“The Great North” is out, and the reviews are continuing to roll in:
Review Blog: A.M. Leibowitz
Reviewer: A.M. LeibowitzThe reason I agreed to review this is that the author is outstanding at world-building. Everything is flawless. It’s not hard to understand the context, right from the beginning, and there are no long, dull expository passages. The cues are built right into the narrative.
I also love the way fantasy, science fiction, and dystopia are seamlessly integrated. The writing style reminds me of Madeleine L’Engle in that regard. This story in particular has, for me, some of the same emotional similarities to a couple of my favorites of hers. What a delight to be not only taken to a new place but to be reminded of something familiar and beloved.
I have a soft spot for retold fairy tales, and this one delivers. Although it’s not a story I was familiar with, that certainly didn’t take away from my enjoyment. Covering an old story is often done by giving it a contemporary setting. This novella is unusual in placing it in a post-apocalyptic world, which I think is brilliant.
Review Blog: Wicked Faerie Reviews
Review Blog: The Diverse Reader
So let’s talk world building. This is always the interesting part and it can make or break a story. We don’t know what the world would really be like 100% in an apocalypse. All we have to really go on is what we see in movies, TV, or read in books. So much is left to our imagination. Because of this seeing it through the eyes of someone, namely this author, is fascinating. I thought his creativity was amazing. From the evolution of speech to stories of the past… history for them, our present. But the most interesting part, for me, was the devolution of equality and acceptance of sexual orientation. We like to believe we are progressing, so to see that in a collapse that it could fall so far backward is worrisome.
This makes Dwyn and his secret so terrifying. For the most part, Dwyn is able to hide it. Knowing you could be severely punished for something is a good motivator. But meeting Mael makes the secrecy extremely difficult.
What I loved most about this story was the incredible world building. Outstanding even. Just when you think you’ve read every dystopian possibility you get a treat like this that makes you see it differently.
Review Blog: Sue Brown
Reviewer: Sue Brown
I firmly believe J. Scott Coatsworth could never write a bad book if he tried. He has a skill of world-building I envy and he always writes exceptional characters. The Great North is no exception in the description of the landscape and politics, and it was good tale of the conflict between two disparate groups of people.
Also featuring The Great North this week: