“The Time Traveler’s Wife” is one of those books so many people told, nay, demanded I read. All said it was fabulous, and I believed them. The premise sounded interesting, especially since I am an unapologetic fan of Doctor Who. A time traveling man in love with a woman who has to live life linearly with, and without him? I am hooked! Or I wanted to be. Which is why this review is hard. I did not love this book, in fact, I barely liked it. So buckle in, this is going to be a long review.
“Dawn: Freedom Takes Flight” is an incredibly fast paced sci-fi adventure with a troupe of fun, bad-mouthed characters all racing to achieve their vision of the future. Some embrace the technological influx that is being presented to them through an alien benefactor, others feel as if the lower class citizens have been ignored, and scarified all in the name of progress. The stakes are high, and not everyone comes out of the fight for freedom (or advancement) alive. Honestly, it felt like something you’d want to see in a Star Trek episode as the themes that the two sides present are an interesting debate, and with the way Westmoreland writes, the book becomes a page turner ready to be put on the small screen. Except for the fact that large chunks of the book felt like they were missing...
“Duilleog” dives right in to a story that's about to take flight, tossing the reader into a first person point of view from the young Will Arbor’s eyes, just as he’s about to have his throat cut. Yeah, I know, a crazy start right out of the gates! I was immediately intrigued by this as, what is usually customary for the first books in a new series where a great deal of world building needs to be established, there’s a bit more of an explanation of where we are as the reader, and what’s going on. Not so in Allan’s tale where we follow Will (mostly) on an accidental journey of self-discovery that promises to upend the entire (newly) established order of a tyrannical and wealth hungry ruler, and a blood thirsty church determined that no other way of thinking or belief should be allowed to flourish. Unfortunately, that’s all this first book is, a promise.
I’ve got to hand it to James Malone, he did a TON of research going into “Rainbow Gardens”. The events he describes of World War I and World War II are pretty spot on, but with enough liberty to take a historical twist that fits into his fantasy world, and that’s coming from the granddaughter of an Air Force pilot who served in the Pacific during WWII and the daughter of an Army Engineer during the Vietnam War, so even though I did not serve, I know enough to know when people just embellish or romanticize those events without doing their due diligence. So, first and foremost, this is a great historical fiction story that focuses on honor, family, and forgiveness. But it’s also a fantasy because, well, trolls.
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