Chan has created a fabulous new world for sci-fi lovers to explore.
The Kindred Chronicles: Between Two Worlds by D. A. Chan is a gripping and descriptive tale. War, relationships, and the imaginative mysteries of an alien race weave together into an interesting and enjoyable novel.
After attending the funeral of a respected reporter that met a mysterious end, Chris Sayther is kidnapped and forced to delve into his own past so that his captor might know the secret to his unique ability. It is this ability that may be the greatest weapon against the allies of the kindred people, with humanity caught in the middle.
After cheating death three years prior, Chris is taken in by the noble kindred family Dawnbringers, where he falls in love with the daughter, Elline. She feels responsible for what he endures and must make a decision to love him as he loves her, or follow the affections of her suitor, Ian, and claim her birthright. With a traitor on the loose, and the growing resentment toward humans, war among the kindreds seems inevitable.
Chris’s past is brought to light through the forced reliving of his fateful encounter with the shadow creatures, which sets the stage for his tangled web of feelings for Elline. Chan expertly brings to life the strange world of the kindred people, not only with the descriptions of the different races and political alliances, but most especially with the abilities of each of the races and how they play out in battle. With weavers that can either manipulate emotions or space and time and blade dancers that use the wind to sense the smallest detail of their surroundings, battle scenes are rife with detail and excitement.
Character development is a bit forced since the flashbacks focus mostly on what Chris endured and not enough on shared experiences between Elline and him. Elline talks about loving Chris and Ian, but says very little about why she loves them, giving the relationships a superficial feel. In addition, exposition is used too heavily as a means of giving necessary information. And it seems unrealistic that, after being in the care of the Dawnbringers for three years, Chris is completely unaware of the history of the kindreds and lacks knowledge of the language.
Chan has created a fabulous new world for sci-fi lovers to explore. Included in the many details that bring depth to the story are footnotes of literal meanings of kindred phrases and their translations, new ideas of physics and what can be manipulated, and the added whimsy of explanations of ancient human folklore. The Kindred Chronicles: Between Two Worlds ends with heavy hints of a continued story line. This is a superb beginning to a promising series.
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