Saturday, September 1, 2012

Review of Laid Hold the Dragon by Richard Shury

Into a world of slumbering dust and anarchy, a young woman is thrown. How Janice came to this new city, and more importantly why, are mysteries. Someone or something has caused her to arrive; someone or something seems to be following her. The world she encounters is dark, and grey, and the people she meets there seem tired and battered down by the effort of living in their all-but-dead city. There are strange energies around, and one of the group, Darian, has been strangely affected by one of them. Still, they have hope, and they have what they think is a way out. Janice joins them on their journey, but she soon finds what looked like escape may in fact be something else altogether.

The party’s journey will not be easy, and things aren’t helped by the Darian’s increasingly erratic behaviour and the eerie visions he experiences. Janice tries to cope with the situation into which she’s been thrust, and the small group try to hold themselves and each other together long enough to reach some sort of help or safe haven, but in a sense they are driving blind, and none of them know what might happen next.  As energies converge and dangers increase, the people try to make sense of what is happening. Janice longs for home even as the others search for a new home, and things turn violent and desperate. The events that unfold seem both familiar and yet strange. Eventually, one truth is realised by them all: their lives and their beliefs will never be the same again."

4 stars

Laid Hold the Dragon is a very unique story.  I wasn't really sure where the book was going for a good portion of it, but I was very interested in finding out.  The book starts out with what seems like a post apocalyptic landscape. It then flashes to a future that could easily spin off of the world today.  The book transfers back and forth occasionally revealing a little bit more of how the dark future came to be until eventually the stories merge.

The book has an almost poetic feel to it at times, especially early on.  While the core of the story is familiar with a post apocalyptic feel there is a lot of stuff to set this book apart.  There is a bit of a spiritual feel to the book in the contest between good and evil, there is also a totally different feel to the post destruction world.  I really can't even identify what made it stand out as so original to me.  The survivors belong to a few different groups.  There are the thugs who have formed gangs and rule territory through fear, doing whatever they want and taking whatever they can.  There are also people who live a hidden life.  They sneak around and scavenge whatever they can find to build useful items and have a bit of an underground trade system set up.  The level of technology is a bit more advanced than we currently have and the successful scavengers are ones who can take the parts to build higher level tech.

This is a pretty great read.  There is a lot of action, good characters, the spiritual aspect works very well, and the pure originality all make this a great choice to pick up.  Richard Shury is an author to keep an eye on.

\Get your copy on Amazon or get some more info from the author's website or the Facebook page.

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