Saturday, 28 May 2011

Invisible Dawn (Altered Realities Book 1) - Weston Kincade

Title: Invisible Dawn (Altered Realities Book 1)
Author: Weston Kincade
Genre: Fantasy / Sci-Fi
Published: 2011
Formats: Ebook / Paperback

Available at:
Amazon UK
Barnes & Nobel

"Invisible Dawn" by Weston Kincade has perplexed me in that I struggled to decide if I would class this story as being Sci-Fi or Fantasy. For example, on the Sci-Fi front it touches on alternative universes, with most of the protagonists and antagonists coming from a world which has technology ahead of what we currently utilise. But on the Urban Fantasy front we seem to have people showing psychic talents and in one alternate word we actually meet some Vampires. It was the use of Vampires that finally pushed me into describing this as a Fantasy novel when I discuss it with people, although I am sure others may disagree!

On the topic of Vampires, I hope to god that someday soon people stop the current obsession; they seem to pop up in stories everywhere! I can imagine if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the Sherlock Holmes novels in today's world we would somehow find out that Professor Moriarty was actually a Vampire as well. The use of Vampires in this novel wasn't terrible, but some stories really seem to try and shoe horn them in just to attract a certain type of reader.

Anyway, this novel is the first in a new series of books titled "Altered Realities". It follows a computer programmer, Jedd Altran who has given up everything in his life in an attempt to save his god-daughter Madelin from a covert government organisation named PASTOR. Basically, Madeline appears to have some psychic abilities and this is the reason that PASTOR had detained her.

Very early in the story Jedd manages to help Madeline escape from PASTOR and use her psychic ability to open rifts between alternate worlds which she then flees through. The story then pretty much follows Jedd and Madeline trying to evade PASTOR through these worlds, some of which are very similar to their own whilst others are completely different. As they travel across these worlds they pick up some allies; an ex Mercenary in search of redemption, a broke gambler and a rebellious vampire.

One thing I did not is that you do get dropped into the story straight away without much of a build up and I wasn't 100% sure what was going on exactly. Luckily the story was written in an engaging and exciting manner and I was happy to read on in the knowledge that an explanation would probably be teased out as the story progressed; which did occur as expected. The story progresses at a decent rate with periods of action being interspersed with thoughtful interludes as the characters discuss what it is occurring. The ending however was a little bit of a let down as I didn't really feel like anything had really been concluded. I know that this can be a common problem with books in a series but it still always leaves me a little bit disappointed.

The characters involved are all fairly likeable and very varied; I especially liked the ex mercenary who truly comes across as a man haunted by his past. The way he helps someone he knows nothing about is actually believable as you see the image of a man seeking redemption being built up within the story. The only slight issue I had was the way in which some of the characters seemed to just accept alternative worlds etc. without any real issue. I really would have expected to see a little bit more denial from some of them. It didn't detract from the novel but it made the characters feel a little bit fake in my opinion. Especially considering the way that two of the characters seemed to team up due to a random meeting.

Overall, I found this book to be an enjoyable mix of Urban Fantasy and Sci-Fi and at it's heart it is a fun action novel with a hint of adventure that is hard to put down. I note that whilst I was rather disappointed in how the book ended, I will still be picking up the sequel so that I can continue the story.