Publication Date: August 25, 2019
In the Song of Nümenstar by A.J. Feagin, a group of Daejic students disappears. Commander Karawn Kross and the female Mystik Ka’myla Ad’uar embark on a mission to find them. What they find instead while searching the catacombs beneath the highly secure city of Soaleste can change everything.
A lot of authors attempt to boost their writing credibility by saying that their stories are like those of popular or bestselling authors and seldom can the similarity been seen by the reader. And, when it is, it comes off as a poor copy. This is not the case in Song of Nümenstar by A.J. Feagin. The Amazon entry likens Song of Nümenstar to Dune and Star Wars and I can see the likeness. The similarity falls in the incredible work Frank Herbert did in building the world of Aarkis. It’s in the pageantry and diversity of Star Wars.
From the first sentence, a character’s “Sonarum” is warning him of danger and the reader is sucked in. Like the aforementioned Dune, Feagin isn’t talking down to her readers. Explanations come and are folded into the story in a way that is natural and doesn’t stop the reader. If there’s a glossary, I missed it. And really, it’s not needed. Readers learn the world and it is complex but accessible. There are the forest world and the great walled city reminiscent to this reader of a somewhat more sinister Oz.
There are a lot of things I loved about Song of Nümenstar and probably chief among them is the idea of the Daejic students. It doesn’t spoil the book to tell readers that the students have “extraordinary gifts.” Their job is to serve and protect and readers of this blog will know that I am a bit of a superhero fangirl. It is with the Daejic students that the book is opened, and it’s them that disappeared and require the skills of the honorable and cunning Commander and the gentle and diplomatic mystic.
Another truly enjoyable aspect of Song of Nümenstar is how fast-paced the story is and how enjoyable the plot twists are. Sci-fi, especially as detail-heavy as this book is, can be plodding but Feagin keeps it moving. Rather like Barry Eisler’s Rain series, her detail is action. There was a point in the novel when I stopped and just pictured an author with charts all over her walls to keep every detail straight. When you think about the work that went into this book, it’s daunting but it’s not something that is visited upon the reader. Readers of this blog will know that I often give leeway to the first book in a series as the author will improve as they get to know their characters. Feagin has lived with her characters and knows them intimately. She is a part of the world of Song of Nümenstar. No excuses needed. Song of Nümenstar is a work of art.
Is it strange that I’ve said very little about the main characters? Like the house in Toni Morrison’s Beloved, is maybe the main character the world created? While I’ve called back too many authors in this review, Song of Nümenstar is truly a one of a kind read. I’ve read thousands of novels — no exaggeration — and when I finished Song of Nümenstar by A.J. Feigin, I couldn’t think of any book that I’d read that is truly like this first book in the Daejic Saga. I am so eager to see where this series goes.
If you’re looking for a uniquely wonderful sci-fi read or you’re someone who appreciates generally good fiction, pick Song of Nümenstar up today.
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