The mysterious queen summons a scribe to her, and entrusts her with a task. To find out the story of what happened to four of her friends, many years ago, to solve a current problem. The scribe travels between the friends: Micaela, whose Father’s interference into their planet’s water system got him killed, Sujith, the visitor from another disk who found himself embroiled in the action, and Quentin, well-meaning, but the most intractable of all. With dragons, coding, controlling governments, time-travel and more this is a vast world that we start to discover.
I’ve actually read this one and a half times. The first time was online, as Brian Guthrie, who stayed with us once, told me about it. I was suspicious, as I usually am with self-published books, but I had a look. And I got hooked. It was an extremely annoying way to read: tiny thin paragraphs on busy pages that I had to click through often – and yet I was hooked. I finally tore myself away before the end because it was too annoying to read like that – and the way it was, I had no way to see how much longer it was going to be – but when the book came out, I thought I’d give it another try.
I’m not a huge sci-fi reader, so to delve into something this big (it’s a BIG book people) felt quite daunting. And here comes my main but probably only real problem with this novel. I was expecting, for the length of it, to get well stuck into a story, into action and some resolutions. But I came away with so so so many questions, and the absolute knowledge that I’ll need to plough through three more of these books to get resolutions.
Which is kind of bittersweet. Because I did enjoy it, and I do REALLY want to know answers to so many things – but it’s an awful lot of time to invest into a story, and if the answers pay-off is this slow it will be a bit agonising!
The world is terrifically put together. I still don’t know a lot of things about it, but details were gradually revealed. There are fantasy elements as well as the sci-fi, which I was more at home with, and a lot dystopian themes as well: a central controlling government, vicious police-type people etc. And when I compare these elements to other dystopian novels I’ve read recently, Rise does very well. It wasn’t too much; it didn’t overemphasise but focussed on the characters and their journey.
The characters were great. The method of going between the main characters who were telling their stories of long ago meant we got to know each of them well, and it was interesting seeing the events through the different perspectives. I felt I knew them well, I was on their side, I wanted to know what on earth happened to them.
I need to know what happens next. Get the next one out please Brian!