Pilgrim of the Sky

Pilgrim of the Sky - Natania Barron Maddie is trying to move on in her life after the disappearance and presumed death of her long term lover, Alvin. But Alvin’s brother, Randy is less willing to let her go and through Alvin’s contacts shows her the truth of where he has gone.He has gone to a different world, one of 8 parallel worlds all with different societies and people. But some people straddle different worlds – copies, different versions, TWAINS of themselves exist in these different worlds. Maddie finds herself thrust into the body of her Mathilda, her Twain in a Steampunk world. While there she meets the twains of so many of the people she knows – all similar yet so different from the people she knows.But there is far more than that to consider. Alvin has a plot far darker than she can imagine and she battles for control over Mathilda’s body as it becomes clear that Mathilda’s own motivations and actions are highly questionable to say the least.As the plots focus on their ancient twains in the first world, it’s clear both that Alvin’s plans need to be stopped (and certainly surpass any romance she may be clinging too) but there is a plot above and beyond anything they expected.I think this book needs a prize for sheer originality, I don’t think I’ve come across a world setting even remotely like it. The multiple worlds, each with their own twains, their own experiences, their own power levels but all representation the same archetype – albeit different facets of it is an amazingly excellent concept. I loved how the Archetypes were done, drawing on the different aspects of similar deities or concepts that you see in different societies, drawing out their commonalities but also the different facets. So two twains could have similar powers, similar origins, the same Archetype but still be dramatically different and still fit within that archetype.And the worlds – whether it’s our own modern world, the primordial first world, the steampunk second world – the fact there are eight worlds gives so much diversity not just to this story, but so much potential for any other stories within this world (or worlds).The plot was also extremely well done – drawing on the richness of these worlds and pacing it well. There was such a lot of information here, but the author resisted the urge to dump it all on one massive lump. It’s doled out slowly and carefully, enough to keep us interested (and, I have to say, frustrated at times because I felt there were points when hints were given but Maddie completely failed to follow up on them – and I can’t understand why she didn’t, why she didn’t push more questions or demand more answers) without having to deal with an endless series of lectures. There were lectures, characters informing Maddie of what just happened and why, but it was done in bits, when appropriate (or less) and in manageable bite sized chunks. This vast world with its complexity was nicely conveyed. It was perfectly paced to keep you teased along, questioning but never overwhelmed.And the plot itself? It’s so hard to describe this without spoiling (and that would be tragic) but I will try. This plot is twist after twist after twist after twist. Every reference and world building that comes up I expect to mean something else. Mathilda surprised me, the First World twains surprised me, Alvin surprised me, the love interest surprised me, the sudden power level change surprised me – over and over. I do love a good twist- and a story with constant world building revelations, constant character twists and constant plot twists with machinations that have cunning plans within cunning plans within cunning plans are always going to rate highly with me.Read More