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Mechalarum by Emma Larkins- A Novel Review

Updated on October 19, 2014
Cover of Mechalarum
Cover of Mechalarum | Source

Emma Larkins does brilliantly

There's just something truly refreshing and enjoyable when one comes across a new and truly unique work of classic science fiction. There's just so much science fiction out there that it can be hard to skirt the cookie-cutter SyFy, but then one might come along to something like Mechalarum.

This wondrous and dazzling work by Emma Larkins is truly unlike anything before it. Our talented and lovely author hooked me quick with the first exciting chapter, ensuring my desperate need to read on. I so enjoy when SyFy writers explore not only the limits of their imaginations (whatever that would be) but explore the rules and limits of our written language. After all, futuristic scenarios are sure to offer different speak (how long has the word 'internet' been around?). Larkins explores this realm with great aplomb while introducing us to some fantastic characters and while setting the stage for a blast of an adventure.

Almost immediately our hearts grow fond for Kiellen Corr, our daring heroine. Training to take part in a daunting counteroffensive to thwart what is believed to be an invasion of her world, Corr strives in her determination to force the Mechalarum flying suit, which is a technologically advanced suit joining to the pilot, to its limit. But she might soon find there are no more buttons to push within the command structure, whose goals are different from hers. Beyond that, though, who is really doing what? Is her world what she thinks it is? It doesn't take long for her adventurous nature to challenge the realities of her world, thus, our story truly begins.

Larkins captures descriptive language in such a way that the reader is easily there, seeing what she sees. She really, really worked at this story. Beyond that, the scenes created are sufficiently complex and detailed enough to truly engage and entertain so that when drama ensues, so does our rise in blood pressure. Just a few chapters in and the reader knows they're having a good time. It's important to know Larkins is a good writer. There are those with a passable story and the ability to convey it with a series of complete sentences and some dialogue, and then there are those who bring us a tremendous story quickly followed with a desire for more from that writer. Competent writers can be read, but truly good writers find fans. And this writer pursues this story, within the pages and within her own world, with diligence. Visit her site and see all the work she’s done to bring this work to success. Most writers should be jealous and pay attention.

We move along quickly in our story, with elements of conspiracy and questions of reality thickening the plot. It seems certain facades are fragile and Kiellen is fortunate to have her friend Gage and others stirring up the drama, looking out for her. Gage proves to be a tremendous friend for Kiellen, even if her seeing that isn't always so simple. But simplicity fades for both of them when their world and its reality are challenged by unexpected comrades, and enemies. This is where Larkins brings us a different world than we first thought we had in this story. Beyond the cozy world known as the Citadel, there is a broader but dirtier, and more real, world. This is where one has to pay attention if they know what's good for them. This is where we truly realize our author brought the reader a multifaceted story. Plus, there is a lot of fun here. If you don’t take to the character known as Hom, there is something wrong with you.

Every chapter begins with great fun and the scenes and backdrops are resplendent with fascinating technology the characters view as commonplace. The characters are diverse, representing a more realistic situation as opposed to numerous people from similar molds. But our first and foremost point of concern is with that suit, as it is important to virtually everyone in the tale. Larkins does well in building a complex and fast-paced story around a single thing, although there's more to this tale than that. The reader is brought along on quite the adventure, made great by strong characters and detailed scenes, but even more so with talented writing and confident plot structure.

This really is what most science fiction readers are looking for in a good read. Plus, like all science fiction stories, we don't simply reach the end. But once I reached the end of this tale, I was sure I would keep a sharp eye out for more from this author, Emma Larkins. I wholeheartedly recommend Mechalarum to any and all who enjoy quality SyFy.


Roddy J Dryer is the author of A Trucker’s Tale and Tangled in Climbing Nightshade.

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