Wow! Doing Happy Dance!!! This is the latest review of Shadow Over Avalon, the first book in an epic sci fantasy series. This is currently on sale for 99c. Don’t miss out. http://bookShow.me/B00GAN6HMG
5.0 out of 5 starsA Spellbinding Story
January 30, 2016
‘Shadow Over Avalon’ is a science fiction novel which has the feel of being a heroic fantasy novel. This blend works very well. It is the first volume in a series of novels, and it sets a hugely impressive standard for the others to live up to.
Many of the characters in the novel are named after figures from Arthurian legend, and it is hinted that Arthur – and presumably others – are in fact those same people, reborn in the latest of a long line of new lives. There are Ector, Uther, Kai, Morgan at the least mentioned in this first volume. Cleverly, a semblance of their relationships is retained and they are true to their characters, but this is not a tired ‘drag and drop’ operation; the lives they lead in this future world are wholly new and fresh.
The world is a large and breathtaking one, with a technologically advanced city home to a partially amphibious species of evolved humanity beneath the seas, whilst the still mammalian terran humans on the surface endure a harsh existence in feudal conditions. Both are prey to the powerful and inhuman Nestines. The exact nature of the world and its politics, together with its history, is revealed piece by fascinating piece as the book progresses.
Arthur features largely in the novel, but he is not actually the main character, at least not for much of this first book in the series. That honour belongs to a strange woman called Shadow, who becomes the link between the terran and submarine humans. Her story is a dark and tragic one, but also full of courage. There are some really exceptional characters in the novel and some very bleak and threatening situations. It really gets under your skin. I don’t want to give plot spoilers, but some of the twists and turns are quite insidious.
The writing is evocative and assured. For example, the description of the priests is very brief, but succeeds in bringing a sense of revulsion. The story and its environments are very easy to visualise whilst still being fantastic in scope.
The best new fantasy series I have picked up in years.