In his new science fantasy novel, Schism: The Battle for Darracia, Michael Philip Cash creates a surreal, richly developed futuristic world complete with its own religion, social norms and castes as well as political intrigue. It is clear that the author put a great deal of thought and research in creating an entirety new fantasy world right from scratch. Rivaling the depth and imagination of Tolkein's and C.S. Lewis' beloved fantasy worlds, Cash creates a futuristic, sci-fi reality with the same level of imaginative development as Tolkien's middle earth world. This book transports the reader into a new futuristic fantasy world. No detail is too insignificant for Cash in his visual description of a surreal and futuristic two Sun world with its futuristic landscape. The significance of its ancient religion in society and political upheaval and class wars transcends time and space- representing common elements of society that all readers will relate to. This richly developed world will appeal to history and political enthusiasts as well as fantasy and science fiction fans.
This epic story's backdrop is original. This is a new world the reader will become immersed in like adapting to a new culture. Yet the themes are universal- coming of age and the quest for identity themes and the pursuit of purpose present a story line that readers of all ages can relate to. The eerie unfamiliar setting is set side by side with ordinary and universal ideas. Cash creates a book that sociologists, historians, scientists as well as fantasy enthusiasts will enjoy dissecting and analyzing.
Fans of the ever popular StarWars, Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek series will enjoy the well developed characters as well as appreciate the intergalactic quest for peace and purpose and royal intrigue. Parallel elements found in Schism are reminiscent of a combination of elements drawn from popular science fiction so that readers will feel right at home with Cash's story. It is ironic that a horror and mystery writer can cross into the fantasy genre with such ease. The same talent used in developing three dimensional characters and their personal struggles as well as interpersonal relationships found in Cash's earlier works is evident in this fantasy novel as well.
At first glance this may seem like a quick read but from the very first chapter it becomes clear that the reader has entered a new world. As a reader I found myself immersed with Cash's lively description and vivid writing style. I recommend this as a good book for any young adult or science fiction fan. The only changes I'd suggest for this book relate to its format. A smaller sized mass paperback format would be more suitable for this genre in contrast to a full sized trade paperback with thick pages. I feel an embossed raised cover would do this story more justice in capturing the attention of the reader.
As a blogger I received this book published by Red Feather publishers for the purpose of writing this review.
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