Book Review: Demise of the Trinity

Demise of the Trinity by Patrick Attaway

It took me reading a few chapters of this novel to get into the rhythm of the revolving characters narrating (in first-person) the chapters. That’s not a dig at the book. It unfolds in a more complicated fashion than a traditional first-person narrative from one character’s voice.

The revolving voices are not wildly different — I couldn’t tell which character voiced which chapter based on vocabulary, slang, stuff like that. To me, the most distinctive voice belonged to Arthur Lindsay, a veteran of a Korean War that ended in 1985 in this alternate timeline.

The shifting narrators became an effective structure of learning the plot through the eyes of different characters — and there’s a good variety of them. We get to see the motivations of the characters, and how they try to figure out each other’s motivation, whether encouraged by God or Lucifer (or Lucifer under disguise as God).

The story is complex Good vs. Evil, not simply “this dude’s a bad guy through and through” or “that dude’s always good.”

Also, we get to see generations of characters interact, with some burdened by the sins of their fathers. So we understand the influence of past generations affecting how characters try to descend the world into chaos — or stop that from happening.

The story moves along at a brisk pace, with lots of action throughout — not just the big crescendo at the end. There are violence and darkness are in this book, but they fit into the intricate structure of the story.

The writing is strong (not wavering) as it offers the action. Some typos are here and there, but I left those behind in the interest to see what happens next. And there are sharp descriptions, such as this one showing how one character views herself: “I’m the cracked ceiling above the ballroom of life and no one’s going to stop sipping their champagne to admire the cracks above their heads.” That’s some good stuff.

Book Review: Nevertheless, She Persisted

Today I’m reviewing Nevertheless, She Persisted — an anthology of eleven flash-fiction stories.

The book’s blurb starts with:

She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted. Three short lines, fired over social media in response to questions of why Senator Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the floor of the United States Senate, for daring to read aloud the words of Coretta Scott King.

The authors of the stories in this book are Seanan McGuire, Charlie Jane Anders, Maria Dahvana Headley, Jo Walton, Amal El-Mohtar, Catherynne M. Valente, Brooke Bolander, Alyssa Wong, Kameron Hurley, Nisi Shawl, and Carrie Vaughn

The stories are great examples of how a skilled writer can include a lot of information in a small space. These eleven flash stories manage to create other worlds by offering glimpses of those worlds and allowing the reader’s imagination to expand from there.

In the stories, women strive against forces that wish to keep them down. Several stories begin with the same three sentences: “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted.” From there, the writers fly off in various directions. It’s interesting to see where different authors go from the same starting point.

One character battles a monster to defend a city. Another wants to connect her brain with a neural network. Another strives to escape a labyrinth. Another dares to touch the emperor’s heart.

I enjoyed some stories more than others, which is no surprise in an anthology of stories by different authors. Overall, I found this book to have quality sci-fi and fantasy stories.

As of today, the ebook is free on Amazon, a very nice incentive to check it out.