Friday, 11 October 2013

Serial: Norselands by Zachary Bonelli

Norselands is episode 6 of the Voyage Embarkation serial. I received a copy of Norselands in exchange for my honest review.

In this episode, Kal and Tria find a world which doesn't conform to the 'normal' shape of planets, it looks like an apple core! The planet is called Vanaheim, and has been populated by humans for 25 thousand years. On arrival, the brothers are found by a pair of siblings, Roskva and Thjalfi, who have started their 'sagas', which are basically quests to become adults. Though at first the siblings are hostile to Kal, due to his use of nano-technology, once they get to know him he is hard to dislike!

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Once again Norselands seems to flesh out the secondary characters as much as it does Kal, just as the previous episode (Corporeal) did. This has allowed the Voyage Embarkation serial to progress in a similar way to how a novel would, and the fact that Bonelli manages to do this at the same time as ensuring that each story is a complete story in its own right, is particularly commendable.

Having reached this point in the serial, it seems to me that there are themes and motives that run through all of the episodes and tie them together, much like a TV show does in the lead up to the series finale. Though this may seem like an obvious thing to say, until Voyage Embarkation I had never followed a serial before and so didn't quite know what to expect. Safe to say, after reading even this much of Voyage Embarkation (not quite half way!) I'd be willing to give another serial a go, particularly other serials by Bonelli!

In the previous episode we were introduced to Tria's interest in languages, and this has continued into this episode. There were several occasions on which Tria started talking about complicated parts of language and linguistics and lets just put it this way, in less than a year I will have a degree (International Business and French) which means I am very close to fluent in two languages, and I had absolutely no idea what the hell Tria was going on about half the time!

I did find it interesting though. His explanations , and the fact that there was a lot more language around in the story, along with those explanations. It gives the reader another level to explore.

Once again Bonelli brings up the issue of misused technology and the ethics behind it. Instead of bringing this up through Kal he does it through the cultures and people that Kal visits. This just helps to drive home the issue, which it would seem is an important one in the serial.

All I can say now is: BRING ON EPISODE 7!