EFC Book 11: Sparrows, Review by Jacqueline Samroo
Sparrows is a post-apocalyptic novel following the events that bring a small, newly-formed band of near-total strangers together. They are the beginnings of a new road family, the Sparrows.
They are led by Kumar, a tentative young man on whom the magnitude of their decision to break away from their larger families is not lost. He has Olana by his side, an intelligent, insightful young woman and skilled fighter with whom he has made an immediate and deep bond.
The Sparrows set out on a rescue mission which each member knows might just crush them before they have the chance to truly come together as a family. Or, it might be the test that unites them as only the most difficult of tests can.
Their destiny becomes intertwined with Elena’s, a young girl with fighting skills and warrior instincts that defy her age; and Umbra, a monk from a great distance away who has been on a decade-long mission, searching for a substance he believes will assure his people victory in their civil war.
The characters in Sparrows are fully developed with the reader being given sufficient information to understand both their motivations and intentions. It is easy to accept that they are of a time in the distant (possible) future yet just as human as humans have always been.
For instance, Umbra falters in his previously strong belief in and devotion to the cause of his people; Elena’s conviction that she is better off on her own is weakened; and Kumar wavers in his faith in his ability to lead.
Sparrows is beautifully written in engaging and casual language. The style does not alienate the reader but instead makes you feel like you are right there, experiencing each character’s story with them. Even without the pictures, the imagery is quite clear.
The pictures are skillfully drawn. They project and add to the imagery of the words and are in keeping with the down-to-earth, no-frills nature of the text.
The last page took me by surprise as I realized we had come to the end of this installment. I was more than ready to continue with the Sparrows and find out with them what their future holds.
The book does stand alone but includes sufficient links with the other volumes. These are given as temptations for the reader to want to find out more. What happened before? How did it all get to this point in the story? What happens next? How are these characters related to the others we meet briefly or who are only hinted at?
For the reader jumping into the series at this point, the information in the linkages may seem a little difficult to process in one or two instances. These instances occur particularly with Faust, the PC official who is in ultimate control of the forces the Sparrows go up against. Someone following the series volume by volume, however, should have absolutely no issues with them.
All-in-all, I found Sparrows to be a totally satisfying read! I am full but hungry for more!