Normally I like to have an author interview/guest post with a book review. But, Jay has not been feeling well lately (judging by his recent posts) and I'm pressed for time. However, I was hoping a favorable review of his book would cheer Jay up somewhat.
About the author:
Jay Noel was born in New York, but currently lives in Missouri with his family. He received a degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University many moons ago. Jay is a prolific blogger, and one-time podcaster, and he enjoys connecting with writers, readers, and fellow bloggers from all over the world. Medical sales warrior by day, writing ninja by night, he is the author of The Mechanica Wars series. The first book, Dragonfly Warrior, was published in January, 2014 by 4 Wing Press. Jay loves science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, biographies, and chocolate chip cookies. .
About the book:
At the age of twenty, Kanze Zenjiro's bloody footprints mark the bodies of those who stood in his way to protect the throne of Nihon. Now, the tyrannical Iberian Empire is bent on destroying his kingdom, and they send their steam-powered giants and iron spiders against him.
Zen embarks on a quest that takes him on the most dangerous journey of his life. To succeed, Zen must live up to his nickname, the Dragonfly Warrior, and kill all his enemies with only a sword and a pair of six-guns. He is called upon to somehow survive a test of faith and loyalty in a world so cruel and merciless, it borders on madness.
My review: An interesting world and concept. This reminds me of the fantasy/syfy novels I read as a young adult. It has a mix of western, samurai, action/adventure, steam punk. A multi genre delight. I was initially drawn to the western/samurai theme (like THE LAST SAMURAI), and loved when it transitioned into the steampunk genre. Zenjihito is a nicely developed young character, on a quest for a talisman that will unite and save the nations of the newly formed empire of Nihon. His travels have him meeting, and collecting, many interesting and complet characters. There are many story plots that eventually all come together for the climax of this story plot.
The world building is well integrated into the story and character plots. It is active, progressive, and utilizes many of the story tropes of multiple genre's. I was just a little overwhelmed by the steampunk technology;I lost a bit of interest in the story when the western/samurai story line gave way to modern artillery, and much of the timelines for the alternate plots did not align, but the characters were complex- hero's and villains alike - and intriguing.
I give this a 4 star rating. While the characters and world building were excellently drawn, and there was enough action and violence to intrigue me, the overuse of modern warfare detracted from the steampunk subgenre. I recommend this book/series to readers who enjoy the Star Wars, Rift War, Indiana Jones, Shannara Chronicles sagas.
jaynoelbooks.com Amazon US
I think Jay could use some serious blogger love right now, but he is not a member of the BLOG BLITZ. So I'm appealing to the community here. Please drop by his site and say hello, and wish him a speedy recovery back into the writing and blogging world.