Reviews by Edwyn Thai

Oberheim (Voices)

by Christopher Leadem

This one (I've read the other two) may be a little too intense. Depends on what you like. The premise is interesting, and suprising unique considering its simplicity: a war in space between existing and evolving world powers.

But it's definitely not Star Trek. The prejudices that lead to war, the horrors of war, no punches are pulled.

It's also told from multiple viewpoints which, while adding perspective, may not be what people are used to. There are characters who come and go, reappear briefly (which is nice, finding out what happened to them), but in the end there is really only one: Olaf Brunner, an East German officer trying to hold off the right wing American aggressive (talk about pulling no punches!). Without ruining the ending, he feels himself no hero, while the author focuses again on the horrors of war.

Good, but very intenes.

Reviewed on 2006.10.11

The Mantooth

by Christopher Leadem

This one is something of a throwback. It reminded me somewhat of "Planet of the Apes," somewhat of "One Million Years B.C." The genre is 'end of the world', but not in the traditional sense. Man (virtually) destroys himself, but not the earth. Instead the radiation from nuclear war takes Man back to a more primitive time, himself less evolved, even Neanderthal.

But one character is born fully human, thus the inevitable conflict. From the very first chapter he is made an outcast in a world where individuals rarely survive. Yet he meets his match in Sylviana, the daughter of a 20th Century scientist who put her into suspended animation as the bombs started falling.

Thus it also becomes an echo of Adam and Eve, and yet a further clash of cultures. The story grows and evolves, including both human and animal characters, some who have evolved into rational beings even as Man digressed.

The book is divided into three parts, and as such, has not one ending but three, which is interesting. And the book ends not with hints of a sequel, but by the observation that, "And so one chapter ended, even as another began."

Life goes on. I like it.

Reviewed on 2006.09.29

Highland Ballad

by Christopher Leadem

I'm glad the publisher chose to call this an historical novel, rather than historical romance. While it is certainly romantic in nature, it is not the silly, predictable historical romance so prevalent today. Instead it incorporates elements of history, mystery and the occult to keep the reader guessing, most of all, to keep them turning the pages.

I read the book in one night in spite of myself. I had to know who was really who, who alive, who dead. That in part one. In part two, characters revealed, it becomes more of the classic Gothic novel, a lovely young woman in distress, the good man (and the bad, interestingly enough) trying to save her.

Without ruining the ending, I think you'll find it as interesting, compelling and ultimately satisfying as I did. Could have been a little longer, but even that adds to the drama and excitement. Personally, I was to find out what else he's written. Two more titles here that I'll have to check out.

Reviewed on 2006.09.20

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