When I was younger I used to spoil books. I would not buy (or read) a book unless I had read the last 3 pages first. I would wander the bookstore for hours, grabbing 5 or 6 at a time, and then shuffle off to some hidden corner by the storeroom and begin my quest. One by one I would flip to the end of the novel hoping against all hope that one would catch my eye, and assuming (rather naively) that at some point the words would strike me like lightning, indicating that I had found my diamond in the rough. The one I found worthy of handing over my cold hard cash for.
Well, of course, years later I realized what a complete moron I was. Judging an entire book by its conclusion was not only disrespectful to the book, but completely masochistic. There is a reason books have a beginning, middle and an end, and each part should be taken seriously.
Today, however, is the first day, and “Iyetra” is the first book, that has ever made me second-guess myself. Today my thought was not “well… guess there’s no point in reading it now.. I already now who gets killed.” Instead it was “Hey.. maybe starting somewhere near the end is not so bad.”
“Iyetra” is sci-fi. To call it anything else would be nothing short of foolish. (There were teleports for God sake) The difference with “Iyetra” is how it reads. It does not start at the beginning of the story, it starts with all of it characters knee deep in “Oh Shit!!” as if you have been reading it for at least 200 pages.
Let me give you an example. (Because explaining this is like trying to teach a yorkie to shut it’s trap) A few years ago there was a television show on called “The Nine.” In this show we learned about 9 individuals who were victims/witnesses to a bank robbery. Crap luck right? Anyways, instead of the television show starting with each character entering the bank it started with the robbery in full progress. No, guess-what’s-gonna-happen. No, oh-look-what-a-lovely-day-it-is. No. “The Nine” started with guns blazing. Then, in a brilliant move (after we have been sucked in by the action) the writer flips his script over and starts again. “2 weeks earlier” suddenly flashes across the screen and finally we are offered up “the rest of the story.” “Iyetra” is written in a very similar fashion. First we get the chaos, then we get the explanation, (or at least part of it, because it is only book 1 in a series)
Tela is an Advent journeyman. What does that mean? Well, in layman’s terms it means she’s a politician with wicked magical powers. She is kind, she is proper, but more importantly she doesn’t know what she just got herself into. Shortly after arriving in a foreign land to help negotiate a treaty; Tela notices something. Things are not as they appear. Diplomacy is NOT on the agenda, demons and cultist are. In a rush to save not only herself, but those around her Tela is forced to do something she never imagined. Face her power head on, or perish in an exploding world.
I was both wildly intrigued, and mildly confused by this novel. With such an abrupt beginning I felt as though I was scrambling to catch up, but once I realized what was actually happening, I found it hard to put down. Though most of Joshua Meadows’ characters were vague and abstract, the beautiful, (and ultimately dangerous) Tela jumped off of the page, and… once her presence (and power) was established the fast-pace seems only natural. As a matter of fact, it would be hard pressed for me to say this book would have been as successful written in any different manner. The pure originality of its formatting is what kept my adrenaline pumping throughout the entire read.
My only (major) complaint would be Meadows’ glossary at the end of the novel. Not that it was there… (it was EXTREMELY helpful) more..I-wish-Meadows’-had-the foresight-to-put-this-at-the-BEGINNING-of-the-novel. (Maybe then I wouldn’t have had to re-read a few paragraphs to figure out what a particular word meant.)
All in all? Very interesting read, and a sci-fi lovers dream. My only word of warning is this… be prepared to devote some time if you plan on diving into this series. The books are short, but there are several of them.
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: if the creepy half passed out boy behind you is laughing hysterically chances are something really shitty is about to happen.
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