Book Review: At The Sharp End of Lightning by Nicholas Bates

25324761Title: At The Sharp End of Lightning

Author: Nicholas Bates

Genre: Epic Fantasy / Magical Realism

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

AT THE SHARP END OF LIGHTNING. The interwoven fantastical tale of family, of loss and sacrifice, of unexpected gifts and coping with disability and new abilities set against the backdrop of climate change occurring across parallel worlds. In Oceanlight, Yalara Narika, a winged Sea Sprite, searches for her lover over immense seas only to find catastrophe and realization that her world is in turmoil. Meanwhile in the safe suburban normality of North Wales, Einion Morgan Alban, a restless youth afflicted by a disease of the blood, is nearly murdered by a man in a white suit. Yalara and Einion must discover the causes of their near-deaths and their as yet unrevealed connections as they both face upheaval to their lives and their worlds. Book One of the OCEANLIGHT series.

In At The Sharp End of Lightning, we meet two protagonists whose stories are, at first, seemingly unconnected, but who soon turn out to be connected in several ways, even if they’re not from the same world. Einion Alban is a Welsh boy who got shoved off a cliff by an unknown assailant and got rescued by a man and his dog. Einion grows up with a disease, and against the backdrop of a world dealing with climate change and a society that doesn’t seem to concern itself with what happens to Mother Nature, let alone our planet. He has a guardian sea sprite in a parallel universe, and forges a bond with the sprites through dreams.

The other main character is Yalara, a sea sprite looking for her lover, who discovers her world is in danger. She also discovers her connection to Einion and why they’re connected. While mostly fiction, the book deals with several relatable themes: climate change, to find out the meaning of our existence.

I enjoyed the explanation of the “thinness” between worlds, and how it is that Einion can cross it. The characters are original, and the author does an admirable job creating characters with interesting personalities, instead of stereotypes. The world-building was solid, and especially the sea sprite world, Oceanlight, was very vividly described. The book borders on the philosophical sometimes, which I didn’t mind at all. It didn’t slow down the narrative, and in fact,made the book more interesting.

Fans of fantasy and magical realism should give this one a shot. I definitely enjoyed it, and am looking forward to the sequel.

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