By Matthew Munson
So while hanging out on Twitter and being my usual curious self I came across a small publisher, called Inspired Quill. That led me down a rabbit hole where I wanted to buy ALL THE THINGS (honestly between reading for the podcast and getting other books I didn’t have time to read more books but oh well). I narrowed down my first list to five books and told myself, two books for the podcast, one for me.
So out of all the books I purchased, the first one I went with was Elysium’s Shadow by Matthew Munson. This might be the first book I’ve ever read where I wasn’t skimming the long descriptions or passing through the boring bits to get to the good stuff. I’m a horrible reader that way. Elysium was short and to the point with everything and it revealed things in time. It was well written and a fun read. I honestly enjoyed it. But it was also the first book where I missed those deeper descriptions and details. I wanted to stay in the scenes longer and have things be developed more.
The good news is that it is part of a series and there will hopefully be more, but obviously, we’ll be getting a new story and therefore won’t get those chances for longer scenes. The other issue (and it really didn’t take away from the story but it kept echoing in my head) was that everyone was interconnected. Everyone had a past together, everyone was linked and they didn’t know it until it became relevant to the plot. Without a reason for them all to be matched together that way it felt a tad contrived.
What it came down to for me was something akin to a Doctor Who episode (back when Doctor Who was still good). You always have people coming together in odd ways and with odd past reveals and you just take that at face value because it’s the Doctor and the universe works that way for him. I was more than happy to say that the universe was working its odd magic to make the story and the beginning of these characters come together and start the story.
I liked all of the characters. They could use more development of course but as this is a series and this first book was relatively short for sci-fi I know that development will come with time. The new world and new society that Munson has created are intriguing and immersive and I was right there with it and didn’t want to leave it. I am very excited to see what comes next in this series and for these characters.
You can find the book here:
That’s my boy! A very balanced critique.