Monday, December 31, 2012

Star Sailor #1: The Wolves of Sahlam (Chris Fox)

Star Sailor #1: The Wolves of Sahlam
(The Star Sailor series, Book 1)
Chris Fox
Writer's Bloc
Fiction, YA Fantasy
*+ (Terrible/Bad)

DESCRIPTION: Where she comes from, she will not say. Where she's going, she does not know. Najima Dezetoiles sails the stars on a raft, traveling wherever the solar winds take her. Her life of carefree adventure takes her to the backwater planet Sahlam II, where terrifying wolf-beasts prey upon a helpless fishing village. Curiosity piqued, Najima sets out alone into the woods to investigate.
A Kindle-exclusive title.

REVIEW: I really need to be more selective in my freebie downloads... This story sounded like a wild space opera adventure, with a premise that would not be out of place in a cartoon series or comic book. Unfortunately, that's about all it proved to be. Even though the story follows Najima, by the end I still had no clue who this young woman was, what her motivations were, or why she did anything she did. One minute she's a carefree adventurer, the next she's appointed herself judge and jury over strangers' lives, only to revert to carefree mode less than a page later. Is she a human girl, or is she a split-personality android? I honestly couldn't say, though the fact that she eats seems to argue that, at the very least, she's an organic life form, if one with an entirely impenetrable thought process. As for logic... well, I knew the logic would be light in a book where it's possible to sail a raft - without any evident life support systems - through outer space, but I'd hoped the storyline might display some semblance of it. I was disappointed on this front, too. I've seen Saturday morning cartoons with deeper characters and more interesting stories. On the plus side, it's a very fast read, and at least it's formatted well. (I've read enough poorly-formatted eBooks to appreciate it when someone gets it right.)
As a closing note, Amazon credits an "illustrator," implying that this short story was supposed to contain pictures; aside from the cover art, which is arguably not a true illustration, I found no images whatsoever.

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