When Cultural Theorist Seg travels to another world to locate a source of vita, he never expects to be caught up in local intrigue. But after an influential and lecherous man, Lord Uval, attacks Ama, a female boat captain, Seg and his bodyguard, Manatu, step in and violently murder him and his cronies. Manatu is mortally wounded and sent back to his own world. Seg strikes up a deal with Ama to protect her and her family when armies of his own people plan to travel into her world to secure the precious vita.
Between the political intrigue and the adventure plot line, Warpworld is so dense that I couldn’t help but get sucked in. The story was electrified with conflict, starting with the tension between the castes in Ama’s world and continuing with the friction between Ama and Seg. Both Ama and Seg have so much to lose that every chapter drips with their desperation, propelling the plot forward. Both are such interesting characters as well—Ama an almost token “strong female” archetype, and Seg, good at what he does, but lost and somewhat inexperienced in Ama’s world.
While many of the concepts introduced into Kristene Perron and Joshua Simpson’s world were unusual and extremely creative, I never felt as though I didn’t know what was going on. For example, vita, the fuel that powers the warps that allow Seg’s people to travel between worlds, is created when groups of people pray. Seg finds it in places of worship, and he’s drawn to Ama’s world because his equipment detects strong levels of vita where the warp drops him off. Not only is this explained in the beginning of the book, but it is re-explained through Seg’s conversations with Ama. When I delve into a new adventure novel, one of my main concerns as a reader is whether or not I’ll understand the made-up words and imagined components of the story. However, Warpworld delivers enough explanation to satisfy even the most easily confused readers. Even the political tension between the Kenda and the Shasir, two of the story’s ethnic groups, is fully explained so that readers are not left in the dark for half the novel.
As I read Warpworld, it reminded me of fantasy author Robin Hobb’s style: an epic adventure with brilliant characters in a vivid world. Warpworld provides a spirited, engaging tale that will suck readers in from start to finish.
|Mint Publishers Inc.
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|Science Fiction & Fantasy