I was recently given a copy of “Jepaul”, a new title by Katy Winter, the talented creator of the seven volume “Ambrosian Chronicles”. When a writer has put in the enormous amount of time and effort in creating a new world, often complete with hitherto unknown beings and even entire languages – Tolkein’s Elvish, or Star Trek’s Klingon to name but two – then the temptation is for them to continue to use the universe already created. This can work well and has been a particularly successful approach in Science Fiction. The works of Robert Heinlein, Poul Anderson, Ursula K Le Guin and Anne McCaffrey spring to mind. However, in this latest offering from Katy Winter, we have a new world with new protagonists, similar in some respects to those of “The Ambrosian Chronicles”, but fresh and original. “Jepaul” of the title is an intriguing individual who evolves, literally, as the story unfolds,
In “Jepaul”, the author has moved a little closer to Science Fiction and away from Fantasy – but not too far. She has had to build her world and develop her characters and story-line in far fewer pages than the “Chronicles”. This has meant moving the narrative along at a fast pace, plus using a simpler frame-work in which to develop the plot. It doesn’t mean the book is less well written than the “Chronicles”, but it means it will appeal to readers who prefer a single-volume story. What is it about? Well, read it to find out. I don’t want to give too much away, but “dystopian” pretty accurately places it in the genre. Definitely worth a look. Highly recommended.
(review of free book)