Thursday, 8 August 2013

Serial: Longing by Zachary Bonelli

Part 2 of the Voyage Embarkation serial.

I read and review the Voyage Embarkation serials after a request from the author.

Kal leaves Felis after experiencing a recurring dream that leaves him with more questions than answers. For the first time he travels to an alternative world inhabited by humans, called Ydora, and there he meets Sprig'g, an indigenous girl that has also experienced similar dreams to Kal. Together they travel across Ydora to the Sejjh, where their dreams originate from, and where the answers they seek are hidden. 

Link to Goodreads
Link to amazon
Once more I thoroughly enjoyed this installment of Bonelli's serial, it feels like a separate story but at the same time feels like a smaller part of a whole. Kal developed as a character, and the reader discovers why he was 'banished' from Earth (I had previously wondered about whether the reason he had been banished was because he had committed a crime, it isn't) and on top of that we got to see him interacting with characters that aren't giant cats!! 

The differences between Earth and Ydora seem to be minimal, and mostly to do with culture and how advanced society is, this produces an interesting dynamic between Kal and Sprig'g, especially when it becomes apparent to her that Kal is using technology to protect her. This leads to the interesting idea of mistech. 

Mistech is described by Sprig'g as the misuse of technology towards another human being. What is particularly interesting is that Bonelli has remembered that technology is not just of the electronic variety but also things like crossbows and other 'medieval' weaponry. There is almost a moral tale here and I do wonder whether it is something that Kal, and the author, will touch upon in future episodes. 

Personally, I really hope that Sprig'g plays a part in Kal's story again, there was a good friendship forming, seemingly without the pressure for the two of them to create a relationship, though at this point I would be open to them doing so so long as it is done gradually! To that point though, Kal doesn't seem to be acting like a normal male character in the way that he doesn't seem to look at female characters in a way that appraises their looks at all, though maybe this will change! 

It is also worth noting that I had very few issues with the technical language this time round, something that I noted in a previous review, which made it a much 'smoother' read for me!  

Whilst reading Voyage Embarkation #2: Longing I came across a quote that, even after only having read the first two parts of the serial, I see as capturing the essence of what Kal's story is all about:
He marveled at how such an extraordinary experience could become commonplace, and hoped that such wonders would never cease to amaze him.
The other quote that caught my attention, and similarly sums up the serials (so far at least), was the age old advice, and theme of:
But it's not the destination that matters, Kal'and, rather the journey and the decisions you make along the way. That's why I created the Sejjh the way I did, out here in the vastness. To give you a journey. 
Somewhat random note on the covers: I like how the covers of each episode are similar but with a different pad screen showing the world number and name!

I really enjoyed part 2 of Bonelli's serial, and am looking forward to reading more about Kal's adventures!