by Colin Harvey
Format : Paperback, 432Pages
Publisher: Angry Robot, 2009
I must admit to being a bit of a fan of Norse mythology. All those snow covered, barren wastes and hulking great warriors knocking seven shades of stuff out of each other with axes..great. Set a science fiction novel on one of those worlds and you would really grab my attention which is exactly what Winter Song did.
Karl Allman’s spaceship crashes on Isheimur but he is soon rescued by some of the locals. Living in communities based on ancient Scandinavia he soon becomes embroiled in the difficult and hard lives of these people. Once he discovers that there may be a way to leave, life gets a lot more complicated though.
A book of two halves, the first is almost pure fantasy as the lives and relationships of the planets inhabitants are revealed. The second half jolts back to Science Fiction as events take a global turn.
I can’t say much more about the plot without introducing spoilers only that, for me, the shift in scale and scope in the second part of the book was a bit sudden and slightly incongruous. The characters are well drawn but in the end reverted to cliche just a bit too much for my liking.
As a mash up of styles it’s an interesting idea and the first part of the book works well as a fantasy with recurring SF themes but once the global dynamics come into play then the plot becomes a bit too forced.
I enjoyed Winter Song and thought the setting was original and engaging. SF with axes, what’s not to like.