A Cold Step Beyond : An Unlikely Friendship in the Stars.
The Cold Step Beyond by Ian R. Macleod.
Right now I’m reading Desert Rising. A fantasy that takes place in a Middle Eastern setting. What sounded exciting, is rather dull so I had to take a break to read a short story or two. I decided to read a story for the 29th edition of the Years' Best Science Fiction. And here is my review of The Cold Step Beyond by Ian R. Macleod.
So what is it about? It is set in the far flung future where a woman who is a member of The Church of Warriors, is put through a trial. She is to put her killing skills to work and kill a monster on another planet. She goes there and finds no beast, so she trains there every day waiting for the beast to show its face. Then one day a small harmless creature greets her. Not thinking this is the beast, she befriends the creature. But their friendship is full of twists and turns, and this new friend is not as she seems.
The good? The detail is great. The imagination is wonderful. And the characters are genuine. The story in intriguing as well.
The bad? Toward the end when some of the big twists come, the author is a little too wordy for his own good. He dances around the point quite a bit, leaving the reader confused until it’s spelled out. I just kind of hate that. I believe you can be very poetic and have good flow, without confusing the reader.
Overall, it’s a good interesting tale. It’s by no means a must read. But if you stumble upon it, you won’t regret reading it.
Overall Rating: An Unlikely Friendship in the Stars.
2 smoothies out of Four