Shadeward: Exoneration, by imaginative science fiction writer, Drew Wagar, is a continuation of the story begun in ‘Shadeward: Emanation’. If you haven’t read that book, I advise you to do so first, as it sets the scene and introduces the characters and the location whilst telling an engaging and compelling story.
Continuing the saga, set on a tidally locked planet of a distant Red Dwarf sun, Exoneration follows the further adventures of old friends, and some new ones.
Again, there’s the fluent mix of fantasy style with science fiction, with mind control and telepathy the most obvious elements that might be seen as fantasy. The world itself, its climate and the technologies developed are all, however, real science fiction.
The tale moves us into the inevitable conflict of reason with religious myth and legend, with the hypocrisy of those who seek to use such unreliable stories as the foundation of their control over others rising as a major theme.
There’s much adventure, tension, action and event in this book, with the threat of real harm affecting all the players as the realisation that an ancient ‘legend’ might just be based on fact, though not the selective aspects chosen by some factions of society.
The cast of characters continues to engage the reader, leading him through a series of events and perils where character guides action for better or for worse.
There’s a fascinating allegory here; the manner in which fear of the unexplained and sometimes inexplicable can be welded to a constructed history that can then be used as justification for one class to rule over the gullible and ignorant. Something we’ve seen so frequently in our own history on Earth.
It’s a tremendous tale that maintains the spirit and pace of the first book, and I look forward to the next in the series.
[Any review is a personal opinion. No reviewer can represent the view of anyone else. The best we can provide is an honest reaction to any given book.]
You can find my review of Shadeward: Emanation here.