on Nov. 2, 2012 :
I believe writing a novella is a tough task for any writer to do. It is hard to tell the reader all they need to know in such a short amount of…well space. That is why most novellas written are continuations of previous books, going into more depth on a certain aspect of the book. But for an author to go out and write a novella based on an entirely new world, with characters the reader has never been introduced to before, well that is a challenge. But do not worry; Ross Harrison is able to pull this off with flying colors! His novella was more action packed, more detailed, and just more awesome than most full length books that I have read lately.
Kira is the feisty main character of the story. She is far from the typical whiny, poor me female leads that authors are feeding us lately. Ross gives us a character that has it all: sarcasm, strength, intelligence, humor…well this list could go on for a while, but I think you get the gist! And her voice, it is the perfect way to hear this story from. I loved the accent she had. It was a small added detail that just made it work. I feel like I have a connection to Kira…hmmm.
This story had plenty of action and twists that I didn’t see coming, even in the short length. It kept me reading, and when I got to the end… well let’s just say this is what went through my head “Bloody ‘ell, where is the rest?” That is a not so subtle hint…
But anyway, this is a great read. Short, sweet, and to the point. Definitely check this out!!
(reviewed 32 days after purchase)
on Oct. 3, 2012 :
Kira opens with its titular main character sprinting through the streets of New Haven, the seat of a totalitarian government’s power. Hunted by the police and government agents, Kira uses her own brand of fighting skills to make it back to her town in the Wastelands, one of the few bastions of freedom in a world where those who refuse the Government’s control struggle for survival. There, she reports her discoveries to the town Elders, who lead the ragtag resistance.
Having previously read Harrison’s novel-length space opera, Shadow of the Wraith, I could tell immediately that Kira is a trophy case displaying all his strengths as a writer: heart-pounding action, detailed world-building, characters that don’t just spring from the page, they leap out and yell, “’ello there!” in your face. His descriptions, scattered through the action, subtly paint the world around the story, allowing one to easily visualize what’s going on. With the smaller canvas of a novella to work with, Harrison whittles down his writing to showcase only the best, making each sentence worthwhile and effective.
Kira, a colorful young woman with a heavy Cockney accent, is the kind of protagonist who’s easy to love. Her strength and resilience are offset by a touch of insecurity—mentions of her troubled past make her uncomfortable, and she attempts to transition into proper English in the presence of a handsome young man and fellow member of the resistance—making her a realistic and relatable character. Her irreverence and wittiness make her third person limited narration a delight to read, adding a touch of humor to this otherwise tragic tale. Also of note is her teenage friend Flip, an odd yet adorable boy whom Harrison successfully brings to life in only a few paragraphs.
Kira is a tightly written and fast-paced novella that’s easily read in one session. In a few short paragraphs, Harrison creates an immersive steampunk universe that’s easy to get lost in and leaves you craving more. The speculative future he sets up is at once bleak and scintillating—bleak in its post-apocalyptic setting, scintillating in its dynamic characters and captivating backdrop. The story is a perfectly angled snapshot of a vast, multi-faceted world, a wonderfully packaged stand-alone tale that leaves room for much, much more.
Ross, if you’re reading this, can you please write a sequel? Or three? Or five?
(reviewed the day of purchase)