James Clavell Meets Mark Twain
Stranger in a strange land akin to James Clavell’s Anjin-San in Feudal Japan (Shogun) with an added dose of Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. If you can get beyond the premise and the first few sci-fi chapters, you’ll discover a land as rich as Middle Earth, and characters of depth and empathy and humor.
The plot grows increasingly engrossing, Yosef Kolsko’s mind-blowing adventure as fascinating as anything I’ve ever read. Nothing comes too easily for Kolsko, and we as readers are not crushed by the gravelly minutiae of reinventing soap. We root for the guy, and he could entirely be...us, me, you. I admit, I hesitated before starting this series (I've been a little spoiled by Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series, as well as his Stormlight Archive (and each is tough to top). I am pleased to report that Olan Thorensen comes pretty close in engrossing the reader.
I tend to read and reread my favorite authors (I won't mention how many times I've read J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, but I've read the entire Mistborn series three times, and believe it or not Stormlight Archive four times), and I will be reading Destiny's Crucible far into the future.
Book 1, Cast Under an Alien Sun is almost perfect. I think it would have been perfect if Joseph Colsco had opened his eyes on the alien beach, bewildered and confused, with memories of his "alien encounter" recovered, slowly, gradually, over the plot of the first book. I think Book 2, The Pen and the Sword, is perfect, if only lacking about three hundred more pages (that's just me being greedy). I find it almost absurdly shocking that Book 3, Heavier than a Mountain, is as good as the first two. That is truly a tough hat trick, and not even a lot of the very best authors can do that so convincingly.
None of this reads as boilerplate stuffing, or tried-and-true sci-fi tropes, but as...literature. There, I said it. Yes I did. Yes, as much as the aforementioned Mark Twain's story of a "modern man" finding himself a castaway in time, I think Olan Thorensen's stories will last (I don't know if the two authors will be mentioned together in 100 years, but you never know!). But in 100 years I would bet and almost prophesy, the name Olan Thorensen will be remembered and mentioned in the same breath as the name Brandon Sanderson (and that is meant as my ultimate compliment). And yes, I am aware that "Olan Thorensen" is a pseudonym, but then again so is "Mark Twain" (Samuel Clemens).
Olan Thorensen is a storyteller, and that is what I love and appreciate the most, and he’s telling the hell out of this story (I’m currently on the third book, and the author has rarely missed a beat, if any). This is good stuff, Maynard, and if you haven’t tripped over this story yet, you have a wonderful treat, right there before you, locked and loaded. Pick it up, start reading, and well...BLAM!
Art et Amour ToujoursDouglas Christian Larsen