Thursday, January 19, 2017
Wucaii by Pembroke Sinclair
It's not often that you read a book about the apocalypse that isn't a mad dash for survival. And there are not nearly enough stories about the apocalypse via dragons out there. More dragon apocalypses please! In this unique and rare story, we see mankind's last hours through the eyes of the one who brings hope to a doomed world.
Aelana is no longer human, yet her humanity is not lost to her completely. She is a half-human, half-dragon hybrid and the harbinger of doom and salvation. It is her duty to travel to different worlds that are about to be destroyed by the dragons, immortal creatures of the universe, and deliver them a sign that would insure at least some survivors. But when she is sent to the world that was once her home (which may or may not be Earth) she's confronted with her reincarnated former lover and a whole church dedicated to her coming arrival. But there will always be those who will seek to stop the end of the world and, for the first time in five hundred years, she has something to lose.
The beauty of this story is seeing it from the perspective of the person bringing the end of the world about. Why would someone do such a thing? What motivates them? What happens after? Through the character Aelana, we see that the end of the world is something that must be done and it's her job to see it done. It's very good, therefore, that she's a hybrid. Dragons, the almighty creatures who bring about the destruction of worlds, are kind of Vulcan-esque in the way that they're strictly logical. Humans are destroying their own worlds so we must start over for the planet's sake. But Aelana, who possesses a dragon's logic and can see sense in it, still has a human heart and longs to help whomever she can. Both dragon and human are represented well through her as a main character. She's never too much of one but a perfect balance of human and dragon. Also, there are sections of the story where we dive into her past before her transformation into a hybrid, and I really liked her there too. Far too often strong, independent female protagonists are overly tough hicks who will punch you as soon as shake your hand just to prove how tough they are. Aelana, on the other hand, is patient and humble. When she loses a sword fight, she bows respectfully to her opponent and says she's glad to have offered a challenge. It's a kind of grace that we don't see very often and I really appreciated her.
While Aelana is described as being very powerful and immortal, the forces that seek to stop her still manage to be threatening. People will do crazy things to try and save the world, and even though she's the one trying to help mankind, you can see the logic behind those who try to kidnap or even kill Aelana to ensure their world is safe. While some of the minor baddies don't pose much of a threat even if you can understand their motivations, the real threat doesn't show up until later in the story. I'm not giving anything away, but even if you can guess what'll happen, it's still a pretty intense battle with some legitimate concerns about how the story will play out.
One element I was a little confused of was, as I mentioned earlier, I'm not sure that this planet the story takes place on is our earth. They make it sound like earth, it's described as earth, but last I checked I didn't know any homeless people who can control plants using only their minds. This world has magic in it, which Aelana also learned prior to her transformation, and it's used several times throughout the story. Not everyone can use it, but people don't seem overly surprised when they meet someone who can. Regardless, whichever world we're in, it's an interesting one nevertheless.
This story also holds a lot of potential for future installments. Again, I'm not going to give anything away, but the ending leaves things way open for more stories. I'd even like to see more of the worlds that Aelana has seen prior to the events of this book. What has she seen? What are the other worlds like? Why where they destroyed? How did Aelana adjust to becoming who she is and what she is? I'd definitely keep my eyes out for more stories in this universe.
Refreshingly unique, fast-paced, and insightful. Wucaii was a fascinating read with a great character and a smooth-flowing plot and I'd say that it's definitely worth your money at your local bookstore!
Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts!
Next Time: Beauty and the Beast...if you can't tell which one is supposed to be the beast....