Book Review – Ventus by Karl Schroeder
I had seen some of Karl Schroeder’s books in the library before, but I never picked one up until now. I’m glad I finally did. This isn’t a great book. There are weak spots. The prose, grammar, and punctuation could be better, but the story is outstanding. This is an imaginative science fiction tale in a seemingly fantasy-like medieval setting. I like this kind of cross-genre mixing and use it in my own stories.
Two investigators from a technologically advanced intergallactic civilization are on Ventus searching for an agent of recently defeated malevolent “god.” They fear he can resurrect (or perhaps recreate would be a better word) this entity. They want to stop him from doing so. They recruit (essentially kidnap) a young local boy who they believe can locate this agent.
The inner turmoil experienced by some of the main characters is well conceived, if a bit sparse. The main investigator is driven to succeed because of her past. The god’s agent is rediscovering his stolen humanity. The young local boy is growing up, questioning his past assumptions, and learning the world is a much bigger and more complex place than he ever imagined. The planet itself, Ventus, is a unique character in the book. Ventus is not the natural, Earth-like planet it appears to be. All of what passes for nature here, the flora, fauna, even the weather, were created and are being managed by a sentient nano-technological marvel. To say more on this would create spoilers but suffice it to say it too has its own internal conflicts to resolve.
For the engaging story, decent characters, overall positive tone, and imaginative setting, I recommend this book. It is an enjoyable read.