Review of Reflections of Destiny by Benzon Ray Barbin
One of the first things you’ll notice about this debut novel is the striking imagery.
While not always fantastical, it does not shy away from surprising and otherworldly moments.
The setting has a baroque atmospheric quality, with many points of reference on which the short scenes tend to hang. It deals with technology, warfare, combat, assassins, powers, weaponry, and romance. It employs quick-paced, short chapters to grip the reader in a vise of anticipation. The fast-moving scenes don’t dwell on a plot but rather moments, revealing bits of character and world building.
Making use of fabulous word choice, the author provides profuse visual details, concise dialogue, and page-by-page plot developments to keep you invested and turning pages. There is subtle world building like a scaffolding in the background of the story, bolstered by realistic dialogue and incorporating speculative and futuristic elements, combined to craft a seamless whole.
The reader is tasked to untangle the political climate based on the behavior of a government depicted in telling ways, and one can easy draw parallels to modern times.
Furthermore, it is well-edited, and bereft of the curse of internal monologue which plagues many books of today. It demands participation from the reader, due to the jump cuts and alternating perspective, you will have to piece together the elements as you go along. It contains a mixture of the familiar and the strange. Logistics go hand in hand with character development. At bottom it explores personal relationships, with traces of humor and plenty of conspiracies branching into a complex sociology.
The intricately woven plot and delightful personal details add an intimate layer to the story, without faltering into conventionality.
A recommended read.
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