An intriguing tale in which nothing can be taken at face value…
The gritty futuristic setting of Bristol, UK, provides an evocative backdrop for this unsettling dystopian tale, Hall’s debut installment in the World of Owl trilogy. Trying to put the trauma of his parents’ tragic fate aside, Strix is content to begin his work as a librarian, a job that is assigned to him because of his specific ‘thought-patterning’ during his time at the school. But living in a world where the state controls everything—from people’s careers to individual choices—begins to take a toll on the young man’s psyche. Meeting like-minded teenagers fuels Strix’s desire to change the world he lives in. As Strix and his friends begin to gain insight into the State machine, they are shocked to see a different reality open up before them; the vision space. Confronted by the vicious demons at the Gates of Hell and a colony of Vampire Priests who are part of the Cult of the Blood in Bristol Cathedral, the group must brace themselves for a dangerous face-off. And with the State Security Services watching their every move, their mission becomes more than dangerous. Hall has a knack for both plot and character, and readers will easily immerse themselves in Strix, Calvin, Falco, Izzy, Jess, and Kristina’s world. Under Hall’s expert depiction, these characters come alive, revealing their inner turmoil, insecurities, apprehensions, hopes, and desires. Strix with his sensitivity and integrity and his kindness even when the personal cost is high remains an endearing protagonist. Calvin is equally compelling. Hall combines elements of hard SF, dystopian, and conspiracy thriller against a darkly intriguing backdrop, and his evocative worldbuilding is created with precision and vivid details. The gritty, unfriendly authoritarian world of the futuristic Bristol in which intelligence, education, caliber, and family history determine a person’s fate hums with frostiness, evoking a sense of grim desolation. The descriptions of the government’s brutal suppression of small-scale protests and revolts are graphic, and Hall enhances the action with moments of deep poignant observations, creating a story filled with a rich understanding of human darkness and light. The narrative gets choppy at times, hindering the flow of the story, but memorable protagonists and intriguing storyline delivers on most levels. Along the way, Halls delves into themes of oppression, freedom of thought and expression, slavery, courage, duty, sacrifice, friendship, love, adolescent drama, and family ties. An absorbing story about faith, courage, and resistance
0w1: believe (1)
By Geoff Hall
Pub date June 20, 2021
Price $7.71 (USD) Kindle edition
1 thought on “0w1:believe (1) by Geoff Hall”
Thank you for the kind review, Tina. I’m glad you enjoyed the novel.