Thursday, 19 October 2017

Book Review - Kymiera: Season 1 by Steve Turnbull 4 out of 5 stars

KYMIERA: Season 1KYMIERA: Season 1 by Steve Turnbull
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'd write fanfic for this one!

Now, some folks might wonder what kind of endorsement it is wanting to write fanfic for a story, well, from me, it’s a good one. I’m a writer, and I judge books by how much the characters engage me, and whether a plot leaves me thinking about it - whether it inspires me. And Kymiera is one of those stories.

This story is written episodically, and I will warn would-be readers, be patient. It took me a couple of episodes to warm to the characters, but gradually, I found myself being sucked in. Now, I am not a big fan of dystopian futures like the Britain in which this is set, I started to read it because I was given a Kindle copy to review, but the characters overcame my initial hostility. Steve Turnbull manages to avoid stereotypes in the main, I have an issue with one character, but out of the many he creates to great success, I will forgive him for a single two dimensional villain. :) The story moves between quite a few people, and, moment by moment, Steve reveals their lives and their place in the plot. First I was interested, then intrigued and finally I found myself fully invested in what was happening to them all.

So, I loved the characters and the way the story twists and turns, wrapping around itself in loops that aren’t quite predictable. It picked up pace as the tension built, adding depths that I hadn’t originally expected, making me want to get to the end and find out what happened. So, why have I given the book 4 stars rather than 5? Well, the reason is the ending.

Kymiera is a story all about evolution: of characters, of their beliefs, of knowledge, and, even though this story is billed as Season 1, so I was expecting there to be plot points left for Season 2, there were two strands of this story for which, as a reader, I wanted satisfaction. Without giving anything away, one strand delivered, the second did not, which made me a bit grumpy when I had finished the story.

I could have overlooked the second strand not concluding how I wanted it to, after all, I don’t control the plot, but there was one more thing, the ending’s pace. The rest of the book is expertly handled, dropping in information, building climaxes and spinning plot lines around the characters and it kept me hooked from beginning to almost the end. However, after such brilliant build up, the galloping pace at the ultimate confrontation left me wanting to know more, and not in a good way. Certain things went unexplained, important characters’ points of view were skipped, or wrapped up with unsatisfactory single lines, sacrificed to the speed at which the last few pages played out. I wanted more.

On balance, though, I enjoyed this story, I loved the depth in the characters and their developments, and, as I said above, the whole world Steve has created has the breadth and dynamism that makes me want to write fanfic for it.

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  1. I guess that means you really care about the characters to share writing time with them, which is great!


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