David Rae. Brain Lag, $14.99 trade paper (234p) ISBN 978-1-928011-29-3
Rae (Midnight in the Garden of Naughty and Nice) misfires on a promising premise with this sloppy dark fantasy series opener. The evil spirit Vatu keeps the sun locked in a box, causing darkness to fall across the land. Vatu’s former acolyte, Utas, flees from Vatu’s control with his daughter, Alaba, whose body has the power to create light. They encounter Zintoa, a wounded soldier, and stop to help him using Alaba’s magic. Zintoa repays them by taking them captive, determined to return them to Vatu. Their path back to “the city of the sun” is perilous and bloody, as strangers they meet along the road prove to be dangerous. One of the travelers they encounter, Erroi, appears to be more than human, giving Utas hope that he and Alaba may be able to use Erroi’s powers to save themselves from Vatu. But while the world is fully conceived, the characters are underdeveloped (other than Utas’s desire to protect his daughter, readers will struggle to understand motivations), and the short, staccato sentences tend to flatten emotional moments. Dark fantasy fans will find this one a slog. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 12/11/2019
Release date: 03/13/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Open Ebook - 234 pages - 978-1-928011-30-9
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