I have the privilege of reading Exile by Rachel Starr Thomson for free. Few things in life are better than getting things for free. Exile is book one of the Oneness Cycle.
Reese is overcome by unbearable grief and loss and decides to jump off a cliff. She is unexpectedly rescued by two young men. This leads to a series of events culminating in a battle between Onesness and devils.
So Oneness, what exactly is Oneness? Good question. It’s kind of whatever you want it to be. At times it’s an emotional feeling. Other times it’s a body of people connected almost telepathically. Even in the book it is sometimes used as a noun and sometimes as an adjective. In the book it’s described as the thing or perhaps the people that hold the world together. Is it love?
The book has short scenes because of lack of setting, character, or description. Not good or bad, just different from the usual epic fantasy. Short scenes make for too many viewpoints and, in my opinion, not enough time to get to know the characters better. This book is basically a novella, and even then we are getting viewpoints from Reese, Chris, Tyler, Diane, Mary, April, and Patrick. The whole story would have probably been better off being told from Reese’s point of view. Though if that was the case, it would have been cut down to 25% of the original size which may not necessarily be a bad thing. Honestly I felt the other stuff from the other viewpoints was kind of just fluff to fill the pages.
The big reveal was pretty obvious and the explanation wasn’t even clear. How does someone who lost faith be unable to be cut off from Oneness? And yet, someone can be exiled? I’m confused.
Quick read. Though not something I would read again. Nice idea for a story, just some things that I think need to be tightened up to make even better.