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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Book Review: The Memory of Sky: A Great Ship Trilogy by Robert Reed

This author has an amazing imagination.
The Memory of Sky: A Great Ship Trilogy
by Robert Reed

  • File Size: 1003 KB
  • Print Length: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Prime Books (February 4, 2014)
Genre: Fantasy
My Rating: 4.0 of 4.0

Book Description
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Diamond is an odd little boy, a seemingly fragile child—who proves to be anything but. An epic story begins when he steps into the world his parents have so carefully kept him from, a world where gigantic trees each house thousands of humans and another human species, the papio, rule its far edges. Does Diamond hold the promise to remake one species and, perhaps, change all of the Creation?

Diamond has lived sheltered by his parents who have been afraid that he was ill and fragile and would die if exposed to the world outside their tree home. So Diamond has stayed in his small room with his bear, Mister Mister, and his army of soldiers, whom he knows by name and action. His father, Merit, is a hunter who is famed for bringing down the giant Coronas, whose body parts have many uses. One day, while Merit is away hunting, Diamond wakes up to discover his mother is missing. He ventures out to the other rooms in the house only to find a thieving orange monkey who becomes a friend by the name Good. Finally Diamond wanders outside to see Marduk, his tree home, for the first time. He meets a neighborhood girl, Elata, who sets out to help find his parents. Along the way they run into another neighborhood boy, Seldom, who is a solemn brilliant young student. Diamond had met Seldom’s psychopathic older brother, Karlan, who once stabbed Diamond to see what would happen. Seldom and Elata take Diamond to their school to meet their bizarre but knowledgeable friend, Master Nissim.

Diamond goes from one adventure to another - after all, the whole world is new to him. But it is a scary journey for his friends and becomes scarier as unknown authorities try to capture Diamond. He learns that he has a ‘brother’ whom some consider monstrous. As the story develops there are also two other siblings although none of them are alike except for the unique fact that they seem to be indestructible.

The world building in this story is marvelously complex though hard to imagine. Diamond thinks the sky and sun are up but when he is traveling out in the world he learns that they are down and the roots of the trees are up. The tree people have an uneasy relationship with their enemies, the Papio, who live beyond the trees at the edge of the coral reef. That is where the Coronas surface and are hunted. These are all fascinating creatures and the story is imaginatively unique. There is wonder in the adventure and heartbreaking sorrow in consequences of hasty, vengeful action.

The story had me pondering life, the purpose of day to day efforts, the cost of revenge and the terrible waste of war. I loved how the four siblings came from a point of enemies to helping each other to save the world. All of this was wonderful until the very end. It’s as though the author couldn’t quite figure out how to resolve the story so instead it has a nebulous, disappointing ending. Maybe the ending would mean something more to another reader. Still - this is a great world. I loved Diamond, his family and friends and it was a grand adventure with many surprises.

I selected this for review through NetGalley.

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