. In fact, I think he could have easily removed this chapter entirely and vastly improved the story, making certain events a total surprise. The chapter held zero relevance until about 60% into the story, which was quite a while as the book seemed rather long.
I liked the dichotomy of the story. There were times when I even questioned my own judgements. Whose side was the right side? Maya? The followers of Sol? The Disciples? I didn’t know, couldn’t decide. The entire story is about crises of faith, and the author manages to instill the same in the reader as well as his characters.
There were the occasional one liners that made me laugh, but mostly the story was intellectual, characteristic of scifi, questioning faith in the face of technology and science.
On to my biggest peeve of the book… the author is a much better storyteller than he is a writer. Overall, the story was well written, but there were clear points that kept jabbing me with his decisively inadequate knowledge of the English language. For example, I feel like slapping him for how many times I saw him use the word “acquiesce” wrong! Oh my God, acquiesce means to accept something reluctantly but without protest. I think he meant obeisance, but even that wouldn’t be right, because obeisance is a noun and he was using it as a verb. There were more examples of him using the wrong word, plus rampant misuse of commas and missing punctuation, and the occasional mixed tense. I feel even a beta reader would have caught much of this, but a proofreader would have been best.
I feel that, if you can overcome the rampant misuse of a handful of words, mostly acquiesce, this is a pretty good story that will make you think and question. It’s fun, but challenges world views.
Side note: Some things are never clarified in the story, making me believe a sequel is likely expectable. However, I strongly dislike authors who present questions that are never answered in the book. We never figure out what the agreement was, what happened, who many of the more mysterious characters in the book where. It’s never answered, and highly frustrating.
Heresy. A word to slander. A word to destroy lives.
The root of the word heresy is choice; the wrong choice. And the world of Geos wholeheartedly believes that Maya has made the wrong choice when she decides not to take up her role as a Contegon – a religious warrior – and instead flee.
Her flight causes trouble to her best friend Chain and Snow, a teenager who Maya uses as part of her escape. They have to deal with the fallout from Maya’s heresy but soon, with the balance of a centuries-long war tipping against Geos, they will have much more to contend with.
About the Author
Sean is a writer, a gamer, a project manager and also a bit of a self-deprecating self-aggrandizer. In his spare time, he just about manages to sleep.
He is a reviewer and opinion piece writer for the Geek-Pride.co.uk website and self-published his first book, Deep Echoes, in January 2013.