Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Isadora DayStar - P.I. Barrington
Title: Isadora DayStar
Author: P.I. Barrington
“Isadora Daystar” by P.I. Barrington is a rather dark and bleak Science Fiction novel that feels surprisingly different from a lot of the books in this genre that I have previous read. There are no great heroes, space battles or alien invasions here; it felt like a complex story of redemption that was set in a Science Fiction environment.
The plot itself follows the title character herself, Isadora Daystar who seems to screw up everything she attempts in both her personal and professional life. This is compounded by a drug addiction that has caused her to make some rather terrible choices over the years. However, when she takes on an assassination mission she unknowingly begins a journey that forces her to finally face her own demons or lose everything, including her own life.
I have to be honest and say that there were times that I struggled to get through the rather bleak and depressing life I was witnessing as I turned the pages. This isn’t because the book was badly written or un-interesting; it was because Barrington has done such a good job at portraying a broken and at times incredibly unlikeable character that seems to just be ghosting through a drug addicted life. Luckily I did stick with it and by the end of the novel I realised that she did feel real to me and there was some level of connection. I could appreciate the disaster that her life had become and understand her remorse and feelings of guilt as she struggled on.
The story is also quite action packed and fast paced which should keep most people entertained once they get over the darker aspects of the story. However, the real driving force is Isadora herself alongside her history and the various interactions with the other characters. In particular her interactions with a youngster named Iphedeiah soon enable the reader to finally accept Isadora as a form of anti-hero.
The only issue I did have is that the final revelations in the novel seemed a little bit forced and unbelievable which was a shame considering how good a job Barrington has done in creating a believably flawed Isadora. I won’t go into it in any depth as it would spoil the story, but I particularly couldn’t accept how easily some of the characters were willing to just accept various things. I suppose the problem is that Barrington wanted to at least create some sort of decent ending for Isadora which wasn’t going to be easy to do considering the rather depressing life we had seen before. It didn’t ruin the story for me but it did rather weaken what had been a well-crafted and clever plot.
Overall, this is an interesting novel that looks at redemption and guilt but it really isn’t for the faint hearted as you get to witness some rather grim and unhappy scenes. The ending itself was a bit of a let-down to me and did probably spoil some of the clever narrative that had previously been driving the tale. Despite the ending, I still found the book to be entertaining enough and if you can face the bleak and depressing life that Isadora endures there is a well written story of redemption that most people should enjoy on some level.