Reviewed by Molly
In the interior of the obsidian throne room of the imperial palace anticipation is tangible. Primus Croatius, his Premerian obsidian armor clanked at the hinges, his body was a tad softened subsequent to palace living during the past few weeks; Crotias is being summoned. The Emperor is dead; the men chant Croatius’ name.
Within the core of the vast blue massive star awakenings have commenced; a diminutive girl attired in opaque layers of blue light sat up gradually coming awake. A luminous white locket shone around her neck as she sat up before setting off across space in search of someplace to play.
On planet Kalemia, Northern Continent, a slave lad, Pillus, frantic to evade a thrashing stumbles under the heavy water buckets his master sent him to fetch. Weeping, Pillus was abruptly startled by a small trail of blue fire as a fireball thumped into the ground. Tripping over a rock Pillus, his parents in the Realm of the Dead, caught sight of an orb of animated white light, before crashing onto the ground with a screech. Overlooking his hurts; Pillus’ deep purple eyes fixated on a white locket lying on the ground.
From that establishment the reader is carried along on a whirl, Tikus, yellow eyes shaded from the sun, began pulling his bow as his green eyed son Piccus observed an orb of blue fire blasting past, a clearing filled with damage produced by the detonations as the ball of blue fire hit the ground. A little girl, Taisa, with eyes filled with an eddying blue light contemplates the loss of her locket; all form a foundation for the narrative filling the pages of the book.
Ice Marauders, Harogar who is able to glean thoughts of others, death of the slave master, freedom for Pillus and the slave masters family. And the saga continues; Tikus befriends Taisa, a pint-size girl who seems to be alone, and not from the world as Tikus knows it; and learns something of her powers.
The entwined story centering on Pillus then Tika then Croatius, and back and forward is a little difficult to follow at times. The text is broken into long and short chapters; a table of contents might be helpful. Chapter titles Awakenings, Conquest and Glory, Into the Void, The Affairs of Mortals, Companions of the Gods and more. Huge insects, a little girl with awe-inspiring powers, a stopover to the Realm of the Dead. The tale is a bit Sci Fi and a bit fantasy; it is a good mix under the clever writing skill of author C.W. Holcomb.
Life and death, Monsters and Miracles, encounters, carnage and ooze; there is a little something for all readers of the genre in this churning tale.
If I were to make a suggestion, I would personally like to have a less unwieldy volume available; perhaps offering the account in 3 parts of 300 or pages each would make the reading less physically challenging for someone of this reviewers age and arthritic hand…. I found it to be somewhat difficult to hold a book having 808 pages. Were I shopping the shelves of the bookstore; this is not a volume I would choose, simply due to its heft.
I did enjoy the read, the chronicle is jam-packed with riveting scenes, developments, characters and happenings. The interchange of one set of characters and their doings with another always creates a good read. Characters are convincing, fully fleshed, given their own idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, style and manners, that takes a fertile mind and real writing skill to accomplish.
Writer Holcomb has done a dandy job realizing the synthesis of the world(s) he has generated, developing realistic situations, developments, and moments while setting down a storyline sure to gratify those who like a little fantasy with their Sci Fi, or a bit of Sci Fi with their fantasy.
Vocabulary is gritty at times, grisly at times, all are a part of the genre and are presented well. Not for everyone, but for the target audience of readers who do relish a good fantasy with a tad of Sci Fi thrown in; Chaos Worlds Beyond is certain to please.
A fine book for a long summer afternoon reading on the porch, Chaos Worlds Beyond is a good fit for the mid high and high school library, home library and public lending library. My Chaos Worlds Beyond ARC will be given to my son who not only enjoys the genre but is an supporter of these multi page works. After my describing the volume to him, Son is looking forward to reading the book soon.
Advent of juvenile divinities from the worlds where they are born, as was Taisa in this storyline, seem to appear as if they may be comets rushing across the sky. Perceived numinous relics or behaviors inspire humans as the ones they consider having mystic powers invoke images and promises of supremacy from worlds beyond. Taisa while presented as a very young little girl seems to be much more than that alone as the tale continues.
Chaos: World’s Beyond seems to be a very apropos title for this work; the narrative interweaves personages, behaviors, activities and worlds and may or may not be set in this world at all. The narrative is sure to charm epic fantasy as well as sci-fi readers alike.
The reader is drawn into the narrative skillfully from opening lines as we meet first one then another of the characters and begin to realize his or her place in the world that is theirs, and, perhaps in the world where the action is taking place. The plot is persuasive, writing is adroit, struggles are resolved, characters seem genuine and keep the reader turning the page.
Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend particularly for the target audience of well versed, strong middle grade readers who have well developed vocabulary and burgeoning understanding, high schoolers and adults of any age.
I was sent a paper ARC for review via AuthorsDen. For more information regarding this writer you are encouraged to check out this and his work listed on AuthorsDen.