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Dead and Buryd: A Dystopian Action Adventure Novel (Out of Orbit Book 1) Kindle Edition
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There are some interesting characters, a good level of suspense and a pleasant story unfolded throughout the pages. I'm hoping that in the remainder of the series, the main character, the medic, young Georgianna becomes a little more independent, and makes a few more solid choices instead of just drifting. There are signs of it, and I hope it continues.
The book has obviously been well edited since some of the earlier reviews because I found little wrong with it. Except perhaps the cliffhangerish ending. Now have to get the next in the series to find out how Georgiana manages to extricate herself from the dangerous situation in which she now finds herself.
An enjoyable read, well worth a look.
I received a free copy from the author via Story Cartel. This is my voluntary and honest review.
The bleakly haunting cover is a good indication of the nature of this story, set on a blighted, post-apocalyptic planet. A natural disaster affecting the planet's orbit has disrupted its climate, which then ricochets between unbearably hot weather and freezing cold. To survive, its people must shelter during the heat in dark tunnels and shady buildings; during the chill they must migrate in search of warmth. This was a sobering and thought-provoking premise in the light of modern controversy about global warming.
Following the disaster, the planet's people form tribes who work together to survive. One brutal group dominates the rest, throwing into the anarchic Lyndbury penitentiary compound anyone who offends them. This punishment is deemed a fate worse than death, and the "Buryd" of the title is a contraction of Lyndbury.
The opening of the story, with a grandfather relating to his grandson how this situation came about, is a sensitive and effective overture to the novel's themes of loyalty and friendship in adversity. The tale's heroine is Georgianna, a young medic, who is doing all in her power to improve the lives of the downtrodden tribes, including the unfortunate "Buryd" inmates of Lyndbury. Although the setting is as grim as Orwell's "1984",the survival of Georgianna's compassion and her and her friends' humanitarian instincts also make it an uplifting story.
This is the first book in the proposed "Out of Orbit" series and its ending sets up a powerful link to the second instalment, which I look forward to reading.
Why not 5*? Sometimes the flow of the story was interrupted or slowed by slightly laborious writing, primarily when describing people's physical movements. Simple actions such as getting up from sitting down, or reaching out to touch someone, were described in excessive detail, to the point where the narrative almost felt like instructions to a puppeteer. I found this distracting. I also found the use of "ordinary" names (first names and surnames) alongside completely made-up alien names puzzling - why they weren't all either normal names or all alien names. A small, pernicketty point, but that sort of niggle is spell-breaking for this fussy reader who doesn't cope well with unusual names at the best of times.
But overall this is a very good debut novel, creating a convincing fantasy world, from a writer who I am sure will be well-received among fans of modern fantasy and sci-fi. Recommended.
The novel’s setting, an unfamiliar planet occupied by inhuman, almost robotic invaders, really appealed to me. Not only was the way in which Cooke portrays the setting particularly masterful – her descriptions allow your mind’s eye to create an almost perfect picture – but the harsh summers and harsher winters made me think of an exaggerated version of our own world. It almost seemed plausible to me that Cooke’s dystopia could be a future version of Earth, a world where the natural environment has been irreversibly damaged to such an extent that people are forced to live in tunnels to escape the searing heat, unable to spend even a short amount of time in the sun, in the heat of the day without fear of burning. Needless to say I was intrigued enough by the book from the onset that I didn’t want to put it down.
There are several central themes running through the novel, the most important of which is love. Love emerges in Cooke’s work in many different ways, but ultimately, there is a love which is central to the Veniche’s existence that the Adveni seem incapable of feeling. The Veniche are described as a very sentimental people – they have a strong allegiance to their kind, their tribes and ultimately their family. Georgianna herself works alongside the Adveni so that she can treat those of her people who are trapped away from the ones they love. Above and beyond this allegiance, is the love the Veniche develop for the one person they choose to ‘join’ themselves with. Being joined is described as something very final, which you can never distance yourself from. The topic is first approached in reference to a relationship between Georgianna’s brother and the man to whom he was joined. Georgianna first learns what it means to love by witnessing the love the two men share.
The Adveni, on the other hand, are clinical in the very sense of the word. Cooke creates an army of invaders akin to the Nazi’s Master Race. The allegiance that the Adveni have to their group goes beyond the heartfelt commitment of the Veniche; they have an ingrained herd mentality, going about their lives in favour of the greater good.
The Adveni mating ritual is an example of survival of the fittest at its most horrifying – a greater force deliberately manipulating breeding patterns to create an indestructible army. Tactics frighteningly similar to those used by the Nazi’s during World War II. The Adveni do not have that one person who they feel they cannot live without; rather, they are matched up with the person best suited to their genetic makeup. For the Adveni, love exists only for the greater collective good.
I found Georgianna to be an incredibly genuine and relatable character. In Georgianna, Cooke has created a fantastically well-rounded vessel to convey her story. The reader learns about the planet, the people, and the struggle almost exclusively through Georgianna, but they also get to know the heroine on a very personal level. In time it becomes apparent just how normal Georgianna is. Despite her situation, her allegiance with the rebels, the things that she does, and even the fact that she is from another world, there is an aspect of her personality that a lot of people can relate to.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Cooke’s work. The story has some fantastic plot twists and enough unanswered questions to have me eagerly anticipating the next in the series. Cooke’s writing style is smooth and fluid, maintaining a unity throughout the flow of the story. I am not an enormous Sci-Fi reader, and I can be easily put off by the random and incessant introduction of unnecessarily complicated devices, but I found Cooke to be very accessible. While new terminology is introduced to the reader, it is done so easily, and with explanation, so as to avoid over complication. Dead and Buryd gets a resounding ‘would recommend’ from me.
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