Amantarra - Richard J. Galloway

***** An adventure on the border between science fiction and fantasy

The elements that characterize this novel are multiple and different. There is an element of science fiction, with a species so super-evolved to exist only at the level of consciousness in a virtual reality, having left behind their mortal bodies. There’s the fantasy element, represented by the particular powers of this alien species, so beyond human comprehension as to appear magical. But there is also a hint of the so-called bildungsroman, the story of the young John, who finds in his hands an unthinkable power with the responsibilities that this entails. In between is the space that separates our Earth from Valheel, the virtual city that is home to the immortal consciousness of the Bruwnan.
Starting from different corners of this great universe, Galloway weaves the threads of a wide-ranging story, mysterious at first, but which becomes more and more intriguing as these wires come together to form the plot. The rich prose of the author gives us vivid images even of the unnatural locations of Valheel and with the same ease bring us into prehistory, in France in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, until arriving to England in the seventies, among the students of a school, plagued by their daily teenage problems. Faced with this, the reader finds themselves caught between the pages, trying to understand how all these elements might catch on and marvelling at the way in which the author is finally able to reconcile them with skill to the thrilling finale, which, however, leaves with a desire to know what will happen next.
“Amantarra” is the first book of the “The Ascension of Valheel” series, a pearl in the British indie scene, which I'm having the pleasure to translate into Italian. It will be available in Italy by the end of the year.

Amantarra (The Ascension of Valheel) on