Monday, October 12, 2015

Kindle Spotlight -- A Vanishing Glow

I recently received a copy of Alexis Radcliff's latest novel A Vanishing Glow. Is it any good? Let's find out.
The story takes place in the steampunk land of Ghavarim. Jason Tern is head of the Windriders, a group of highly skilled scouts who patrol the frontier. One day, he meets up with his childhood friend Nole Ryon who is about to become High Sovereign. Not content to advance by himself, Nole asks Jason to become the Lord Regent, his right hand. Jason accepts, but they have their work cut out for them; Nole is determined to help out underprivileged farmers and other disenfranchised members of Ghavarim society, and this makes him many enemies with those who want to maintain the status quo. Undaunted, Nole charges ahead to become High Sovereign, but then tragedy strikes...
Meanwhile, military engineers Nilya and Verse eke out a modest living. One day, Nilya invents a powerful sonic device. She shows it to her mentor Hank, and, impressed, he agrees to help her get the promotion she wants. However, the two women are soon sent on a mission to bomb what they are told is an empty rebel base. Unfortunately for them, the truth turns out to be very different, and Nilya must try to pick up the pieces of her shattered life in the wake of her greatest mistake.
Elsewhere, Jason, as the new Lord Regent, conducts an investigation into the event that shattered his life. But there are potential suspects everywhere, and he has to be careful whom he trusts. Enemies lurk around every corner, ready to strike at anyone who pokes their nose where it doesn't belong. What's more, Jason discovers there is a terrible price to be paid to find justice, and those closesest to him may have to give up their lives to complete the mission.
A Vanishing Glow is an enjoyable read with a good amount of uncertainty. Like Game of Thrones, Radcliff's characters are disposable, and you never know who will be sacrificed next. I also empathized with these characters, particularly Nilya who gets screwed over pretty badly but still finds the strength to keep on going.
I also like the pacing; the narrative has a nice flow and doesn't focus on any one character too much. It is kinda weird that Jason and Nilya never meet, but I don't mind; their separate stories intersect at appropriate points.
Furthermore, Radcliff put an impressive amount of thought into crafting her steampunk world, filling it with interesting figures and lore. I had no trouble buying into the idea of Ghavarim and its people.
And, finally, I should point out that this book only makes up parts 1 & 2 of the series, and the intriguing ending (which will leave you guessing) leaves it wide open for a successful sequel, which I look forward to reading.

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