Wendy reviews Slumberscythe (The Outre War book 1) by Vance Bastian. Published by Rogue Ravens Publishing October 8, 2014, 274 pages.
After a series of dreams where he relives a female espionage agent’s 1972 missions, slightly overweight, slightly narcoleptic, slightly middle-aged, chronically single and gay James is shocked to learn the shadowy events really occurred. When operatives with dream-related powers show up in his life looking for him, he needs to find someone who can teach him to use his bloodline’s supernatural abilities.
His strange dreams lead him to unlikely help – a young reaper who fancies herself a Valkyrie. Halldora’s a closeted gamer-chick who grew up in the half-hidden world of the Outré. She’ll show him how to survive if she can get over her own baggage.
With a little luck, and a lot of help, James might just figure everything out.
Right after he gets these Sandman agents off his tail.
Why I read this book: I discovered this book through a friend during an author takeover event on Facebook. It sounded intriguing and I thought I would give it a try.
Ok, first let me just say that Sci-fi is a genre that’s a little bit outside my comfort zone. I’m always afraid that I won’t “get” what the story is about or what the author is saying and then it will just be a trip down the rabbit hole and I would be hopelessly lost. That was absolutely NOT the case with this story. It is a very complex world and there’s a TON of stuff going on, but it’s so well thought out and written so well that I was able to stay right with it through the entire book. His world building was flawless IMO.
I was able to connect with all of the characters. They are warm and feel very real. I love that James is written as a smart enough character that he’s able to piece together a few things so he wasn’t completely taken by surprise to discover that the world he lives in isn’t quite all that he knew it to be. I also love that he’s ready as a mature (and what he thinks of himself as average) adult to take this adventure. Seems that most of the Sci-fi that I’ve read has young people who are just starting out in the world. And in Vance Bastian’s world, things are so closely woven into what we see everyday that it made me step back and think a couple of times. I had to remind myself that it was only a book, that’s just how wonderfully written this story is. The Sandmen and Reapers were amazing. The action fast paced and LOTS of twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat.
If you like Sci-fi I can’t recommend this book highly enough, it’s brilliant!