A Russian Bear of a Novel – The Straits of Galahesh gets its first review

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And the winner (if there's an award for such things) goes to Paul Weimer and the Functional Nerds.

Here's a brief excerpt from the review:

The author’s writing continues to improve. Now that I know what to expect from the writer, the changes and point of view changes were like beats that came easily and well. There are some nice turns of phrase and experiments with description not seen before in the author’s work, and they are used well. For example:

In the end they made their way back to the road and then pushed hard for Vihrosh. They stopped outside of the city and found a clear stream that ran over gray rocks. While Irkadiy watched the path for signs of pursuit, Atiana stripped and washed the worst of the marsh stench from her cloths and skin. It wasn’t perfect, but it would prevent anyone from asking of it—or more importantly, remembering it. As she washed the clothes, she kept glancing toward the tree Irkadiy was hiding behind, wondering if he was going to pop his head around to steal a look. But he never did. They switched places, and Atiana was not so resilient as Irkadiy had been. She did steal a look, and Irkadiy was looking right at her when she did.

He smiled, and when she ducked back behind the tree, he laughed.

She was too embarrassed to look again, but the sound—the healthy laugh of a naked man in an idyllic place like this—did much to drive back the terror she’d had in her heart since finding the spire.

They didn’t wait for their clothes to dry, but instead trusted to the wind to do that for them, at least as much as it could in the light drizzle. By the time they reached the straits and took to the ferry that would bring them back across the water, the Spar looked vastly different than it had that morning. The sun had already set, casting it the blue color of wet slate. The Spar had never looked anything but imposing, but now it seemed bellicose as well, like a hand upon the hilt of a knife.

In addition, given that there is a five year time time gap between the first novel and the second, it is possible, I think, to pick up the series here and start reading, if for some bizarre reason you didn’t want to read Winds first. In both a brief recap and within the text, the author tells the reader everything they need to know about the events of the first novel to get up to speed with the second. Like me, Brad clearly has read novels where authors have fallen down on the job, and has learned from those mistakes and endeavored not to repeat them.

Yes, I'm aware I quoted a section that quoted my own book. But I really like that particular bit. It came late in the writing (and re-writing) of the novel, and I think it turned out pretty cool.

You can read the full review here.


  1. Paul (@princejvstin)

    March 15, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Quoting a piece of my review which quotes your book was a bit meta. :)

    Anyway, it was an honor and privilege to be your first reviewer!

    • Brad

      March 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm

      Now if you just quote this on your website, we’ll slip into a wormhole and no one will ever hear from us again.

      And thanks for the review. It was nicely written!