2017/07/11

Hazeroth Was Right

Over at Amatopia, the Daytime Renegade reviews Souldancer.

Hazeroth Was Right
Recently, I read and really enjoyed Part I of Brian Niemeier‘s three-part Soul Cycle series, Nethereal. Having read Part II, Souldancer, I can say that Brian improves upon nearly every aspect of the already impressive Nethereal, creating one of the most memorable sci-fi worlds I have had the pleasure to be invited into.
All are welcome.

Slight correction: three-part for now ;)
In Souldancer, Brian improves upon nearly everything that worked about Nethereal, and with a cast made up of almost entirely new characters. Let’s go over the two big reasons Souldancer works: a deeper exploration of Nethereal‘s themes and raising the stakes:
Themes
Brian doesn’t ignore or gloss over things he brought up in Nethereal. Instead, he takes explores them in ways that make his world richer.
Ever wonder what the deal with this world’s mythology and religion is? Thera, Zadok, and the rest? Wonder no more, because Brian provides more clues as to their struggle, and introduces new deities and the way they exert influence on the world.
Confused about ether and workings and other types of power, or wanted to see more of them?
How about all of those Gen in Avalon? What’s their deal?
Even having a character be a Nesshin–a group discussed but never encountered in Nethereal–brilliantly lifts the curtain on a world we were only previously offered tantalizing peeks.
And we get to see Mithgar, beyond just a few scenes set in its capital city, Ostrith! Sure, the planet’s a smoldering wreck of its former glory, but still! While the action is mostly confined to this one planet, the setting has enough strangeness to make it its own character.
Fear not: Some old friends and enemies do return, just not necessarily the way you remembered them from the first book.
The way Brian fits the new pieces in with the old to hint at the picture to come in Book III is nothing short of masterful. This is what sequels are supposed to do: explore the world deeper.
DR provides even more insightful, glowing commentary in his original review. If you're still on the fence about picking up the Dragon Award-winning Souldancer, I encourage you to read the rest.

It's heartening to see so many readers discovering the world of the Soul Cycle as a place they can escape to and just have fun. I promise that you won't find any ham-fisted civics lectures, Crystal Dragon Christians bashed in effigy, or Harlequin romance disguised as science fiction. Since that about sums up the reading experience on offer from the Big Five publishers these days, it's no wonder SFF fans are welcoming the Soul Cycle as a breath of fresh air.

And for those who've already enjoyed the first three Soul Cycle books, my equally entertaining yet more compact standalone fantasy novella The Hymn of the Pearl is available now.
Fake Books vs. Fun Books

 Whatever your preferred flavor of SFF, remember: choose Fun Books over #FakeBooks.

@BrianNiemeier

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