A complex, harrowing tale of courage, resilience, and freedom..
Carton weaves elements of dystopia and philosophy into a winning combination of action and science fiction in his debut installment in the Spoils of War series. Artificial life form, Shakbout Mansard is one of the selected few of the Bottle Born who are authorized to live as free citizens in the futuristic nation of Mengchi. He wants nothing but a quiet, ordinary life with his family. When he comes across a dangerous knowledge of a plot to overthrow the government, he finds himself becoming a target for both the plotters and the security forces. The stakes rise when one of his own is taken. Shakbout must do everything in his power to upturn the plan or risk losing everything he loves. This is a concept-focused story, offering a slow-moving, dialogue-heavy exploration of realization and resilience. Told in the third-person omniscient voice, the narrative combines an exploration of oppression and capitalistic greed with complex issues of individualism, freedom, and autonomy. Though the pacing is slow, Carton develops complicated conflicts on several fronts, including Shakbout’s exhilarating journey to save his family, keeping the pages turning. The protagonists grow together through their challenges, and Shakbout’s keen awareness of his status as an artificial life form invests readers in his ongoing story, imparting tension and drive. As the story progresses toward its emotionally satisfying ending, both the action and the pacing pick up. From there, the story hits several exhilarating beats, making readers eager to know what happens next. Lovers of dense, literary SF tales won’t want to miss this layered and thoroughly intriguing read.
Bottle Born Blues
(Spoils Of War Book 1)
Conor H. Carton
Pub date November 1, 2019
Price $6.78 (USD) Hardcover, $4.94 Paperback, $.073 Kindle edition