Simon Perkins

Books

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Smashwords book reviews by Simon Perkins

  • The Shadow Worlds (The SCI'ON Trilogy #1) on Jan. 28, 2012

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is the first instalment of an on-going series, the second part of which has just been published and which I am currently reading. SCI'ON is a cross-genre novel of epic breadth & scale, taking in travel across the multiverse & through many worlds that differ from our own in amounts varying from very little to extreme & incorporating the whole of time. It focusses on four main protagonists, & a group of immortals, called, appropriately enough, the "Undying", who are descended from the first Gods. The narrative style is a little darker than Nicola Rhodes' Tamar Black series, but displays the same witty humour, attention to detail & apparently comprehensive knowledge of all sorts of different mythologies. This is mixed in with some basic understanding, (though not overcomplicated explanation), of multiverse & quantum theory. All of which disparate elements she appears to knit together quite effortlessly, into a seamless whole. Yet, rather than being dry & laborious, her writing style has a dry, almost mordant humour to it & is refreshingly free of the unnecessarily bombastic purple prose which unfortunately seems to inform so much of the speculative fiction genres. However, when she does choose to tug at the heartstrings, she has a delicate & deft touch, which may have the more delicate reader reaching for the tissues. The pacing of the story is good, starting off with a bang, to intially grab the readers ' attention, & then slowly increasing to a headlong gallop as it approaches it's final cataclysmic denouement. The characters are believable, & engaging. The good ones anyway. The bad one's are just as believable, but suitably, "black hatty". I found all of the characters to have sufficient depth to carry the parts of the plot structure which were hung off them. With only some of the minor bit actors being of the pencil-sketch variety. The plotting of the novel is intricate & elegant, with the different threads of the story, weaving together throughout the narrative, until they form a harmonious whole by the time they reach the end. I have read all of Nicola Rhodes published works, & believe she continues to go from strength to strength. Although very different from Rhodes' successful Tamar Black & sequel Iphigenia Black stories I would still have no hesitation in recommending this book to anyone who likes their fiction to have some thought behind it.