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Black & White (A 5 Star Sci-Fi Review)

Black and White, by Nick Wilford:

Two worlds- one pure, where even your tears vaporise before
they can drop, the other a filthy, disease-ridden wasteland.

Black and White is a Science Fiction novel set between two very different lands. On the one hand we have Whitopolis (Harmonia), pure white and sterile as its name suggests. On the other we have Loretania, where dirt and disease run ragged. These two lands instantly reminded me of our own world, with Whitopolis like our first world countries with decent healthcare and a wealth of opportunity, and Loretania mimicking the third world countries, where the death toll is high and life unfair. When a young, dirt-clad boy materializes in the centre of Whitopolis, the local government become enraged.

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I honestly loved the premise behind this book. The idea of a world without dirt or disease seems peculiar, yet is also as fascinating as it is troubling. I began to wonder how such a land as Whitopolis could function for so long in such an immaculate state.

Certain aspects of this sparkling white land intrigued me, such as their use of synthesized food and their lack of plant and animal life. The unique sport of Gravball was just another of many interesting concepts and had rules which were easy enough to follow.

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In addition to the features of Whitopolis’ culture, I myself myself particularly fond of main characters Wellesbury and Ezmerelda, two youths with curious and agile minds. Ezmerelda’s sense of humour stood out to me as a great coping mechanism against an otherwise apathetic society. Both her and Wellesbury’s determination made me proud to root for them from start to finish.

We see only a little of Loretania and in that brief time, I can safely say that I would never want to go there, let alone live there. Faeces and a severe lack of food were two of the biggest problems I observed. It makes me feel for those who are still suffering in a world such as ours. I find myself appreciating all the little things I take for granted, such as technology, a good education, close friends, and the support of a loving family.

The one dislike I had was of the corrupt government system, which draws a parallel to our own here in England. I can personally identify with Wellesbury’s feeling out of place within such a polished society. Black and White is a story I won’t soon forget. The words flowed beautifully, moving me in a way that had me questioning our modern way of life.

A brilliant read.

Rated 5 stars.
Recommended for lovers of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

 

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Sons of Trillion (EPIC Fantasy Review)

Sons of Trillion, by David. J. Khan:

Set in Talos, where the bearing of children is rare, new father Trillion is forced to make an impossible decision in order to save the life of his son, Caliga.

This novel intrigued me from the start with the idea of its three magical casting trees, in addition to the light well, which shows which tree an individual will come to harness magical power from in the future.

Trillion and son, Caliga are contrasting characters with opposite views of the world, its people, and the concept of justice. I liked Trillion for his bravery and dedication in raising a difficult child alone, but found Caliga to be more headstrong and rebellious. Caliga appears to act as the darkness to the light and innocence of young Valora, a girl whom Caliga swiftly develops an obsession for.

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My favourite moment was the ending scene where Caliga must rescue Valora for a second time. An action packed sequence ensues, building up to the novel’s climax.My only dislikes were the consistent mixing of past and present tense, as well as the unfair way in which Caliga’s character was treated by the council, even as a child.

With key themes of loss, love, and betrayal, Sons of Trillion made for a good read, but could do with some minor alteration regarding the tenses used.

I would rate this book 4/5 stars.

A gripping novel fuelled by a clever magical system.
Recommended for lovers of Epic and General Fantasy.

 

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Solaris Seethes (Sci-Fi Review)

Solaris Seethes, by Janet McNulty:

 

Solaris Seethes by Janet McNulty is a Sci-Fi novel quite unlike any other I’ve read. When Rynah (a lab worker from the planet of Lanyr) is betrayed by one of her own kind, she is forced to flee her dying planet in a ship built by her grandfather. A character in itself, Solaris (name of the ship as well as its artificial intelligence counterpart) boasts a sassy attitude as they guide Rynah on a perilous journey to right things on her home world.

There is a lot of travelling between alien planets, with non-stop action that had me wondering if the heroes would survive their ordeals. I found this book to be incredibly enjoyable and was curious to explore Rynah’s perspective. From Rynah’s determination to restore her planet to its former glory, to the range of quirky personalities that Solaris allows to dwell within her, there is never a dull moment.

23754778.jpgMy greatest love for this story comes with Brie’s character, a timid human girl with a big heart. Although she starts off as a somewhat shy and clumsy individual, we see her develop dramatically over the course of the novel, becoming a strong fighter who manages to prove her own self-worth to leader Rynah, as well as to the other three individuals mentioned in an ancient prophecy.

Although I liked many things about this book, there were a few areas that I found lacking, such as the amount of description that was given in some scenes. At times it came across as info-dumping and did little to enhance my experience as a reader.

I also thought that the inclusion of illustrations was unnecessary and did nothing to improve the book’s layout or the reader experience.

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Some scenes were not realistic, for instance, the first scene where Rynah is fleeing her home planet. In a near-death situation, for some reason she focuses on the exterior of Solaris (the spaceship) instead of running for her life. Another such example comes when the four humans first appear inside of Solaris. In a situation like this, I would expect the characters to panic as they would have no idea of their location or of how they had gotten there, or to ask questions, but no. They appeared to be oddly unphased.

Solaris Seethes is a remarkable read that held my attention from start to end, with characters that I quickly came to adore.

I would rate this book as 4/5 stars and would recommend it to lovers of Science Fiction and Fantasy.