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The Amaranth Chronicles: Deviant Rising by Alexander Barnes & Christopher Preiman

March 5, 2018

I've been excited to read this one since I discovered it on Inkshares. The world is fantastically detailed, with thematic similarities to the intergalactic/old-west of Firefly. the biggest standout was future San Francisco and how the city built itself into this dystopic metropolis. Another cool detail was the divide in languages between Frontier and Terran characters, resulting in some interesting exchanges. Cade, a cyborg-assassin with a consicence, and Jerula, a massive human engineer were my favorite characters. The other characters Bobby, Lithia, and Aurelius have some great qualities and personality quirks that keep them as whole characters. Some of the issues I have come in the form of Meta jokes or references to popular items or things from 90s culture that took me out of the world momentarily. Some of the relationships feel a little awkward and forced.  Concerning the main romantic sub-plot, it felt more based on the fact both characters are pretty, than any written chemistry. That's not to say it doesn't work, or is unrealistic, I just felt it could have been done a little more organically. This ties into my other mild criticism, that nothing gets going until 200 pages into the story. There's a lot of important introductions and set-up, but I felt like the meat of the story didn't get going until well into the book. The main "cast" have very few interactions, something that matters less if the series moves forward with more adventures. Overall, I'd suggest giving Amaranth Chronicles a read if you like dystopic, space-opera settings with a great cast of characters.

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