Author: C.K. Collins
Publisher: Folded Story
Publish Date: November 2011
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.
- You're a fiction fan.
- You love good world building.
From Goodreads.com: "Masalay: such a beautiful, bustling place. Perfect for a tropical vacation -- until Callie's mishaps leave her stranded in the remote and war-torn north. Strange urges slowly emerge, drawing her to a lake that Masalayans say is infinitely deep. Drawing her finally to Rika, a man with the same mysterious urges. What follows is dizzily sensual and painfully brief.
When Callie wakes, she is entirely alone but for the baby inside her. Determined to find Rika -- while also maintaining independence from his clutching family -- she must rely on wits, decency, and the help of a Masalayan boy who is even more lost.
As Callie struggles to find her direction, a frail librarian in the holy city of Liashe receives a mysterious letter. It tells of a child's macabre disappearance, a forbidden field that has burst into eerie bloom, a mad woman murmuring a long-forgotten name.
Guided by the books of an extinct cult, Brother Carodai arrives at a heretical conclusion: somewhere in Masalay, a Godling has been conceived. Carodai will need to find this dangerously blessed woman while outwitting rebels, his own church, and a primal evil that has risen to stalk the Godling."
My Two Cents:
Callie finds herself on the island of Masalay. She's sort of stranded. I felt for her plight. I definitely thought that the sections of the book told from her point of view (the other sections were in third person point of view, which definitely did not grip me as much). The story definitely pulled me in eventually (it took me a little bit to find my footing since the setting was so unfamiliar but I'll get into that later). I think those that like books with stories with some sort of mystic elements will enjoy this story.
The really interesting part of the book to me was that the setting was made up. Even though the book had some otherworldly elements, it was a fairly real feeling story. Masalay is an island created by the author. It was sort of an interesting approach to a story, especially one that is realistic fiction. I found myself wondering a lot about Masalay. Would it be like a country that we would be familiar with? From the sort of things that we find out in the book about the country. Because I found myself wondering about the country so much, I'm wondering if it didn't take away a little from the book. I was definitely stuck on the setting and it made it hard to get lost in the book.
That being said, Collins did a fabulous job with world building, which is obviously something that you don't get a lot of in other realistic fiction books. Collins even has a very cool website all about Masalay, which I loved to look at while I was reading the book (www.thegodling.com). This was a great reference to have. I wish more authors would do things like this. It really gives the readers a fuller experience!
Bottom line: Find your place on Masalay and just read!