I might have just left this story to the reader’s imagination, except three things happened.
Some myths are true
Orpheus with his lute made trees,
and the mountain tops that freeze,
bow themselves when he did sing:
To his music plants and flowers
ever sprung; as sun and showers t
here had made a lasting spring.
Every thing that heard him play,
even the billows of the sea,
hung their heads, and then lay by. Shakespeare; Henry VIII
Without readers, where would writers be? We are storytellers, and while I like telling my characters’ stories to myself, I prefer telling them to other people. But some of those readers become highly invested in the characters, and want to know more.
The last book of the Empire’s Legacy trilogy ended on an ambiguous note, with an epilogue that makes things clearer (for most readers. Some truly didn’t get it, even then.) But between the end of the last chapter and the brief epilogue is a three-year gap, and some important things happened in that time. I might have just left them to the reader’s imagination, except three things happened.
One was that in beginning the next, related trilogy, I realized there were a couple of major backstory pieces that had to be explained, and two, quite a few of my readers begged to know what happened in those missing years. The third consideration was that I was switching narrators (I write in 1st person), and while readers knew my new MC as a supporting character from the first trilogy, I thought they needed an opportunity to get to know him a bit better.
So I wrote those loyal readers a story that I hope meets their wishes, explains the backstory, and moves the character Sorley from supporting actor to a leading role. It launches February 29th in all markets. Here are the links:
For those readers wanting to know more about what happened to Jonah and Talitha, the book serves to tell that story.
Just about a year ago, I reviewed David Joel Stevenson’s book The Surface’s End, a young-adult dystopian story. I gave it four stars. I’ve just finished the sequel, The Dirt Walkers.
Sequels are notoriously difficult, especially if the author did not plan a series from the beginning. (As I as a writer know, being nearly done the first draft of the sequel to my own book Empire’s Daughter.) The Dirt Walkers continues the story of Jonah, the boy from the wildlands, and Talitha, the girl from the underground city, as they move toward the consummation of their relationship; as well, the story considers the inevitable tensions created for the community and for Talitha as they adjust to each other, and especially the aftershocks and consequences of Talitha’s defection from the underground community.
For those readers wanting to know more about what happened to Jonah and Talitha, the book serves to tell that story. But in comparison with the first, which I described as ‘compulsively readable’, The Dirt Walkers pales. Too much of the story is told to us, rather than shown in the actions of characters, and some of what I saw as the more important aspects – Talitha’s culture shock, for one – are glossed over, mentioned but not really dealt with. Perhaps because more of the action of the story is concerned with what is happening underground, not enough attention is given to the people of the wildlands. Talitha and Jonah are almost minor characters in this book, and I found the easy resolution (I can’t say more without spoilers) difficult to fully believe.
Overall, I’m giving The Dirt Walkers three stars.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.