Wednesday, 23 January 2013
The Nostalgia Gambit - Carmen Webster Buxton
Title: The Nostalgia Gambit
Author: Carmen Webster Buxton
“The Nostalgia Gambit” is written by Carmen Webster Buxton, an author whose previous works I have read and thoroughly enjoyed. Therefore when she asked me if I wished to read and review her latest book I was more than happy to say yes! This novel itself is set in the same Universe as another of her novels entitled “Tribes” which I previously reviewed here. However, whilst they both inhabit the same universe there is no real link between the stories and therefore you can happily read this novel without any issues if you haven’t read the other and vice versa.
The plot follows Tychon Damiano, a small time crook who takes pleasure in stealing from his nation’s aristocratic rulers. However, when a random encounter results in him being recognised as possible illegitimate son of the ruling monarch his life changes hugely. Suddenly he is thrust into a life of luxury and opulence as his long lost father tries to reconnect with him. Of course, such a prominent figure can’t have a crook for a son and therefore Ty is sent to court where his punishment for previous crimes is house arrest within the palace. So the reader gets to follow Ty as he tries to adjust to his new life, family and loss of freedom.
I have to be honest and say I was a little bit worried initially as I was unsure how Buxton would be able to create an exciting and enjoyable book when it appeared that the main protagonist was going to spend most of it under house arrest. In the end though I didn’t need to worry because she manages to keep the reader interested and entertained via the use of politics, intrigue and Ty’s psychological response to the situation.
Don’t get me wrong, if you are looking for an action packed story then you will be very disappointed as it is very much a thoughtful story and is mainly driven by the various character interactions. However, even with this limited action I felt that the pace was about right and the story flowed well as the politics and history of the planet where slowly revealed to both Ty and the reader at the same time helping to ensure that I wanted to keep on reading so I could learn more. Basically this is another novel in which Buxton continues to impress me with the interesting and varied worlds she creates which are a main element in the overall attraction of her novels.
The characters were all very charming, friendly and easy to like, especially the members of Ty’s family. The only issue I had is the way in which the family members all accepted him into their life with only the odd element of complaint. It was almost like they were being too nice and understanding to the point that I couldn’t take them seriously. I can’t say it affected my enjoyment in any way but it ensured that for me the novel lost any sense of realism.
Overall, this was another interesting and enjoyable novel from Buxton that explored a new and varied future world. I will admit that it wasn’t the most action packed novel I have read but sometimes it can be nice to read science fiction dedicated to character interactions and world building. Basically, if you want a break from the more action driven Science Fiction then this is definitely a pleasant and enjoyable option that I am happy to recommend.