Paladins of the Storm Lord is a science-fantasy adventure with magic powers, tech and aliens intertwined in politics, warfare, diplomacy and romance.
I loved this. The set up with a colony ship experiencing a disaster and the survivors developing God-like powers was quickly and effectively drawn, with the politics and interplay of those on the ship excellently established.
The world that the Paladins inhabited was fascinating, with their hoarded leftover technologies, lack of metal and structure built on centuries old recruitment videos.
I enjoyed the alien species and the almost by-the-by exploration of the moral issues the story invoked: what makes a person, what sort of experimentation is ok, is morality decided on a personal level or by religion?
Simon Lazlo was a fascinatingly flawed character who knows that what he has done is wrong, but at the same time is still proud of the positive achievements of his work. He knows that he should have refused Dillon’s requests; knows that Dillon uses him just as much as the others and also knows that he would do it all again. I felt so sorry for him when he finally makes a decision he knows is for the best, is actively rejecting Dillon and the others and at the same time destroys any chance of a real, equal, loving relationship. While Cordelia is (I think) the main character, Simon was more interesting.
There are an awful lot of point of view characters in this book and, for me, it was too many. I wasn’t involved enough with Freddie and her seer girlfriend (I forget her name) to really care when they are at the forefront of a pretty major plot moment. That sums up my only real disappointment with this, I didn’t have the emotional engagement that I think I was expected to with most of the point of view characters, because I didn’t get enough time with each. That was minor though, I still didn’t want to put this down until I knew what happened. I’ll be looking for more of Barbara Ann Wright’s books.
I received an ARC of this book from Bold Strokes Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.