John deBrun washed up on the shores of a land on the planet Nanagada several years ago with no memory. He has since married and had a child. But now everything has changed as the bloodthirsty Azteca have found a way through defenses at the Wicked High Mountains and are sweeping down through the villages of Nanagada. With the help of friends and enemies John must fight to save his adopted land while believing all is lost.
Let me start by saying that the only weakness in this story is that it starts slowly. Other than that it’s a fantastically entertaining story with a few surprises that turns into a great ride. There is a lot to like in Crystal Rain. It’s quite impressive to think that this is Tobias Buckell’s debut novel.
The book starts out feeling like a fantasy novel but it is soon apparent why it is classified as science fiction. The story starts off merely hinting where the people of Nanagada and their gods have come from. As the story progresses the reader slowly comes to fully understand their story. In Crystal Rain, Buckell has created a rich and original universe. When I first discovered the connections between Earth, aliens and the world of Crystal Rain it struck me as very cool and clever, though something tells me that some of these ideas must have been used before in sci-fi, they are just too wonderful not to have been.
Buckell has also created some great characters. John deBrun struggles to remember his past, knowing it was completely different than his present. And a mysterious man by the name of Pepper is a butt-kicking, technologically modified warrior, the kind I can really get behind, probably because I’m sort of a weakling myself.
Add everything together and you’ve got one terrific novel. I hesitated at first giving this novel a 5 but screw it, I haven’t had this much fun reading a book in quite awhile, couldn’t put it down.
(Disclosure: This novel was sent to me gratis by the author. The only agreement was that I review it on my blog. But please don’t think that affected my rating at all because it didn’t.)