Sunday, June 10, 2018

Kirkus reviews Theo Paxstone

Kirkus reviewed Theo Paxstone and had this to say:

"Turner (Rebel Angels, 2013) writes in an easy-to-read prose that manifests Theo’s enthusiasm for the world of steam knights, particularly the gadgetry associated with their mech steeds: “More mighty mechs lumbered past, banners fluttering from their copper antennae. Inside each sat a knight in a gyroscope-stabilized cockpit, set in the front of the chassis, ahead of the thrumming engine.” The geography and culture of Adyron are boilerplate fantasy fare (with some particular indebtedness to George R.R. Martin). What Turner brings to the table is the steampunk element of the impressive, dragon-battling mech suits. For some, this will be enough to keep them interested in Theo’s journey, though more traditional fantasy fans may find the gearhead talk a bit boring. While the characters fit comfortably into archetypes, some manage to shine despite this, including Theo and, particularly, Sir Bentham. The author’s dialogue enlivens the story with wit and color, as do his skilled black-and-white illustrations. Not much in the plot is completely unanticipated (though Riley turns out to have more surprises than expected at the outset). Even so, the world of Adyron should grow on the audience as the intricate back stories of the various parties begin to reveal themselves. For readers, the probability of further adventures with Theo and his friends will likely seem a delightful proposition. Full of dangerous flights, mistaken identities, and kids who show incredulous grown-ups that they are more than able to handle themselves, Theo’s tale should satisfy young readers looking for a bit of speculative escapism."
So overall, pretty positive. I tried to keep any tech talk in the book to a minimum, but it may not be minimal enough. I was looking more at medieval history than Martin, but it's the same source material, ultimately. The sequel to Theo Paxstone will show the world in greater and more distinct detail.

The book does have lots of influences, though: every television show and book I've ever read. They all swirl around in my subconscious, congealing into my own unique vision. Hopefully, it's greater than the sum of the parts.

I've noted a few surprising influences in the sequel.

All part of the journey.

Read the whole Kirkus review here.

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