Prologue – Chapter Two
This story starts right off in the action and after a couple of the things I’ve read this weekend, getting right into the action is a good thing. It’s fast paced, you know you’re in a space opera setting and it sets the tone for what you expect the whole novel to be. I think its good things slow down a bit right after though because the emotional connections haven’t been established yet and it might be hard to do so in that breakneck an opening.
Our eyes in this story is the character of Dayn. So far, Dayn feels a lot like Luke Skywalker to me. He’s obviously going to be our hero, he’s young and he’s looking to go do something that his parental figures don’t approve of. Dayn wants to participate in something called course blading, which you kind of got an introduction to in the prologue. It was smart of Sanders to throw that bit of action in at the beginning because you get a very good taste of exactly why his parents might not be so keen on letting Dayn do it. Hell, I wouldn’t want my kid up there in space jumping from one insanely fast moving rock to another.
Sanders has found that delicate balance that many world building authors struggle with. N.K. Jemisin talks about the levels of immersion a story will take and I think today’s audience is looking for something that hovers between mid and high immersion. Meaning that Sanders knows when to explain something to us and when to just let the details of the backstory unfold. He makes better use of his time setting up the conflict for us as opposed to explaining how the farming system works on this world. A smart writer knows to when to give and when to let the reader fill in the blanks.
I’m committed to the story now and that’s in part due to the author’s ability to excite and then to pull you in with a universal conflict; the coming of age. I look forward to seeing how this plays out and how else this story might be a spiritual friend to Star Wars.