Set in a richly imagined realm that fuses various elements of urban fantasy and science fiction, this grand-scale fantasy adventure revolves around a young man on a quest to understand and fulfill his mysterious and potentially world-changing destiny.
Rhyus Delmar, a 22-year-old somn—a race of people with powerful paranormal abilities—shows up on the shores of Lux Lemetia, the City of Light, with no memory of how he got there or where he came from. Taken in and cared for by the brutish Venn and his charge, a beautiful young woman named Marion, Rhyus tries to get his bearings while staying at Venn’s opulent Umbra Halls but is haunted by a dream of a robed man telling him to leave. Amid prophecies and rumors that a Calling has been awakened who will determine the “balance of realms,” Rhyus sets out for the sea, beyond the ominous Darkness, on a course that follows the mythical Rafters. But not fully understanding who or what he is, Rhyus must navigate a world filled with strangers with veiled intentions, some who may want to exploit his singular abilities for their nefarious purposes. Powered by a cast of intriguing characters and an impressively serpentine storyline, the story can make it difficult for readers to swallow the contradictory and ill-conceived realm in which the action unfolds. In what initially appears to be a relatively conventional fantasy world saturated with magical energy and inhabited by knife-wielding assassins, Montgomery adds to the mix refrigerator, dryers with dryer sheets, flying robotic beetles, highly advanced holographic screens, memory chips and more. Additionally, some characters have a decidedly urban fantasy feel with lip rings, eyebrow barbells and magic tattoos and wearing denim and leather jackets. And although the mystery of the somns—their history, beliefs, culture, abilities, etc.—is what fuels the storyline in the beginning, readers will have to wait until the seonc book in the series to learn anything substantial about them.
A murky world filled with unrealized narrative and thematic potential.