I got a copy of John White’s fantasy tale, A Dead God Awakes. It’s not really like other fantasy stories. White doesn’t let the normal fantastic archetypes rule his story, and that can be a good thing.
The world building is seamless and immediately you sense the foreignness of it all, but White is able to keep from info-dumping and engages in the narrative while dropping hints about the larger world he has constructed. His writing is good (I noticed a nod to his editor in the front matter for an editor who helped trim the purple prose… White’s writing style echoes of my own, and I know it’s something I’ve battle in the past as well, but its kept to a minimum,) and it has just enough of a flowery ring to make it poetic at times, but not so much as to make it unreadable.
Don’t let this book fool you. There are many seemingly overt nods to classical fantasy tropes (like the names and some of the hierarchy of the world) that make you want to assume epic or high fantasy—everything about this seems to bend your mind towards Sword and Sorcery iconography, and yet it is not. There are many intangibles. It somehow harkens back to my old gaming days when things like Ravenloft were popular, but there is no great comparison. It is somehow so much more.
A Dead God Awakes might be my sleeper pick for fantasy books this year. I don’t think it will get the attention that it deserves, but this book is certainly a phenomenal pick for lovers of dark, original fantasy.
I got a free copy in exchange for a review on Inside the Inkwell Blog.
You can check it out by clicking here!