Title: The Promise of the Child
Series: The Amaranthine Spectrum #1
Author(s): Tom Toner
Publisher: Night Shade Books
Release Date: October 11th 2016
It has been a long time since my mind was challenged this way. Debut novels are often riddled with characters who are easy to cling onto, stories that pave the way for us to follow and settings that are so vivid that your imagination doesn’t need to suffer to visualize it all. The first book of a trilogy usually sets up the narrative and teases the bigger picture slowly but surely, but Tom Toner had other plans for us. With a multi-layered imagination that seems out of control, the author of The Promise of the Child brings us a space opera that seems to envelop countless numbers of creatures, stories and generations.
The scope of this book is immense and is definitely not suited for everyone. The level of complexity in the scheming is insane, and I’m going to straight out admit that I was completely lost for a good portion of the book. While reading, I tried really hard to see where things were headed and why there was so much exposition that left me completely clueless. In order to appreciate the depth of this series, note-taking is almost a necessity as the very premise of the story envisions a universe that has never been brought to life like this before. In fact, I strongly recommend making use of the glossary and to give this series your undivided attention as the mere deviation of thought will leave you floating in limbo.
It is almost impossible to truly summarize this story, but it is safe to say that it takes place in a far away future where mankind has evolved into dozens of different creatures and inhabit distant worlds all around the galaxy. Following a couple of character’s adventure—notably Lycaste, Corphuso, Ghaldezuel and Sotiris—readers are thrown into a universe where immortality is sought by some, but so is salvation and purpose by others. Each of their stories might seem completely unconnected, but The Promise of the Child is only out to set the pieces in motion for the eventual interconnectivity that is tremendously wished for by readers. As you fight the compelling desire to succumb and quit at the mere sight of this story’s intricate and unfathomable vision, it is the boundless freedom embraced by Tom Toner to create this refreshing and original universe that will keep you going until you finally start piecing things together.
The Promise of the Child is not a story that can be taken lightly. It is a leviathan that requires your whole mind and body to be ready and committed. It will drown you in its world-building, and require you to learn to swim as fast as humanly possible in order to survive. For Tom Toner to dish out such an epic science fiction is incredible, and only readers who are ready to sit down and read what his mind has elaborated will find reward in going through this story. Flashbacks and dreams play an essential role in understanding certain events, but ultimately, the adventure doesn’t end with The Promise of the Child. Putting on your most heavy-duty armour might be necessary to trudge your way through this beauty, but it is important to not give up and to get to the end to see how complex this universe is. Even re-reading this novel might prove to be even more gratifying with details so easy to miss. Of course, there’s also the option of robbing Tom Toner’s notes, but that would just ruin the fun of solving this galactic enigma for yourself.
MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆
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Till next time,