Monday, June 22, 2015

Warrior Stone: Underland

Warrior Stone: Underland: A Penny Dreadful Review

            All alternative dimensions in this day and age feature zeppelins. This science fiction truism includes the sepia-toned Underland of R. B. Harkess’s Warrior Stone: Underland.
            Resigned to her ordinariness, modern schoolgirl Claire Stone accidentally drops into a parallel world that appreciates what she can do. Late getting home one day, Claire crosses paths with the mercurial Warrior Evie Jones and saves her from a giant blob monster. Recognizing talent, Evie pulls some strings and inducts Claire into a parallel dimension as one of the warriors that tracks down and eliminates the blob monsters, known as morphs, before they can wreck havoc in Underland and our own world. The sepia-toned Underland is a fantastic and rather Steam or Dieselpunkish place peopled with strange creatures and magic. R. B. Harkess is good at conveying the sense of déjà vu that comes with an alternate reality so close to our own.
Claire Stone is clever, perceptive, resourceful, and knows when to keep her mouth shut. She is quieter than the typical heroine, and I find that makes her more real. She could be the school kid taking the city bus right next to you.
            In places it reminds me of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and in other places it reminds me of the movie Starship Troopers (in the military feel of the warriors and the extremely vibrant amounts of goo that result from the extermination of a morph). It turns out to be a combination that tells a very interesting story.
            I must confess that this book was not exactly my cup of tea. Perhaps Underland was too gritty for my taste, perhaps I felt there wasn’t enough Steam in the Punk, or perhaps I was simply in the wrong mindset to read this book. Still, it would be an excellent choice of literary companion for someone else. I award Warrior Stone: Underland three gears out of five. It is a solid adventure with interesting characters. This might be your new favorite series. Give it a try.

Your Correspondent From The Bookstore,

Penny J. Merriweather

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