Review: Shadeward: Emanation by Drew Wagar @DrewWagar

March 25, 2016
Book by:
Drew Wagar

Reviewed by:
Rating:
4
On March 25, 2016
Last modified:March 25, 2017

Summary:

The world building is superb. For example, there are new creatures to deal with almost immediately yet it still feels relaxed and well paced. There are new cultures to become involved with and once you get to understand the land based ones you get introduced to the seaborne culture. A lot of thought has gone into how navigation works on this tidally locked world and the mythology of each people has been carefully drawn and entwined into the plot. As you read on you'll experience a slow realisation of how this was done and hopefully agree with me that this and the genesis of this world's background is both believable and enjoyable. The sign of a good book is how quickly you want to read it and I found myself racing through this eager to learn what was happening to familiar characters, desperate to reach the conclusion.

I first came across the name Drew Wagar when I started playing a game called Elite: Dangerous which was based on Elite that originally exploded in popularity during the 1980’s. He’d written an Elite: Dangerous book entitled Reclamation which was a fantastic read I have to say. Getting to the point, in the Elite: Dangerous community Drew is often known as “The Senator” and at a recent convention (Fantasticon 2015) my main and admittedly tenuous claim to fame are that I led a Nerf War attack on The Senator and his family. So any accusations of favouritism need to bear in mind that we were at war once and were shooting each other with fury in our eyes and grins on our faces.

On to the book which has an amazing cover by Heather Murphy that features iconography conjuring up a mysterious science fiction aspect with a landscape scene suggesting that the sun could play a big part in this book. Complimenting this the book description reads as follows: “A world of eternal day and everlasting night, burning deserts and frozen wastes. A people exiled, seeking the truth about their past, long lost in vague, yet disturbing, myth and legend. Technology lost, then found again. A realm of priestesses with remarkable powers and implacable purpose, who worship a powerful god; a star that blazes unchanging in the skies above. A star which is poised to unleash devastation upon them all. Two Children are smuggled out of Scallia to save them from the feared witches of Drayden, but the ‘rescue’ doesn’t go well. Cast adrift with no memories of each other or their real family, both grow to adolescence friendless and destitute. All that stands between them and brutal early deaths are the talents they barely know they possess… and can’t control.”

When reading a new book I always have a number of key concerns. Will I like and dislike the main characters appropriately? Will I get a good understanding of the new world without too much trouble? Will the plotlines make sense and develop well? Will I actually enjoy the book?

I’m happy to report that all of those questions can be answered positively. The main characters really grow on you. Drew introduces them expertly and there’s enough detail added at each stage with no overly preachy, ham-fisted exposition to deal with.

The world building is superb. For example, there are new creatures to deal with almost immediately yet it still feels relaxed and well paced. There are new cultures to become involved with and once you get to understand the land based ones you get introduced to the seaborne culture. A lot of thought has gone into how navigation works on this tidally locked world and the mythology of each people has been carefully drawn and entwined into the plot. As you read on you’ll experience a slow realisation of how this was done and hopefully agree with me that this and the genesis of this world’s background is both believable and enjoyable. The sign of a good book is how quickly you want to read it and I found myself racing through this eager to learn what was happening to familiar characters, desperate to reach the conclusion.

You can buy Shadeward: Emanation from Amazon by following this link.

Hurry up with the sequel!

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