Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction
Approximate word count: 30-35,000 words
Availability Kindle: YES Nook: NO Paper: NO
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William L.K. lives in the suburbs of New York City. He earns his living as a professional musician (imagine Billy Joel’s Piano Man). In addition to the Stritonoly Chronicles, a series in which this book is the first installment, he has published a novelette, The Voice, available for your Kindle, which we reviewed previously here.
Dmitri, son of the Czar of the planet Stritonoly, has an addiction that, unknown to the rest of the royal family, has driven him insane. The repercussions of Dmitri’s actions threaten the entire planet. This is the first book in the Stritonoly Chronicles, a series that continues with Barok’s Exodus with at least one more book on its way.
Assigning Eye of the Storm a genre was problematic for me. It might be science fiction. It mostly takes place on Stritonoly, a technologically advanced planet, at least in most ways. Among other things, they have a space ship capable of shuttling large numbers of people between planets.
However, a small portion of the story takes place on Earth in a contemporary setting. In addition, some of the technology on the planet Stritonoly is not advanced at all; for example, the sword is their weapon of choice. The sword as a weapon and much of the world the author has created seem more fitting for a fantasy setting, including a strong mystical or magical element. The catchall genre for science fiction and fantasy is speculative fiction. This is the logical genre assignment; however, those who prefer one of these sub-genres, especially fantasy, should still find Eye of the Storm a good fit.
The basic story is an archetype; overcome by a lust for power a character cuts corners and makes immoral or unethical decisions to gain that power. The author does a good job integrating the story archetype into the world he has created with appropriate variations to make the story his own.
His characters are well formed and drive the story. He finds a way to make acidels, a race of slave creatures that are unattractive, sweaty, and smelly, still likeable – the reader caring about the acidels is, if not a requirement, definitely helpful for drawing the reader into the story.
In the final analysis, what genre a book fits in isn’t important. That the characters and story engage the reader is all that matters. The Eye of the Storm does this and does it well.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four stars