Smart, literate, hilarious… A mad and sly entertainment.
The razor-sharp dialogue, wry humor, and unpredictable twists that thicken the plot mark this rollicking, fun debut installment in The Nevergate Chronicles by Ellison. It’s been ages since the most powerful technology left on a derelict Earth has stayed hidden in a remote part of old New Mexico. According to the mighty Sorcerer Exeter’s brutal New Rules, the Luckiest sixteener of the pacifist IsoTown of St. Coriander must Quest for the hidden last Nevergate each year. When sixteen-year-old Glendyl Fenderwell becomes the Luckiest in the year 2534, she sets on her quest with nothing but her wit and intelligence. But her path is filled with danger and uncertainties, and there is someone who wants her dead. Ellison has fun mixing the classic elements of science fiction into fantasy as he delivers a unique and outrageously funny look at the history of St. Coriander through the eyes of his young protagonists. There are a multitude of characters that Ellison expertly weaves into this boisterous adventure tale, but it is the pair of Glendyl and Lizbeth who shine through and through. It’s enjoyable to watch the girls evolve as the story moves forward. Whereas Glendyl is sharp and genuinely charming, the tough-as-nails, straight shooter Lizbeth enthralls the reader with her wit and resilience. The secondary characters, particularly Jamis and QPacks (even if they’re not humans) are able to hold on their own. Ellison’s writing is skilled and precise, and despite all the technical mumbo jumbo that have to be part of a science fiction book, he manages a complex plot without losing narrative force and successfully crafts a storyline that’s easy to follow. The story never gets bogged down by any long-winded explanations of futuristic wonders and magical occurrences. Glendyl’s journey to locate the hidden last Nevergate rollicks along hilariously and is worth plenty of good belly laughs. While Ellison’s action-based narrative makes pages of high-techno background go by quickly, a horde of quirky, speedy happenings demands a slow reading on the reader’s part. The pace of the story is brisk, the concept and the execution of the plot is well realized, and the witty dialogue are certain to keep readers entertained to the end. The humorous happenings throughout the book are too funny for words and give the story the vim and vigor it deserves. This entertaining, witty futuristic tale stuffed with elements of SF and fantasy will appeal to every science fiction buff.
The Luck of Madonna 13
(The Last Nevergate Chronicles #1)
By E. T. Ellison
Pub date June 21, 2020
Price $16.99 (USD) Paperback, $5.58 Kindle edition