G667 Book Review of At the Sharp End of Lightning by N.R. Bates
Author: N.R. Bates
Publisher: Self published
Type of book: fantasy, hemophilia, England Wales, oceanlight, sprites, mysteries, pollution, time travel, 1970s, 1200s?, the chosen one, no connections between worlds
Year it was published: 2014
AT THE SHARP END OF LIGHTNING is the tale of family, of loss and sacrifice, of unexpected gifts and coping with disability and new abilities set against the backdrop of climate change occurring across parallel worlds. The intertwined worlds of Oceanlight and Earth are no longer hidden from view of each other. In one realm, Yalara Narika, a winged Sea Sprite, searches for her family and she encounters a deadly blue haze at sea. Escaping the poison makes her realize that her world, Oceanlight, is experiencing sudden and catastrophic environmental change. Meanwhile, in the safe suburban normality of North Wales, Einion Morgan Alban, a restless youth with haemophilia, is nearly murdered by a man in a white suit who intentionally shoves him off a cliff. If Yalara and Einion don't uncover the connections between their worlds and near-deaths, it will have dire consequences for the worlds they live in.
The characters fell more towards one dimensional rather than three dimensional, and we only catch the barest glimpses of them and very little motivations are given. Einion is one of the main characters, a young man suffering from hemophilia who is best described as curious and friendly and exploratory. Yalara and her partner Rasania are more of the fighting type sprites that are trying to figure out what is going on, while Helia is an outcast who has a special mission, and the man with the suit has his own story on why he is doing the things he is doing.
I honestly don't know what the theme should have been
The story is in third person narrative, mainly from Einion's point of view, although other characters such as Helia and the mysterious man in the blue suit also give their viewpoints. The story itself focused on two world of Oceanlight and Earth, but there never was a point where I felt that they connected and I could say, yes, I get it! I understand why the story played out this way. I didn't really understand Einion's explorations and the point of them, nor could I understand how he discovered the things he discovered. I also don't really understand the time travel connection nor the fact that he is something of a "chosen one." Maybe the fact that fantasy often plays the "chosen one" cliche so much in almost all the stories is a bit annoying for me.
(from iRead Book Tours)
Meet the author:
NR Bates was born in London, grew up in Wales, and lived in Canada and Bermuda. He shares his life with his wife and his house with seven cats, one dog and the subtropical wildlife of lizards, wolf spiders and ant colonies that seek out a better life indoors.
He is an oceanographer and scientist, and has published more than one hundred and thirty scientific papers on ocean chemistry, climate change and ocean acidification. He is a Senior Scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and Professor of Ocean Biogeochemistry at the University of Southampton, UK.
His novels focus on epic fantasy and magic realism, and inspired by his deep love of the ocean and environmental sciences. He has also recently published a small book of short-stories set in Paris, entitled “The Fall of Icarus (The Elevator, The Fall of Icarus, and The Girl)”.
Connect with the author: Website Twitter Facebook
I'm sorry to say, but I neither liked nor enjoyed the story. I did want to like it, but I felt disconnect from it, and what I wished the author would have talked or discussed didn't seem to happen. In beginning the reader is introduced to the ocean world of sprites, who are all female, if I'm not mistaken, but the reader barely sees the daily lives of these sprites and instead the story focuses on the jobs with what seems to be very little purpose or why they are doing the work they are doing. The story is also very plot focused which is not a bad thing, but when I as a reader felt disconnected from both human and sprite characters its not a good thing. I also felt frustrated with Einion and for some odd reason he didn't really grow on me. Although the summary makes it seem that both Yalara and Einion are main characters and that they will become linked, it didn't really seem to happen in this story and instead other characters, aside from Einion, play the main role. So yes, for me, a disappointing read.
This is for iRead Book Tours
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2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)