Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review - Liz Williams - Winterstrike

Greetings Guys and Girls.

As promised I'm back with the first of many reviews

I decided to start with the first book I read before the little visit form the gremlin lifeforms and in this case that is Liz Williams's Winterstrike.

Liz is not an unknown name in the sci-fi arena having written several successful novel in several series. Winterstrike being her newest creation.

First of all I have to admit that this was not exactly my type of novel. It was a decent read, entertaining and interesting at times but over all not a repeat read for me.

Liz takes us deep into humanities future, man has colonized mars and in fact for a period of time lost contact with earth and completely forgot our origins.

Through Genetic science and in some aspects the misuse of it man has completely left the picture leave a world ruled by women. The plague of man is of such a dangerous nature that it is in fact illegal for any female to be seen in contact with a man.

The story primarily revolves around the cousins Hestia Mar, a secret spy for the Matriarchy, and Essegui who is on a mission to find and help her sister Shorn who has gone missing a year after her imprisonment for being seen with a genetically modified male.

For Hestia this is a dangerous mission, going against the Matriarchy as she discovers some dark secrets about their beloved leaders. One that takes her to the stronghold of a rebel group of men lead by a female warrior that died a thousand years ago, and eventually all the way back to earth where she makes some startling discoveries.

Essegui on the other hand undertakes a journey ending up with the same rebels but discovering very dangerous secrets about her family and her own sister Shorn who seams to be losing herself in some for of genetic transformation. She must come to accept difficult facts not only about her family and what they have done, including stealing a part of her soul, but also about herself and her limitations.

Both these characters go thorough some character development but I do believe they could have been developed a bit more.

The world Liz creates for us is truly unusual and strange and I found it difficult to grasp at times. A bit more detail into how some technologies worked could have facilitated this but overall for the majority of the book I failed to understand just how the mechanics of the machines and the essence of ghosts interlinked.
Yup that's right the machines are powered by ghosts and you use your soul to interface with them. Freaky!

If your looking for a really out there type of sci-fi novel then this should appeal to you, but for me the lack of insight into the workings of the world, the relatively slow progression of the book, and a rather disappointing and bluntly open conclusion was a rather big disappointment.

Still the almost medusa-like bad guys, or girls in this case, along with the Centipede Queen and her followers were some impressive additions to the story. Also the method of space travel was disturbingly cool.

Well I have decided not to score the books I read anymore, the review itself should allow you to decide if you want to read it or not.
Instead I will just say Interesting to read, it has its ups and downs but personally not a contender for my top list.

Non the less, well done Liz!

Two sequels are planned for Winterstrike as can be concluded from the ending of the first book, but their release dates are not known as of yet.
You can however find an interesting interview held with Liz here
Or if you decide you would like to give Winterstrike a go our SA readers can find it HERE
US readers can find it HERE and UK readers can grab there copy HERE

For now Be Fantastic and see you all soon with more reviews and interesting additions.


1 comment:

Dave-Brendon de Burgh said...

Cool review, thanks David. Haven't read any Liz Williams yet, but will give her a go - Aliette de Bodard (Angry Robot's Servant of the Underworld) recommends her, so will have to get to her. :-)