Whoo, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, hasn’t it?? I was meant to have this up ages ago, but better late than never!
Hey guys! Back with a new review. And yes, I’m sticking with fantasy for the time being. I will be branching out down the line, but for now, I’ll stick with what I know! I have a list of books to get through, but I am always on the lookout for more. If you have a novel and would like an honest review, don’t hesitate to talk to me! I am nice to talk to. Just ask my parole officer. Maybe…..*Whistles as I walk away from the chaos and dead bodies*. I also have a Patreon: to check it out, please click on the logo below!
So, Sowing. One thing we do as indie writers and authors is talk an awful lot, join groups and do what we can to support each other and aid when we can, and it’s such a good thing to have this kind of support networks. That is where I met Angie. The first in her series, Sowing got released in August last year, and I was so happy to get my hands on it! If you know her, she is just so passionate about her world that if anything, I feel a little envious about. I’m very passionate about Counterbalance and my realm of Rengar, but with the exception of a dozen or so characters, I don’t feel as much emotion for them. Angie does, and that is a great thing to have as an author. And that enthusiasm really shows in Sowing.
Angie is truly a talented author, and her creative world-building talents are shown in this first installment. A dystopian society told in the POV’s of two sisters of widely differing backgrounds, it highlights the cruelty of the world, while at the same time making you want to know more. I spent the book wondering what the outside world must be like because it was very interesting and drew me in. You don’t actually see much of her world in the first book. In fact, it’s just one city, taken over by the conquering race that is called Hulcondan. I do really hope that in later books, we get to know more about the world Angie has created because it really has a lot of depth which gets more surprising the more you read it.
Limited first person narrative is difficult to do right, and the author performs admirably in this regard. Not once are you spoonfed information, nor does it infodump lore about the world, something hard to do in this genre. A lot of people do this early on, but Angie didn’t, drip feeding it to you instead, and that was refreshing. It kind of drops you in the middle of the conflict and lets you piece it together. Not many authors have the guts to do that, and it’s done fairly well. The first few chapters can be confusing because it throws a lot at you in quick succession, but after that, it gets a lot easier.
Taking place during the time of a deadly shadow war by terrorists, the occupying Hulcondans are shown in a different light by the two female POV protagonists. Rabreah is the rebel, more brutal of the two sisters, while Ariliah is kind and sweet. I have to say, her attitude towards life can be very grating to read, but it’s written so well you cannot help but like her despite my personal feelings towards the character. But she whines a lot so this may turn you off. Some may call her a bit one-dimensional for her attitude and lack of trust, as it is thrown in your face a lot. I certainly wanted to appear in the world and give her a few punches to the face. But hey, that’s good writing to make me want that! Rabreah’s attitude towards men and authority is understandable, judging from her experiences, and that is the book’s greatest strength. Come on, the two sisters have an awful and abusive mother, so that is completely understandable! That’s the great thing about Sowing: Angie’s characters are believable and relatable. It isn’t all sunshine and lollipops though because some will find Rabreah extremely irritating. In my first read of Sowing, it did put me off an awful lot,
Ariliah was my favorite POV because it shows how gentle and broken she is, struggling with the terrorists as well as her own war at home. She’s sheltered and naive, struggling with her utterly horrible mother, but that isn’t such a bad thing for me, and it was very refreshing to read her chapters from Rab’s more…abrasive nature. The supporting cast is excellent too, my favorite being the sarcastic, dangerous rebel Sorek.
This story pulls no punches and some scenes are quite distressing, but not once did I think it ever went overboard. There’s one particular scene which is uncomfortable and disturbing, but I won’t spoil it. Angie doesn’t fall into the trap a lot of people make, which is “Writing out of fear of offense.” This is good because if you let people’s opinions control your writing, it just won’t be as natural. Just don’t go overboard like say, Sade, and you’ll be fine. You cannot please everybody, and somebody will always be offended by what you write. There is also the hint of something more dangerous stirring throughout the plot, and it really drew me in. Other rebel attacks are shown, and the frustration of the Hulcondan government. The final scene is excellent as well, and really ramps the tension up for the second book.
Overall, this is an excellent read, I recommend it for anybody. It does have its flaws, and if the parts which complimented those flaws were written badly, I do think I would have given it a lower rating. But they didn’t, which more than makes up for it. I’d give this a 4.5 out of 5, but rounding up because I finished the book in one sitting; very few books can do that to me. I frankly cannot wait to see what the second book has in store for me.
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That is it for now! I will be back very soon actually, as I post the #WIPjoy roundup for week 2.