Writers know that there is a good way to write fantasy and a bad way. The good gives readers make-believe worlds that are believable and makes these same readers want to live in these worlds and share the adventures with the fantastical characters they follow. The bad fantasy is, obviously, the opposite of the good. Writer G. Derek Adams’ new fantasy novel Asteroid Made of Dragons, one of the winners of the first Sword & Laser Contest on Inkshares, is not only a good fantasy story, but a great new story to add to the fantasy genre as a whole.
An asteroid, one that is said to be the prison of dragons, is heading straight for the planet and brings with it nothing more than chaos and destruction. Only Xenon, a lone goblin scholar, knows of this impending doom and she has no idea how long before impact or who to ask for help. Two heroes that could help have problems of their own. Rime, a wild mage who can barely keep her magic under control, and Jonas, her squire guardian, are on the run from an old knight with a grudge against Rime and the knight’s devilkin assassin. With everyone running away from each other, who will band together to save the planet?
With subtle hints to science fiction, Asteroid Made of Dragons could be the fantasy version of Guardians of the Galaxy. This band of fantasy misfits: a goblin, a mage, a knight, a squire, and a devilkin, must overcome their differences to save the world. Granted, they don’t argue as much as the Guardians do, but they provide endless entertainment with every turn of the page. Adams is a wonderful story teller, sharing a new fantasy world that is just beginning to be introduced, and his writing style is one that will keep readers wanting to continue even when work or sleep threatens to pull them away.
The characters are the ones who really keep the story flowing and Adams does an excellent job at keeping all of their personalities and stories organized. With the start of each chapter, Adams informs his readers of who they will be following. This helps the reader switch between characters in their minds until all of the stories come together towards the end of the book. Readers, of course, will pick who their favorite characters are, each one possessing their own unique personality. Xenon is, what could be considered, a book nerd through and through and readers and writers alike will instantly fall in love with her. Rime is incredibly hot tempered while Jonas is more mellow and, at times, timid. Linus, the old knight hunting Rime, is an interesting character who readers will have to come to their own conclusions about and Sideways is a devilkin assassin that… does not act the way readers may expect.
As aforementioned, there seem to be subtle hints to the science fiction genre mixed into Adams’ fantasy story, almost like a Hayao Miyazaki film. In fact, readers could possibly see Asteroid Made of Dragons being a Miyazaki film upon completion of the story. There is use of airships and old technology left from old civilizations (similar, but not limited to Howl’s Moving Castle and Castle in the Sky). An asteroid is on a collision course with the planet, an element normally found in science fiction stories. These small elements of science fiction do not take away from the fantasy atmosphere of the story and, like Miyazaki’s films, Adams blends both worlds together beautifully.
Upon completion of Asteroid Made of Dragons, readers learn that the characters will return, informing them of an upcoming sequel. This is both wonderful news and, at the same time, horrible news. It is horrible because readers want to know more about what they have been introduced to: where the characters are going, a more in-depth explanation of what certain things are, new parts of the fantasy land come to light, and, of course, learning more about the imprisoned dragons, just to name a few. However, it is wonderful to know that these things will be explained in a future book or books. Readers will only have to suffer the wait until Adams’ next book is released, perhaps it will even be published through Inkshares like its predecessor.
Asteroid Made of Dragons is a wonderful story that readers will want to add to their ever growing fantasy book collection. It contains everything one would expect to find in a fantasy story and what is not explained or what is missing in this story will hopefully be explained or introduced in its sequel. All of the characters are incredibly likable and readers may perhaps find themselves taking more of a liking to certain characters over others. Adams’ writing style flows nicely with descriptive detail and paints a beautiful picture of the fantasy world he has created while still moving the story along at a nice pace. With its release in early April, fans of fantasy and curious readers will be able to pick up their own copy to become lost in Adams’ fantasy world.