September 1, 2012

Book review: Rex Rising by Chrystalla Thoma

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In a world where parasites create new human races, Elei leads a peaceful life -- until a mysterious attack on his boss sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side. Pursued for a secret he does not possess and with the fleet at his heels, he has but one thought: to stay alive. His pursuers aren't inclined to sit down and talk, although that's not the end of Elei's troubles. The two powerful parasites inhabiting his body, at a balance until now, choose this moment to bring him down, leaving Elei with no choice but to trust in people he hardly knows. It won't be long before he realizes he must find out this deadly secret - a secret that might change the fate of his world and everything he has ever known - or die trying.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

In April, I reviewed Hera, a short story that's the prequel to Rex Rising. I liked it so much that I got Rex Rising, and after many weeks, I finally got around to reading it.

While Rex Rising doesn't pick up where Hera left off, I found it useful to have read the prequel first, if only to get more insight into Hera's motivations. The writing, character development, and pace in Rex Rising were similar to Hera, which is to say very good. I very much enjoyed the book and I'm glad I picked it up.

The aspects of the novel that I liked the most were the universe and the characters. The premise of parasites shaping new human races was intriguing. It was critical to the plot, but the author didn't try to over-explain it or hammer the reader over the head with it, which I appreciated. The characters in Rex Rising were also well differentiated with good depth. I felt like I would be able to tell Elei from Hera from Kalaes just from the way they talked. The only drawback I saw were that some story elements that I assume were supposed to be surprise twists were telegraphed too much, so that by the time the surprise was revealed, it wasn't much of a surprise.

I thought Rex Rising was a great book overall and recommend both it and Hera to everyone.

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