Most stories begin with either an unforeseen turn of events or a problem.
Krank has a problem. For centuries, the people of the island have lived on the animals and plants to be found there. It was bliss and so the population grew. It was not until very recently anyone noticed that the quantity of plants and animals had not. The delicate balance of the ecosystem has tipped and food is dwindling.
The King assigned the island’s two resident self-proclaimed geniuses, the Creators, to find a solution. The fruits of their labour ripen into the invention of the world’s first aquatic transportation device and promises to provide passage from the island to search further afield for food and resources.
So, there it is. Problem solved. End of story. Barring any unforeseen turn of events…
What an interesting book this turned out to be. The prologue is a take on the Big Bang Theory, star giants Ukta and Kraktor get a little testy with each other and start a fight. I won’t say more, but it gives you a good feel for the world Linden has created. In those opening scenes he also gives his take on things like evolution – Mother Nature coxing fish out of the sea. There are also a smattering of Bible stories indirectly referenced:
Apple trees were spared from the cull, but any talking reptiles would surely have been eradicated.
It is done with humor. In fact humor is a running theme throughout. This isn’t a laugh out loud book, the humor is more subtle than that. I enjoyed this aspect of the book and found myself smiling often at certain descriptions or the antics of characters.
The story starts on the island of Krank. A small island where over consumption of finite resources has necessitated the need for the residents to find a way off the island. On a side note, this has echoes of todays society and feels strangely relevant. Back to the world building. What I really enjoyed is the way the map built up over the course of the book. Every few chapters there is an illustration of how the world appears to the people of Krank. As the Creators and Aereon leave (more about them soon) the world map starts to slowly reveal itself. I thought this was a very novel concept and one I really enjoyed.
Everything is well described, you do feel as though you are discovering these places alongside the characters.
The book focuses mainly on the characters of Aereon, Edin and Koel. However, there is a superb supporting cast. The Creators Edin and Koel are tasked with creating things that will make things easier on Krank. I really didn’t like them at first, I found them to be very superior, but as the book progressed I was forced to change my mind. It’s great when characters turn out to be far deeper than expected. During the situations they found themselves in I began to really route for them.
Aereon is the Kings aid, Kranks one and only vegetarian. Although his age is never stated, he is in his teens, at the strange age of trying to discover who you truly are. That sense of awkwardness mixed with trying to find your path really did come through. He was an easy character to get to know and I’ll be interested to see how he grows through the course of the series.
The King and Queen of Krank. Now there is an interesting pair. King Codrich, he got to be king because he overthrew the last one. Intelligence isn’t his strong point. Queen Arburella is devious and cunning, very good at pulling strings to make things happen the way she wants them too. An interesting pair, the whole dynamic on Krank is fascinating, interactions are often strained and everyone is struggling to rub along.
I’m aware I haven’t said much about the actual story itself, but I don’t want to give anything away. Safe to say they are discovering the world is far bigger than they ever imagined. Containing far more creatures and animals than they ever dreamed possible.
I did struggle to get into this book, Linden has written long passages of description and this initially threw me off the story. About a quarter of the way through I found the rhythm of the book, settled into and really enjoyed it from that point forward.
Anyone who enjoys a varied cast of characters, subtle humor and some action thrown in for good measure will enjoy this new series. I am looking forward to seeing what The Greenmen has in store for us.
Many thanks to Linden for a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review and Rachel for inviting me on to the tour.
Linden Forster began writing at the age of seventeen. Divine Invention is his debut novel and it took seven years from the idea conjuring at the back of an English class to reaching the page.
Since then, writing has become his dream and passion. His sequel is finished and awaiting publication, while he types the third in a darkened room.
He is a lover of nature and enjoys walks in the country and often ventures out armed with a notepad and pen.
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