Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Epivision Volume 1 (Domino Galaxy, #2) by Matthew Thompson

Arc provided by the author 

This is quite an original story.
This takes place in Angelo, a Planet of the Dominion Galaxy. What is so remarkable about Angelo, is that according to the author's imagination, every time someone on Earth dies, you get a free ticket to Angelo ;)
Cool... people can grow old, have jobs, have a family, you know, the basics...
Let's face it, it could be worse...but don't go scheduling any trips to the place!! Hold on! There's a lot of books to read here! (and then you could end up sharing a planet with a dictator... who said, Hell wasn't needed?)

The writing:
Very smooth, fluid, with a very cinematographic feel to it. While describing a set featured in Marrocos, the author almost gave us the scent of spices in the air.

The characters:
Generally speaking they felt perfectly developed. The reader gets a firm sense of who they are, and what is it that makes them tick: money, the wish to start over, the need for justice...

I have to say this: normally I dislike the way women are portrayed through the eyes of a male writer. It's true... But that didn't happen here. I have some pet peeves, but they're almost insignificant... for instance, I felt there were too many gender related adjectives, used to assert a character's "masculinity" or "femininity":  "womanly curves", "womanly figure", "act manly", "masculine perfume"...
Then the way Mai is described, shy, modest...i'll let that pass due to the decade the story takes place, and her culture.

However, regarding the characters I have to admit that the one I liked the least was Bright, mainly because I didn't get to know (in this volume) what made him turn into a rogue angel, selling his blessings for money. He could use a little more characterization. He's a little too bland, he mostly feels too young.

The plot:
Interesting enough, especially at the beginning, but then it started losing momentum, in fact, dragging a little. 
It seemed as if Bright's days were always the same...
He would lie down looking at the ceiling _while sharing a bed with his friend Felix, the one with the gigantic toe nails, lol _ fall asleep, wake up, go to the bathroom, have something to eat, then he would have some  meeting with a peddler, have dinner, go home and read the secret message, and so on...

When, to this, one adds the very thorough descriptions, this doesn't allow for an exciting and nerve racking reading... which this could definitely be: since there is a game of cat and mouse between Riley, an agent of ICA (is this supposed to be the angelic version of CIA?), who is trying to catch Bright in the act of illegal blessing (why is it illegal?).

I think the story definitely needed quite a lot more action, with Bright being an active participant, and not just going along with everything that is thrown at him.

I also wouldn't mind  more world building. I was left with an awful lot of questions and vague ideas.
I needed more clarification on the whole Epi "subject"...basically some info dump on the experience of people being "reborn" in Angelo, some of them as angels (because they saved someone on earth).
 These angels however are unlike our "usual" ones... you know, the ones with feathers and wings.

Did people accept this new reality well? Was there an increase in mental help facilities?
And what happens once someone dies in Angelo?
They talk about being erased... but how can they know for sure that there isn't something more?

I think the story would improve with the addition of different characters. Bright is an Epi G, a rogue one... what do the "big ones" think of his actions?

As you can read, the story really grabbed my interest, and despite some issues that I had with it, I enjoyed reading it.
I just needed something more...
For starters, a "real" romance!!
Brights "fixation" with Mai, because she was pretty, and shy, and modest, didn't work for me. They had nothing going on between them... nada! The whole thing felt very teen-like....

As a reader, I'm just going to say that I wouldn't mind seeing a Moroccan setting on the cover on this book, since I don't feel as if the title or the cover do the book justice.
Oh and on the synopsis the comment about soul mates?
It scared me a little...

As a last note, can I just say how much I hate cliffhangers?
I do!
But I'm curious to read the next one... so I hope it doesn't take too long for it to be released!

Matthew Thompson's official site

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