Maz’hura: Book One of the Twelve Dimensions
Spaceships. Magic. Mythical aliens who consume protostars before disappearing into black holes. The first book of Paul Centeno’s new series, Maz’hura: Book One of the Twelve Dimensions has all of this and more. It is from the start a relentless ride, as richly populated with wonders as any Golden Age novel. I was sucked into the book at once and tore through it, always eager to see what would come next.
Centeno certainly has a gift for opening scenes. The book begins with Captain Shirakaya, enchantress and commander of the Celestial, emerging with her ship from a black hole to observe a protostar. Wonder soon becomes horror, however, when the star is consumed by aliens the ship’s records identify as koth’vurians, a race which has not existed for eons (and whose existence it is heresy to speak of). Before long, the koth’vurians have devoured the star and turn their attention on Shirakaya and the Celestial.
They barely escape with their lives.
The arrival of the koth’vurians and the subsequent battle is only the beginning for Shirakaya, who soon finds herself drawn into a tangled web that pulls her and the reader deeper into the universe Centeno has created. There is always something happening, to the point where at times the book moves a little too quickly. This universe is richly populated and full of imagination and creativity, but it can be hard to follow, and those who enjoyed it might well benefit from a reread to pick up on what they missed the first time around.
Not everyone will enjoy the book, however. I found it a lot of fun and very interesting, but even so, I found myself at times frustrated by Centeno’s way of wording things. Some of the sentences were clunky, which drew me from the narrative, while others seemed like nothing more than an excuse to show off that he owned a thesaurus. In addition, I would have loved to see more of an interior life in his characters, not only for Shirakaya but also for some of the minor characters. With such a rich exterior, one would hope his characters would prove to be more than just two-dimensional.
In short, Maz’hura is a thrilling book, and I have high hopes and great curiosity for where the series as a whole will go. Centeno has made a wide universe to explore, and I look forward to doing just that.
|Page Count||299 pages|
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|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|