We are super pleased to be part of the Edda blog tour. The author, Conor Kostick (apart from having a fabulously sounding rock god name) seems to be a bit of a writer too. I've not read Saga or Epic and was tempted to read them but then I thought: will this work for me as a standalone? It is the last in the trilogy and should therefore wrap up the Avatar Chronicles and be quite a neat package in itself.
And I'm happy to say that it does work as a standalone. I didn't for a second feel as if I was out of my depth, that the characters were unfamiliar or that the setting was peculiar. I had my own issues to deal with regarding the realities, but that was a personal thing completely.
Edda tells the story of an electronic world, EDDA, which had been created by humans but for whatever reason, no one now plays this game. The characters in this game had become sentient and so we have Lord Scanthax - a particularly grasping and motivated warmonger - battling other electronic worlds, killing everyone and taking over their territories. But, because he's a sentient being, he cannot script (create) new weapons. This is of course a problem but he's a clever bad guy because back in the day he searched and found the only human child left on the uninhabitable planet that houses EDDA's servers. He is basically keeping 15 year old Penelope prisoner, so that she can script for him. And Penelope in turn is Princess in EDDA and has started questioning not just the role she plays in EDDA but who she really is and what she's really doing there. She rebels, as much as she can as she desperately tries to figure out how to search for avatars with humans running them.
It is a story full of vivid imagery and strong characterisations and writing. I think that older readers (I'm talking adults here) will be intrigued by Kostick's storytelling because it is a complex, layered plot, that grabbed my attention and refused to let go. We have characters from the previous two books coming through to try and figure out what exactly Scanthax is planning as they discovered his envoys tealing into SAGA stealing weapons, which they take back so that Penelope/Princess can script.
I had to work really hard at keeping the avatars and humans and sentient beings straight in my head. Ghost, who is the queen of Saga, stole my heart though and I liked reading about these strong independent characters.
It is a roiling mix of punk and rock n' roll and military science fiction and would suit gamers (boys and girls) to a T. I would recommend this to the upper scales of our #u14so readers and definitely for adults. The reason I'm recommending it for older readers is because of the complexity of the storyline, more than anything else. I suspect it would suit younger, very confident readers, who have no problem following layered storytelling and science fiction concepts who may be avid gamers themselves.
I think, had I found this as a younger reader, instead of reading Asimov and Herbert, I would have become a very big science fiction fan indeed.
I am very proud to have read and understood EDDA and not just that, but liked the writing and the storytelling. I have no reservations about recommending it to readers. And that man Conor Kostick better hurry up pretty sharpish with something new for me to read.
Thank you so much to O'Brien for sending this along and for introducing themselves to MFB. Please pop by later this afternoon when I've got a small blogpost going live, showcasing who O'Brien are and some of their titles.
Find Conor's friendly and down to earth website here.