The Kindred Chronicles: Between Two Worlds
After Chris, an ordinary human, meets Elline, a beautiful Kindred woman in one of his classes, his life was never the same again.
The easiest way to explain the Kindred is that they’re kind of like the X-Men. They look like ordinary humans, but they have different powers. There are weavers, menders and blade masters, and they can travel into a separate dimension in which a normal human being would die. They’re extraterrestrial beings, but it’s immediately unclear how they came to earth and got to know humans.
When dark creatures attack Elline and her father one evening, Chris finds himself in the middle of an otherworldly conflict. Elline steps in and Chris suddenly has the powers of the Kindred, but he’s still human. His powers allow him to heal rapidly when he’s in pain.
The author uses dreams and flashbacks to uncover Chris’s past, and the constant time jumps through the first half of the book kept me on my toes. An evil Kindred named Cerulean captures Chris and tortures him with a mind leech to figure out how he got his healing powers. The story jumps from one point in Chris’s life to three years later and back again through a series of vignettes from Chris’s time under Cerulean’s evil powers and a few random dreams.
It’s eventually discovered that the bad guys want to enslave the human race and lord over them with their superior, eclectic bunch of powers, and they believe Chris is the key to gaining more power. The book turns into a bit of a high school drama about halfway through. Chris finds out Elline is betrothed to Empyrean, an important official in the Kindred world, and she says she loves him, but she loves Chris, too. Conflict between Alicia and Raham makes an appearance about halfway through, but the characters were so newly introduced at that point, that I had a hard time caring about their relationship trouble.
Fantasy is tricky to read and write. Not only does the author need to have a great, fantastical, creative world to keep me captivated, but the characters need to be deep and interesting. The author needs to make his imagined world clear enough to understand quickly, and appealing enough to suck the readers in. While I was reading, I felt like the author focused so much energy on the timeline, the action, the mythical creatures and the world building that the characters suffered and seemed a little flat.
I could have used more honesty and straightforwardness from Chan’s characters, especially from Elline, who has potential as a major character, but who lacked a strong voice in this installment of the series. I’m hoping in future installments he uncovers more of his characters’ personalities and motivations. It seemed the main group of younger characters, which included Chris, Elline, Empyrean, Alicia and Raham, lacked assertiveness and simply accepted the rule of their parents and elders as the way society was.
That being said, the concept of David Anthony Chan’s book was pretty spectacular, and the action scenes were breathtaking. Chan deftly introduces the history and origins of his fantasy world through flashbacks and dialogue without being overt or boring. He’s not shy about killing off important characters.
I look forward to reading more from Mr. Chan in the future.
|Page Count||360 pages|
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|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|