Thursday, November 29, 2012
Review: A Red Sun Also Rises
by Mark Hodder
Paperback: 375 pages
Publisher: Pyr (December 4, 2012)
(Barry’s score 5 stars out of 5)
A tale of good and evil, where neither is what it seems!
Aiden Fleischer, a bookish priest, finds himself transported to an alien world. With him is Miss Clarissa Stark, a crippled hunchback of exceptional ability, wronged by an aristocrat and cast out from society.
On the planet Ptallaya, under two bright yellow suns, they encounter the Yatsill, a race of enthusiastic mimics who shape their society after impressions picked up from Clarissa’s mind. Creating a faux London, the alien creatures enroll Clarissa in their Council of Magicians and Aiden in the City Guard. But why does the peaceful city require guards? After a day that, in earthly terms, has lasted for months, the answer comes, for on this planet without night, a red sun also rises, and brings with it a destructive evil.
The Blood Gods! Hideous creatures, they cause Aiden to confront his own internal darkness while trying to protect his friend and his new home.
With a sharp eye for period detail and a rich imagination, Mark Hodder establishes a weirdly twisted version of Victorian London on a convincingly realized alien world, and employs them to tackle a profound psychological and moral question. A Red Sun Also Rises breaks new ground by combining the sword & planet genre with Victorian steampunk while adding an edgy psychological twist.
All to often, I build my expectations for a book so high that I come away a little disappointed. To my great relief, Hodder’s “A Red Sun Also Rises” met my expectations — and exceeded them.
The story is brilliant. I liked the character of Fleischer and I like the thought of a hunchback, Clarissa Stark, helping the pastor develop a spine. Fleischer struggles with his life, his faith, and finally with reality itself, and his human frailty and subsequent growth really pulled me in to the story. The characters were nicely developed and the world of Ptallaya was freaking brilliant.
I don’t think that I have read anything quite like it. I highly recommend it and give it 5 stars out of 5. Having said that, it should get extra points for sheer WTF moments, characters, and story. It’s a must-have for your library.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Pyr. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
About Barry Huddleston
Hello everyone. I am a big fan of classic horror, retro-scifi, steampunk, dieselpunk, and Linux. I'm a casual gamer and an avid reader. As a hobby, I review books, movies, and products. I am not paid for my reviews other than the item that is the subject of the review. All of my reviews are of an open-minded person and subject to change over time.