Hello and welcome to another review here on the Swordsmith blog! Westu hal to you, I do hope that you are reading something awesome and staying safe.
I am once again delighted to be working with Justine and Timy from Storytellers on Tour to bring you my review of Goodby to the Sun: Book 1 in the Windtide series by Jonathan Nevair. This is a wonderful, character driven story of a fight for freedom, and has been part of my Sci-Fi renaissance of recent months.
Now before I go any further, I would like to draw your attention to the fantastic bloggers and bookstagrammers taking part in this tour, click this link to view more. My thanks to Justine and Timy once again for having me along.
It’s time now for the blurb
Tucked away in the blue sands of Kol 2, the Motes are on the brink of cultural collapse. Razor, a bold and daring pilot, leads a last-ditch gambit against their local oppressors, the Targitians. The plan – abduct visiting Ambassador Keen Draden and use him as a bargaining chip to restore her people’s independence in the Sagittarius Arm. But when the operation unravels, Razor is forced to renegotiate terms with the arrogant diplomat. Battling furious Wind Tides and pursuit by an infamous bounty hunter, Razor and Keen find mutual assistance in a dubious freelancer with a knack for exposing cracks in people’s pride
Light years away on Heroon a radical resistance blossoms. The alluring rainforest planet haunts Keen. All his problems started there during the Patent War, but it’s where Razor’s troubles may find a solution. The moral tide ebbs, exposing an impossible choice that links their futures together more tragically than they ever thought possible.
Goodbye to the Sun – a nonstop thrill ride across an unstable galaxy, combining moral struggle and character-driven adventure.
I would just to start with how much I enjoyed this book, it’s brilliant and so well put together. I want to start with the worldbuilding, Jonathan employs a useful technique where the world (and the Universe) are built up through the book. Something I have really struggled with in Sci-Fi is the huge amount of worldbuilding which is sometimes required. This is coupled with Jonathan’s nice easy to read writing style, which eases the reader into this book which also begins with a real bang which really drew me in to the story.
This is one of the crowning achievements of the book, it is a space opera but it lacks the grand and sweeping narrative and instead we are presented with the story of Keen and Razor. This moves me naively along to how the story is presented, as we get perspectives from Razor and Keen. Razor starts the chapters with a retrospective look at events, almost in a sense of dramatic irony and then Keen takes over with the present tense sections. This really allows the plot to be driven forward in a very satisfying way, but this yet another fine example of character driven sci-fi. The characters drive the plot forward, in a very satisfying way and what an incredible story you are in for. This story pushed me emotionally at times, prepare for a ride and what a ride it is.
Now while the worldbuilding was well done, there is a lot to take in in this book. Everything for technological advances, elaborate cultural practices, political tensions and bodies. For someone like me, this is information that I crave about created worlds, it was amazing to learn about the Motes (Razor’s people) history in a dream like sequence and how they are in the position you find them in. There are some amazing sequence’s waiting for you, this is something I found very compelling each time I picked this book up to read.
I would like to end the review on something I really noticed about this book, and that’s how layered it is. There is so much happening in this universe, the action on Kol 2 is not an isolated incident. There are many causes and issues at stake, everything felt justified and relevant. It was amazing to see how Jonathan has packed this all into one book, a universe is waiting for you discover it and what a universe it is.
That’s all from me, this is a book that comes with my recommendation to read and it is truly worth your time. Westu hal, I hope that you are reading something awesome and staying safe.
One final thing, there is a great competition running which is completely free for you to enter and your prize is a signed copy of Goodbye to the Sun! Click this link to enter, think how good it will look on your bookshelf.
Goodbye to the Sun by Jonathan Nevair
Series: Wind Tide (#1)
Published: May 18, 2021
Genre: Science Fiction, LGBTQ+
Jonathan Nevair is a science fiction writer and, as Dr. Jonathan Wallis, an art historian and Professor of Art History at Moore College of Art & Design, Philadelphia. After two decades of academic teaching and publishing, he finally got up the nerve to write fiction. Jonathan grew up on Long Island, NY but now resides in southeast Pennsylvania with his wife and rambunctious mountain feist, Cricket. You can find him online at http://www.jonathannevair.com and on twitter at @JNevair
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B092TR7R13/
Shadow Spark Publishing: https://shadowsparkpub.com/jonathan-nevair