Good morning, squiders! Today I’m bringing you Entromancy by M.S. Farzan, which is a fun mix of science fiction and fantasy.
2076 is not a good year to be a special agent. A quarter of the world’s power runs on ceridium, a newly discovered element that has had the unintended consequence of spawning a new race of people, and several forms of magic that were once thought to have been forgotten. Eskander Aradowsi is an agent of NIGHT, a paramilitary force created to contain and control this new perceived threat, but he soon learns that not all within his organization is as it seems. A botched mission turns out to be the least of his troubles, when he unearths a plot that threatens the uneasy truce between the aurics and humans of San Francisco, and centers on a form of magic that toys with the very fabric of the universe: Entromancy.
I turned into a tiny cul-de-sac, passing a hand over the cruiser’s console to turn off the engine. I stepped off of the vehicle and unraveled my long coat, adjusting my lenses to see better in the dim light away from the main thoroughfare. Moving casually but silently, I walked to the mouth of the alley and peered down the side street towards the storefront, a large corner location masquerading as a legalized Oxidium dispensary. Unlike the larger buildings surrounding it, the shop was comprised of only two stories, with dark, nondescript windows facing out towards the intersection.
Reaching into a pocket, I opened a small packet and slipped a ceridium capsule into my hand. I held it out in front of me and made several deft, practiced gestures, scanning the street around me to ensure that I wasn’t drawing any undue attention. With a final pass of my hand, I crushed the capsule and tossed the contents over my head in a brief flash of blue. I could feel my skin tingling slightly as the spell took effect, shrouding me in a gentle mist that would hide me from all but direct eye contact.
I quietly padded down the street towards the location’s opposing corner, filtering the different readings coming through my lenses and being recorded onto my digitab. A handful of night porters were working a block away, loading furniture into a large truck. Two street people slept under the cover of an awning, bundled even during the unusual heat. Several parked cars lined the roadway, all but one appearing cold in the IR scan. From my vantage, the storefront looked quiet and empty, as expected.
The timer on the upper corner of my lens display read 21:04:05, forty-one minutes before the place was set to blow. Plenty of time.
I’m giving this a 4 out of 5.
I am in love with the worldbuilding on this one. Seriously, it’s amazing. It’s hard to write science fiction with fantasy races and have it make sense, but by jove, I have now seen it done. The book is almost worth it just for that aspect.
Luckily, it’s also good in other ways. The writing is good, the characterization is good, the plot is slightly predictable but still eminently readable, and, seriously, A+ on the worldbuilding. There are some infodumps throughout that could have been shortened or spread out better, and there is a FAIRLY MAJOR piece of information about the main character that’s not revealed til about halfway through that I’m a bit annoyed about, but overall, I really enjoyed reading this one.
I’d recommend picking this up if you like a good mix of science fiction and fantasy.
S. Farzan was born in London, UK and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has a B.A. in Integrative Biology, M.A. in Religious Leadership for Social Change, and Ph.D. in Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions. He has written and worked for high-profile video game companies and editorial websites such as Electronic Arts, Perfect World Entertainment, and MMORPG.com, and has trained in and taught Japanese martial arts for over ten years. He also enjoys soccer, baseball, and games of all kinds.
The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.