Thursday, October 26, 2017

Book Review: 'Catalyst Moon' by Lauren L. Garcia

Lauren L. Garcia presents her debut book CATAYLST MOON: INCURSION as her entry into the fantasy science fiction romance genre. She captures much of her story’s mood by the wise choice of cover art – each aspect of the art holds meaning as we progress through the fantasy world into which we are invited. Apparently CATALYST MOON will be a series: this novel is subtitled ‘Book One: Incursion’.

Though fantasy devotees need no introduction to the terminology used in books such as this, the readers new to this genre will benefit form a dictionary here and there. For example, the main character Kali is a mage – ‘A skilled magic user who, unlike wizards and sorcerers, needs no staff as an outlet of his magic, but instead uses her/his hands.’ But the words and symbols are so uniquely worked into the story that within the space of a chapter or two the definitions are apparent.

Lauren gives us a synopsis that defines the story line well without giving up the plot’s many secrets – ‘Kali and Stonewall have to find a way to work together in order to survive, but she's a mage and he's taken an oath to protect the world from magic. Magic is new to the country of Aredia. Mages are enslaved for their abilities, locked behind high walls and guarded by sentinels - elite warriors with an unnatural immunity to magic. Kali, a crippled mage who longs to escape her painful past, travels to meet a powerful healer in Whitewater City. But on the way her sentinel escort is decimated by monstrous raiders, leaving her with a single guardian, Stonewall: a sentinel with nothing but his chosen name and his faith in the gods. Together, Kali and Stonewall must learn to work together to survive a harrowing journey while demonic creatures from the north invade their lands. Meanwhile, the mages and sentinels of Whitewater City are drawing battle lines and preparing for war - against one another. What will await them should they ever reach their destination?

And very adroitly Lauren sets up the questions and situations to be elaborated in Book Two and on (‘tentatively titled Breach, Storm, and Surrender’). For a debut novel this book places Lauren L. Garcia in the position to grow in stature. Grady Harp, September 16
This book is free through Kindle Unlimited

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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