Hey all! As I’ve mentioned, I LOVE my Kindle. I’ve bought a bunch of books (usually free ones since money is very tight for me). I’ve also gotten free books from Smashwords now. There’s over 100 books on my Kindle now. I figured I’d take a break from hyping myself up for NaNoWriMo, looking into grad school, and getting everything ready for Convergence Point’s December publication date to get some reading done.
And I finally finished Exiles of Raifor by C.H. Ashton.
We’ll come back to that in a moment. The weather has gotten cold here. It’s nice to see fall again; I’ve been getting some nice mileage on my camo arm warmers. I’ll just remind everyone that I do have commissions for arm warmers open. Here are the details on that. Shoot me an email or something if you’re interested!
Exiles of Raifor
I found out about this novel a little differently than I did the others. Soldelbarra on tumblr sent me a fanmail one day. We started talking about self-publishing and things like that and how we were both young authors. He mentioned that his book was on free promo in the next few days – and I mentioned that my first book was on free promo as well. So we got each other’s books. After I finished the book I was reading, I moved on to Exiles of Raifor.
What I Liked
One of the things I absolutely loved about how Ashton wrote Exiles of Raifor is how there were a wide variety of characters. Among the main characters, you have Bach-Ti the pirate queen, Aosen Yenra, Illoesten Rai Kenos, and Lanoel Rai Devroux. We get some insight on some other characters like Rhei Casha, Aress Viola, and various others. In terms of characterization, all the characters are very different. Bach-Ti is brash (as you would expect of a space pirate) and cunning. Aosen is determined to not be the hero. Illoesten is calculating and cruel to her enemies. Lanoel is a bit head in the clouds, but has a good heart. All VERY different characters. And I LOVE that. Even better, each character has growth throughout the series.
I also liked the Gundam influence that was going on. In Exiles of Raifor, crusaders are humanoid battle armors. And they’re REALLY cool. Rhei Casha also started reminding me of Ali al-Saachez from Gundam 00 about midway through the book. And when his personal crusader was red…well, I guess that’s more indicative of Char Aznable (Ali is a bit of a dark Char expy though).
I also liked the mixing of science fiction and fantasy. It’s something I like to toy with as well – so its nice to see it executed so well. The addition of aether and aether magi really sets Exiles apart from other science fiction novels. I liked that they were different orders of magi, that they had different strengths, different weaknesses. I like that magic and science have merged into things like Aethersteel. It’s fun and interesting and reminds me of Star Wars at times (which is awesome because Star Wars was a big influence in my childhood).
Things I Didn’t Like as Much…
This is going to sound like me nitpicking, but the martial arts side of me had a lot of trouble believing how quickly Lanoel grasped the basics of combat. There are some interesting circumstances with her and I’m not entirely sure how much time elapsed, but fighting is a tough thing. Especially when there’s gunfire and blades mixed together. But that’s just me and my martial arts realizing how hard fighting actually is. It’s not much of a ‘didn’t like’ so much of ‘makes me think’ sort of thing.
There were a few ‘wall of text’ parts that were a little difficult to handle. That’s a bit more personal preference though. All writers get a bit guilty of ‘wall of text’ every once and awhile.
Alright, as you can see, I had trouble picking out things that I actually dislike about this novel. This is a fantastic debut novel. I gave it 5/5 stars on Amazon. Once I got into this novel, it sunk its claws in and dragged me along for the ride. If you like Star Wars, Gundam series, or just science fiction that takes place in space, I’m almost certain that you’ll enjoy Exiles of Raifor by C.H. Ashton. I’m very exciting for the sequel, Heroes of Raifor.
Also, if you want to check out C.H. Ashton’s blog, here’s the link for that!
Anyone out there read this book? What did you think?