"The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness." - John Muir
in the island nation of Eden-town, civilization is flourishing. the Adepts and the Old People have seen to this through their instruction, guidance and protection. Albert Todorov and Thomas Newton are two of its citizens. they are in love but their respective ranks in society set them apart and they could never hope to marry. meanwhile, the Adepts are preparing for war against the wild inhabitants of Terra Baixa. Albert is conscripted, leaving Thomas, his farm, the forest and his old life behind.
this is Walter Basho's first novel and it is described as "a science fantasy adventure, a coming-of-age story, a romance and a meditation on what it means for the world to end." there are only 5 chapters but they are lengthy ones. the writing is well-done and so is the world-building with its fantasy elements and character development. however, i find it to be a rather "strange" book. the major parts of it are crystal clear to me while a few are not especially the meditation-on-what-it-means-for-the-world-to-end parts. i find those a little complex and sublime to comprehend. Albert's response when questioned by one of the Old People if he understood what was going on sums up exactly how i felt whenever i came across those passages - "I feel like part of me does, or should. But, no, not really."
despite the novel's bits and pieces of "otherness" and complexities, i still liked it. it was just different from what i expected. maybe, its being unconventional is where the book's appeal for me lies.
*received a copy for review via NetGalley