Outcasts of the Worlds

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Flynn is alone in his cell on Earth in the prison Civilis when he hears someone in the neighboring cell starting to break out. After promising to help this prisoner, Jean, who has earthshaking powers, to find her likewise imprisoned friend, beast-like Flynn is released from his cell. Flynn and Jean go on to rescue her friend, Mack, and escape to an abandoned building on a mountain where Flynn remembers seeing a blue light in the past just before he was captured. Stepping through the light in the present, all three end up on an alien planet.

The world and concept are entertaining enough, although not novel, but Outcasts of the World has a curious structure that feels more like watching many television episodes back to back instead of reading one cohesive book with a singular story arc. Flynn acquires more and more companions as he hops through rifts to other planets, and each has their own goal. The places are described well, the dialogue is mostly reasonable, and the book is well edited, but the novel could have easily been written into two, each with their own separate plot.

The characters themselves have a variety of physical traits and special powers. Flynn has Wolverine-like (from X-Men) claws that slide out of his fingers and bestial features. One character is an empathic healer; another is cold-blooded. Paynter has also added in various levels of theocratic bureaucracy with gods and goddesses, Mystiks (lesser in power than the gods), priestesses, and the common people.

Paynter’s main theme seems to be Flynn’s self-redemption as he was previously a backstabbing and manipulative liar. He is trying to be a better man and find himself, although it’s not entirely clear why he has decided to change. Characters remark often on how they aren’t sure if Flynn deserves pity or empathy after the way he has treated numerous others.

The end of the book wraps up enough to clearly be an end, although it is clear that the author intends for the story to go on to future novels: hopefully with a more unifying plot.

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Star Count 2/5
Format Trade
Page Count 446 pages
Publisher Arm in the Wall Books
Publish Date 29-Aug-2014
ISBN 9780692235300
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue January 2015
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy


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