There are a myriad of reasons authors choose to self-publish. Whatever the reason, we here at TPW believe a good book is a good book no matter the publisher. We love a good ‘indie read’ and hope to share some of our finds with you!
Rex Rising by Chrystalla Thoma
In a world where parasites create new human races, Elei leads a peaceful life — until a mysterious attack on his boss sends him fleeing with a bullet in his side. Pursued for a secret he does not possess and with the fleet at his heels, he has but one thought: to stay alive. His pursuers aren’t inclined to sit down and talk, although that’s not the end of Elei’s troubles. The two powerful parasites inhabiting his body, at a balance until now, choose this moment to bring him down, leaving Elei with no choice but to trust in people he hardly knows. It won’t be long before he realizes he must find out this deadly secret – a secret that might change the fate of his world and everything he has ever known – or die trying.
I’m not a science fiction kind of girl. I admit a deep love for the paranormal, but most things in the sci-fi realm leave me either confused or rolling my eyes. So when a request came in to read a book about parasites forming new races, I was a bit hesitant. But, in the true spirit of ‘I read everything’, I agreed to give Rex Rising a read (with another sci-fi loving reviewer in the wings just in case I couldn’t finish it).
I shouldn’t have worried.
The world Chrystalla builds is vivid and exciting, from the descriptions of the algae and fungi to the sense of neglect and squalor of the human cities. She doesn’t bog the reader down with overly-detailed explanations or take us so far out of our realm of general knowledge that we need an encyclopedia to understand what she’s trying to say. Parasites, poverty, dictators… got it!
Five hells. He’d thought cronion was acting mad in the past days. What if it had lost the battle to telmion? Elei wanted to laugh, but couldn’t, his breath short. With cronion defeated, nothing could save him. It was the only parasite strong enough to control telmion. With telmion released, he was done for.”
— Chrystalla Thoma, Rex Rising
I loved reading about the land of the seven islands and the culture of the inhabitants there. So much of the story depends on the reader understanding the plight of that society, and Chrystalla really knows how to use her pretty words to paint a picture. And the characters… so strong and solid. Elei tugged my heartstrings from his first appearance and really never let me go. The fragile balance within him, and the way his strength and weakness battled at the same time was brilliant and well-written. The side characters were also wonderfully developed, with personality quirks that stayed true and a clarity that kept them individualized. Really well done!
This book is absolutely a “run, buy it, read it” recommendation. Trust me, Rex Rising is worth the time. Give Elei and his cohorts a little time (and very little money – at posting, RR will only set you back $.99!) and you’ll soon find yourself happily racing down the path of Rex Rising with a desperate need to figure out what’s going on. With the promise of an upcoming sequel, I will definitely be keeping an eye on Chrystalla.