Showing posts with label Stand Alone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stand Alone. Show all posts

Friday, October 20, 2017

Review: The Spark

The Spark by David Drake
Publication Date November 7, 2017 by Baen
Reviewed by Terri
4 Twisted Stars

Synopsis:

NEW STANDALONE NOVEL BY SF MASTER DAVID DRAKE. In a violent world in which civilization has fallen and monsters roam, a young hero will rise.

In the time of the Ancients the universe was united—but that was so far in the past that not even memory remains, only the broken artifacts that a few Makers can reshape into their original uses. What survives is shattered into enclaves—some tiny, some ruined, some wild.

Into the gaps between settlements, and onto the Road that connects all human reality and the reality that is not human and may never have been human, have crept monsters. Some creatures are men, twisted into inhuman evil; some of them are alien to Mankind—

And there are things which are hostile to all life, things which will raven and kill until they are stopped.

A Leader has arisen, welding the scattered human settlements together in peace and safety and smashing the enemies of order with an iron fist. In his capital, Dun Add, the Leader provides law and justice. In the universe beyond, his Champions advance—and enforce—the return of civilization.

Pal, a youth from the sticks, has come to Dun Add to become a Champion. Pal is a bit of a Maker, and in his rural home he's been able to think of himself as a warrior because he can wield the weapons of the Ancient civilization.

Pal has no idea of what he's really getting into in Dun Add. On the other hand, the Leader and Dun Add have no real idea of what might be inside this hayseed with high hopes.

THE SPARK: A story of hope and violence and courage. And especially, a story of determination. (Goodreads)


Review:

Fantasy is not for every reader but I happen to like it a lot. For me, the most important part of fantasy is world-building. The idea of creating a world from nothing fascinates and challenges me. This author nailed the world-building and created a mesh between high fantasy and techno science fiction. There were some parts I needed to reread to understand all the details but overall it was fun and tickled my imagination.

This is a true hero's journey where Pal fights to live a life that is to the betterment of mankind. He is an all around good guy. I liked that. He never steered from his focus and lost motivation. It was easy to see his true character in the dialog and the plot development. In fact, I thought every character was well developed and the author stayed true to each of them.

The only issue I have with this story is more a personal preference thing. Pal went on several adventures and had several big fights. However, there wasn't one big climactic moment. It was a series of smaller moments. I don't remember much of the literary devices used in a "hero's journey" story so I that may have been the author's goal. I don't think this distracted from the story. It was a good story and I kept turning the pages because I wanted to see how it ended.

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