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Buy for $19.95
Kal has always been considered too fragile to participate in the village activities. Her lithe stature seems to link her to her father, and distance her from everyone else. He left the village to fight in the Teristaque Wars and never returned. She meets Sarge, a strange star species of the human race who seems to know the secret of the patch from her father's uniform. Kal has always known she is different from her fellow villagers, and finally she may be closer to finding out why.
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- Ray Johnson
Symbolism and short stories strung together
I am not a big fan of the cover, It tells you almost nothing, other than you are dealing with an alien planet, from the stories inside. This could be one of a thousand other books cover. A cover needs to be eye catching, but also draw the would be reader in, making them want to read the story. It should also tell you a little about what is inside, such as an action scene or a very important moment that takes place. So, I don't really care for this cover, but I don't take away stars for a cover, nor do I give them. I just state this so that perhaps the author will do something later to imporve their book's sales.
Frale is a good writer, and this is one of those dystopian future series in which Mega-corporations run everything, and humans have become like locusts ravaging our solar system for resources and then heading outwards to do the same to other planets. When I listened Ithought it felt like a series of short stories that had been collected together, so I went back and looked and that is the case. While you can tell that the stories are seperate they do flow into one another nicely. The book is filled with symbolism and references modern issues of today. Coporations, inequality, and racism are a few of the things Frale examines through his writing. That's the nice thing. Considering that this has a YA feel I think that these are issues that need to be examined, however, I do think he had a heavy hand when writing this because not all of the issues are so symbolic, for example, the name by which the people of Nigramoto (please forgive if I misspelled, this is audio, y'know) are best known by is not exactly subtle. The stories and and characters do have a lot of depth and meaning, but I am detracting some stars for the obvious brow beating we get in regards to social issues. Any other name or title would have worked without going so close to the danger zone. That is me being picky, and I normally do not do that, but symbolism and social commentary should be something you need to dig for, not get bopped on the nose with. Regardless, the story is fun, and has some depth not often seen in YA today; the characters, like Kal, are interesting and complex. The over all plot spans multiple stories, but ties everything neatly together. Frale does a really good job.
Brad Gilliam does a really great job on the narration. He does voices, and injects a lot of emotion into the story. You really get Kal's confusion over people's actions from his inflections and tones. Plus,he has a nice deep voice that makes him easy to listen to and understand. I hadn't heard him before and was pleasantly surprised.
This looks to be book one of a series. I'm not sure if Frale will be doing shorts first and then collecting them again like he did here, or if he will do a full novel or novella next time, but I will certainly be keeping my eyes opn for it. This is a fun series and has a lot of potential to blossom into something big in the future. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.
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