Thursday, 19 April 2012
Known Afterlife (The Provider Book 1) - Trey Copeland
Title: Known Afterlife (The Provider Book 1)
Author: Trey Copeland
"Known Afterlife" by Trey Copeland is an interesting blend of fantasy and science fiction with a little spiritual exploration included. The novel follows two separate narratives; the first of these is focused on Steffor, a Guardian who fights to ensure the protection of his arboreal world known simply as The Provider. The second narrative is based around Stalling, a powerful businessman on the planet Antium who has dedicated his entire commercial empire to trying to break the control of the all powerful Church of Salvation that he feels is stifling and limiting the people.
These two very different plotlines form part of an enjoyable ride that takes the reader back and forth between a futuristic world of technology and corruption to a world of fantasy, full of strange creatures, magical powers and a strong link between people and nature. At times it can be hard to understand how these two storylines could ever come together but Copeland does a good job at the end with the inevitable and intriguing merger. I have to admit that by half way through the novel I had begun to guess how and why these two stories were linked but I still enjoyed the final reveal none the less.
The overall pacing and originality of the story kept me hooked from the start to the finish although I have to admit that the jumping between storylines did get a little bit irritating at times. This was mainly because I would be getting engrossed in where one of the plots was going, only for the story to then switch onto the other plotline and so on. Maybe if the transitions were a bit smoother it would have been easier to accept but it did at times really break up the flow.
One of the novel's elements that really interested me was the manner in which both worlds showed a rather different aspect of religion. On The Provider, the elements of faith, love and belief really drove the people on, working together to achieve peace and prosperity and highlighted some of the positives that can be derived from religion. Whereas on Antium, the rigidness, conservatism and position of power the church holds had led to despair, racism and an overall fear of change. I just found that the philosophical and spiritual elements of this novel can make the reader think a little bit about the true meanings of our own religions and beliefs.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable storyline that felt a little bit different from the usual fantasy or science fiction novels I have previously read. Whilst I did have issues with the switching between plots, now that the two storylines seem to now have merged I am hoping that this won't be an issue going forward in the sequel. Personally, I am now really looking forward to the sequel and am can't wait to find out where the story is going to go next.
Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (The Eclectic Bookshelf)
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)
Free Reads Challenge
Speculative Fiction Challenge