I have a review on The Surge. A review. One review. But, it is by my favorite reviewer. I’ll take any review. I’ll take just a star review. But this reviewer is awesome because he does these in-depth reviews. And that is rare.
This is the description of The Surge:
Vie is a Chaos wizard who feels the price of pain for her magic. She is a Wilder, never trained by Covenant wizards and, therefore, seen as unstable and unpredictable. Her world is ravaged by rifts in reality that open to other realms. Creatures spill into her world and people can fall into another. Covenant wizards will enslave useful creatures that fall into the world and they use teleporters to kidnap others from their homeworld. She is a Porter as well and has spent a great deal of time in those realms. Enough to abhor slavery. When she can, she helps return people to her world and ‘demons’ to theirs.
There is a world, in particular, close to her heart that she protects; an offshoot of the 12 Realms. When a child is kidnapped from that realm she will do everything in her power to rescue her. Certainly, before the Covenant realizes the natives of that Realm have abilities they could use and abuse. To save that world she will save the child. Hopefully, before anyone understands what Vie really is.
And this is the review:
July 8, 2018
As I followed Vie on her adventures (surviving rifts, trying to stay off the government radar as a Wilder, opposing slavery, and looking out for old friends, among other things), I enjoyed the swiftly flowing prose and engaging characters, locations, and plot development I’d come to expect from Ms. Hamilton after reading the 5-book Haven series. The Surge is one of those books that is extremely difficult to put down and I now must wait with the agony of a chaos wizard after heavy magic use for book 2 to come out!
Unlike the Haven series, the Surge is told in a 3rd person narrative style. Personally I found the book just as engaging as Ms. Hamilton’s 1st person narrative style in the Haven series, but I am a sucker for 1st person because I like getting in the protagonist’s head. Still, I felt like I knew quite a bit about Vie by the end of the book, and I appreciated the experimentation with a different narrative voice. It worked well in this story.
Ms. Hamilton has a rare talent for world building–creating a rich setting replete with descriptors that make it easy for the reader to imagine the sights, sounds, and smells of an exciting new world. I can tell already this is going to be an outstanding series to follow because the main world in the story, what I’ll call the Rift World, has a rich history that is hinted at but not yet explained in depth, and several good mysteries that the author obviously knows the answers to but neither Vie nor the reader knows as of the end of book 1.
If you read the Haven series, you will already know better than to take anything for granted, and surprises and plot twists are the rule, not the exception. However, what I loved about this book is that in spite of being primed for there to be plot twists, nothing felt contrived or forced. The narrative progressed naturally, as it should, based on Vie’s knowledge and experiences at various points in the story. When she encountered unanticipated obstacles, they made perfect sense within the rules of Rift World but were not the sorts of things a reader would chide Vie for not seeing coming.
Without giving away any major spoilers, the Surge was just a very enjoyable adventure through a rich and engaging world…that is part of a multiverse! The reader gets to glimpse a few other worlds, but just knowing a whole host of additional worlds and intelligent species are still out there makes the possibilities nearly endless for this series!
Add to that Vie’s unique nature, a personal quest that takes a backseat in this book but will obviously come to the forefront in a future book, and numerous myths, mysteries, and hints about Rift World’s past and potential future healing or destruction, and book 2 can’t come quickly enough! That said, there is a very clear, urgent problem in this book and a satisfying conclusion, so please don’t get me wrong–the Surge works great as a standalone novel. I just know there’s much more left to explore in this world, with these characters, and I want to come along for the ride!