RRS Roundup: Dryads and Burial Mounds

This week’s Read it! Review it! Share it! involves an urban fantasy coming of age tale laden with Native American lore. An enjoyable (if not flawless) performance. (I’ve been watching too many olympic competitions.)

The Dryad’s Kiss (2nd Ed) (The Chronicles of the Mighty Finn)

I’ve gone and read another young adult book! It just keeps happening against my will. But The Dryad’s Kiss has a hint of that Stand By Me/Super 8 retro feel that drew me in (despite an opening dream sequence!). In truth the first couple of chapters left me wanting to skim read.

But when Finn embarked on a morally questionable unearthing of a haunted burial mound with his father and uncle, the text found its voice and came alive. Finn’s voice-cracking, wobbly-kneed youth becomes endearing as he wrestles with everything from common sexual attraction to mystical revelation.

Overall I think Vankirk and his protagonist the Mighty Finn recover from a few missed cues early in the routine in order to stick the landing. Read it! Review it! Share it!

RRS Roundup: Reality War 2

This week on Read it! Review it! Share it! I’m addressing the first noteworthy sequel to find its way onto the Green Porch. And it’s a grand adventure.

The Reality War Book2: The City of Destruction

I’ve also reviewed the first book in this series and highly recommend reading it before the second. Rather than being separate entities, they are parts of the same whole. That being said, The City of Destruction is as toothsome as it is brainsome. It is a mind-altering twisty tale not without a devastatingly-human element.

Two opposing forces, intelligent races, duel across time and space to win a war that dictates whether they ever even existed. History will remember only the winner, but does that make them righteous? or merely victorious?

In a story where some sacrifices last forever and others never happened (or sometimes both at once) the main players develop complex motives and even more complex complexes in a manner that kept me thinking about the repercussions of human relationship.

I love time travel when it’s done right. The City of Destruction was just that, sporting a host of character-testing contradictions that beg readers to inspect their deepest selves. If right and wrong were irrelevant would I abandon my humanity to do what had to be done to save it? Read it! Review it! Share it!

RRS Roundup: Moses in Space

On this week’s Read it! Review it! Share it! I’ve got a unique little sci-fi retelling of the story of Moses from the Biblical book of Exodus. So let’s get to it!

The Worker Prince

It’s not that often that a science fiction story bordering on space opera comes along that everyone will enjoy reading. That’s what Schmidt accomplishes with the Worker Prince. Revolving around a recent graduate prince who leaves home for his first assignment only to discover his slave-class origins, the story mirrors that of the Biblical Moses in many aspects.

While the main protagonist, Davi Rhii, does not spend 40 years in the dessert, he does wrestle with identity issues and the status quo of an empire built on the back of slave labor. The conflict that ensues is the classic story of one against the many. The result is watching an individual discover his unique place, and this is something most of us long for in our own lives.

Schmidt finds a nice balance between moralizing and adventure in his tale that I thought suited anyone between the ages of 13 and dead.

That being said, it didn’t hit the sweet spot for me. I prefer a little more grime and grit in my space opera. Rhii is a champion and hero more along the lines of Luke Skywalker (without all the whining) and less like Han Solo. But the prose is elegant and well-paced.

If you enjoy young adult literature, coming of age tales, and/or science fiction adventure then you’ll enjoy The Worker Prince. Read it! Review it! Share it!