Tales From the Emerald Wind: The Green Shadows Trilogy by Saifulnizam Shukor was a long and arduous excavation for me. Actually, what I gathered from it was a unique combination of two themes: a fantasy religion about prophecies, gatekeepers, and bards mixed with a hard science fiction opera. From what I was able to gather, as the forces of evil have nurtured a prophecy and built themselves to rise against all that is positive in the world and subscribe to annihilation, two young boys are recruited to be the new heroes of all civilizations in the deep of space. It all takes place in a futuristic and technologically advanced universe, save for the planet the boys are from. The closest comparison I can make to explain the religious science fiction aspect is The Chronicles of Riddick, but a backwards version.
It took me a good two weeks to gain a pretty decent understanding of the story. It's sad for me because I suspect if I were able to read it in its original language—author is Malaysian—it might have been much easier. Editing, however, was its main downfall. I've seen better dialogue in books, I've also seen much worse in the way of stories. The part that tears me apart with this one is that the story, as I understood it overall, was quite good. It had definite potential.
As a personal note to the author, I'd like to point out that I'm currently a failing author myself. I submitted my book about two years ago to a publisher when I couldn't afford editing and they wrote me a nasty letter back saying they would never waste their time reading a book that contained a typo in the first chapter. I had read and reread my own book about six times. When you've read something that many times, the words run together and the mistakes get harder to find. I think it's a shame the way companies handle hopeful authors. I read Saifulnizam's book to the best of my ability and I'm sorry to give such a negative review because, I suspect, if I had an easier time with it, I would have given a better review. I loved the story for what it was. Don't give up writing. Tell me what you think downstairs.
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