After the Green Withered by Kristin Ward – a review

‘…the green withered, and with it our dreams for the future…’

after

‘After the Green Withered’ is a story set in an imaginative dystopian future. It’s clear that Kristin Ward has worked tremendously hard to create a world and setting that may eventually become a reality. Water is the currency and key to survival; and the concept of water rationing gives this story a distinct originality.

From the beginning the reader is introduced to a well thought out and explained world; explanations is something many writers fail with and this one was just right. And this is a world that has become a police state; with everything under constant surveillance by the somewhat mysterious and sinister ‘DMC’ also known as the ‘company’. Whole towns are heavily guarded and fortified with a feeling that someone is always watching. Like today there are those who are privileged and those who are not, but the poverty contrast is focused more towards survival in this story.

The main character and narrator ‘Enora’ spends much of her time contemplating and toiling over her uncertainties. She finds herself drafted from High School and poor background to work for the ‘DMC’, although she never forgets her roots . Enora’s journey eventually moves to seeking out who is running the sinister underbelly that is the ‘DMC’, a company who represses the poor and is also responsible for a lot more. The mystery of who she can trust becomes a central point of tension that builds all the way to the end of the story.

Overall I was kept intrigued by this story but throughout I felt as if it was over descriptive and wordy. Much of the dialogue could have been longer but more time was given towards Enora’s thoughts and contemplation; much of which could have been put into dialogue or even shortened. The heavy description pulled me away from being immersed in what is a good story concept. Much of the writing could have been ‘shown’ to the reader as opposed to being ‘told’ and this what I think holds it back.

The ending came suddenly with no real resolve but kept me thinking as to where this story could go next, especially as there is a sequel planned. Having read this story I would be more than interested and look forward to the next one.

Thank you to Kristin Ward for giving me the opportunity to review the book.

Three and a half stars 

 

Demonspawn by Christina Engela – a review

‘In space, not all things were certain… not even death’ demonspawn-2018-cover-front1

Demonspawn is a detailed well-imagined space story, which I found hard to put down, in fact I read the book in just 3 sittings.

Christina Engela has created a believable world of space travel, delivering it in way that seemed to me logical and explained without straying from the main plot.

From the very opening, there is a deliberate psychological vagueness as to what the ‘big bad’ could be. This heightens the mystery giving readers a real urgency and a want to find out, eventually you will.

With that tension steadily building the story follows the somewhat damned crew of the I.S.S. Mordrake; a ship seemingly stranded and damaged beyond repair in the furthest reaches of space. Their captain is found murdered and so it’s up to main character Joe Lofflin to investigate along with a cast full of convincing characters.

Then they discover a derelict ship just floating in space.

This story reminded me of films such as Alien and Event Horizon but Demonspawn could easily stand shoulder to shoulder with them. There were many concepts of the sci-fi genre in this book that were original and put together in a way not seen before anywhere else (this was especially so for the ‘Akx’.)

It’s an enjoyable read that will leave you wanting more.

5 Stars. 

 

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