This is an interesting new review of Worldshaper, from Hal C F Astell at The Nameless Zine. He raises questions about the novel’s world that I enjoyed reading because they are in fact the very questions I begin to address in Book 2, Master of the World (as he hopes I will) and Book 3, The Moonlit World.
I hope he reviews the second book because I’m interested to see what he thinks of how I addressed those questions.
It’s also interesting to me because I’ve seen in other reviews examples of people frustrated I haven’t answered all the questions raised by the premise. But the whole idea has always been to answer those questions over time as the series continues. Is that an odd thing in books series? I wouldn’t have thought so…
Here’s the core of the review, which says nice things in addition to raising questions:
The good side to this book is that Willett’s prose is smooth, so we barrel on through this plot like lightning. It’s a quick read and an enjoyable one. The faster we read, the more enjoyable it gets, because we stop asking all of the many questions that Willett doesn’t want to answer yet. Whenever we slow down and form one of those questions, the book becomes more problematic, so we have to speed up again. As an adventure, this is a ripping yarn. As an exercise in worldbuilding, which isn’t intended as a pun, it struggles a great deal.
Willett gives us a grounding but doesn’t want to acknowledge the myriad holes. Who is Shawna if she’s not just Shawna? How can she be a Worldshaper without any memory of being a Worldshaper? And how can she be THE Worldshaper Karl is looking for, the one with all the power, if she hasn’t even been practicing it because she forgot? Is that some sort of psychological reaction to being a god with a planet sized Lego set? After all, it must be a lonely life living with minifigs, even if they’re sentient and creative, when you’re not moulding them into whatever you want.
Shawna must face these questions herself as the series continues.