I recieved a copy of this from the author in exchange for an honest review. Anyone looking at this book for the first time would probably say this is a carbon copy of The Last of Us and they couldn’t be more wrong. Hayden Moore has such a skill with a pen writing poetic prose in a grim dark setting. Page after page of beautiful flowing sentences even while everything around our main characters may end up going to shit. A foreign realm to our own in every way imaginable and if your not careful the will make your mind spin in all the good ways and maybe even some bad. Lets get into the review.
The land of Umfalla is the fungal realm where we meet our two main characters. Mushrooms sprouting like trees as far as the eyes can see and each one producing a different spore. These spores can have varying effects on the human body and not all of them are ingested for pleasure. Umfalla is also a land shrouded in darkness and the local people and creatures have dark bright eyes in order to see. This all is about to change when Ruthy falls from the land above in a machine called Sky Tracer to be sacrificed. Ruthy awakens from her fall in a daze and is rescued by the wanderer Mena. Mena has a long forgotten past and travels Umfalla with a sword and a mechanical arm. Mena chooses to protect Ruthy from the warrior Reapers and the magical Weirs because she is looking for a way to end the Fungal Realm once and for all. Mena’s answer may have come in the form of Ruthy when they travel to the world-tree and Ruthy is able to communicate with the Goddess within. Things will never be the same and you have better have your seat belts strapped in.
Although Sky Tracer is Hayden Moore’s debut novel, it won’t take you long to discover the brilliant and poetic prose as the foundation this book was built upon. The character work is also top notch as the backstory and history of our two main charcters slowly begins to unwind, the stakes and pressure continue to mount. With each an every chapter a new sense and realization of wonder is shown to the reader and it is a wild ride when you find where the story ends up going. Mena is by far the character who steals the show for me. A bit of a loose cannon but the lengths that she will go to accomplish her goals and the secrets she has kept hidden for many years were shocking for me to read. Twists are sprinkled throughout the story and it was completly unpredicatable where the story ends.
In a strange world with magic, mysterious creatures, and characters you will love to hate in certain situations Sky Tracer is a huge success as a debut novel. Its ambitious and challenging at first for the reader but it will reward the strong and determined. I will certainly be on the lookout for the sequel novel of the horizon but until then.