*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: “If you’re here to rescue me, could you be quick about it, I don’t know when the git who hit me will be back. If you’re the git, I am prepared to cooperate.”
Most stories begin with either an unforeseen turn of events or a problem.
Krank has a problem. For centuries, the people of the island have lived on the animals and plants to be found there. It was bliss and so the population grew. It was not until very recently anyone noticed that the quantity of plants and animals had not. The delicate balance of the ecosystem has tipped and food is dwindling.
The King assigned the island’s two resident self-proclaimed geniuses, the Creators, to find a solution. The fruits of their labour ripen into the invention of the world’s first aquatic transportation device and promises to provide passage from the island to search further afield for food and resources.
So, there it is. Problem solved. End of story. Barring any unforeseen turn of events…
Divine Invention takes us from its very own creation mythology to a bucolic village setting, where acne-plagued youth Aereon runs errands for the King and frets over the impending food crisis. Luckily the King has his Creators (inventors) on the case. Unluckily, they aren’t as bright as they like to think.
The tone of the initial chapters of the story is one of humour, gently satirising ‘medieval kingdom’ adventures and fantasy tropes with a cheeky wink to the reader.
Then the tone changes. The Creators find themselves adrift, and from a somewhat slapstick duo emerge Koel and Edin: not exactly the heroes we are looking for, but not… not the heroes either! Similarly Aereon begins by fumbling around with chairs and sacks like a village idiot and gradually evolves into… well… you will have to read it to find out what he does next. Suffice to say there is action, adventure, romance and intrigue galore, but our heroic anti-heroes remain consistent and believable.
A lovely little bonus feature here was the way the map started out pretty much blank in early chapters and then is gradually populated with landscapes and places as the character’s horizons expand.
And mirroring the map, this is an entertaining, deceptively straightforward read that turns out to have hidden layers and address serious issues. We meet standard fantasy creatures like merfolk, dwarves, goblins and ogres, but Forster gives them unique heritage, genesis and development that brings new perspective to the old familiar favourites. For example, do you know how goblins breed? Or what happens when a dwarf’s beard reaches the floor? You will. How many ladybirds does it take to make a really classy nail polish? You don’t want to know, and neither does Aereon.
As a fan of fantasy adventures that don’t take themselves too seriously, but have a lot of moral and emotional depth, I really enjoyed this novel and was both pleased and frustrated on reaching the end to find I NEED to know NOW what happens next.
Luckily for me (and you) we will find out when I review Book 2, The Greenmen, on 29th April. Watch this space…! 🙂
‘Ah huh,’ said Aereon. ‘And suppose you had an increase in customers. How would you feel about that?’
‘Well,, more business is good business, right?’ smiled the man.
‘Yes, most of the time,’ Aereon said, carefully. ‘But, just for the sake of argument, let’s suppose it was a dramatic increase. As in – I don’t know – let’s say all other options were gone, there was no meat left. Do you think that the other growers and yourself would be able to support Krank?’
The man scratched his chin, ‘Well, I can’t speak for the others, but I would be very surprised if we could handle that sort of pressure.’
‘Very well.’ Aereon tucked his notes back into his bag and turned to leave.
‘Yes?’ he said, turning back to the orchard.
‘That – that was all theoretical, right?’ the grower asked hopefully.
– Linden Forster, Divine Invention
Divine Invention is available on Amazon right now, and was free for Kindle users at the date of writing.