Thursday, February 10, 2011

Mauria by Steve North

I can't give this a typical review since it's most definitely not a typical story. 

I think the main reason I prefer books to movies is that my brain has complete control over what everything looks like.  Of course the writer gives you the main structure and usually puts in enough detail that you can envision the same thing they do, but nonetheless, I have final say in what everything looks like in my head as I'm reading.  Keep that in mind as you read on.

Imagine, if you will, a land of tin woodsmen a la Wizard of Oz.  The buildings are tall and metal.  The people wear metal clothes.  All is cold and made of alloy.  Now imagine a countryside a la Hook.  Everything is bright and colorful.  It's filled with herds of anemic, tie-dyed sheep, who just happen to be the tin peoplies food.  Let's push things even further by imagine that one of the woodsmen and one of the sheep fall in love and breed. 

No, this isn't actually what the story is, but that's what my mind saw.  Outlandish, yes!  It's also the outer shell of a much deeper storyline.  Each 'race' as well as their offspring have their own set of life beliefs and how they should be carried out.  Every detail of each race has been carefully constructed with not so much as an idea out of place. 

It's so difficult to review this because I've never read anything like it.  There's a belief that the best way to learn a foreign language is to completely immerse yourself in it.  That's how this book is.  This is a whole world with different speech and characteristics than anything I've ever seen and Steve North just tossed me in and said 'Here!  Go check it out!'  At first, I was completely lost, but before long I was understanding the jargon and what was going on. 

This definitely isn't a book for everyone.  I did find it interesting, entertaining, imaginative and full of deeper thought issues.  It was difficult to understand at first, owing to being a different culture.  I did find that I began to care about some of the characters immensely and couldn't wait to find out what happened to them next, while others still lay flaccid for me.  If you're into sci-fi or fantasy and up for a challenge, I say give it a read.

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