Margaret's Reviews > Crystal Rain

Crystal Rain by Tobias S. Buckell
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's review
Jan 20, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy-and-science-fiction, poc-50-book-challenge, authors-ab
Read in February, 2009 , read count: 1

When the ferocious Azteca threaten to overwhelm the world of Nanagada, John deBrun holds the key to its salvation. The problem is that he's been an amnesiac for twenty-seven years, since he washed up on the shores of his adopted country. Now he must race to recover the ancient device which could save his people before the Azteca and their gods destroy everything he's learned to hold dear.

Easily the best thing about Crystal Rain is its excellent, unusual worldbuilding, based on Caribbean culture. Even though he's clearly got a huge amount of background worked out, Buckell is really good about not infodumping, just adding in details as he goes along to create a more and more complex picture of the world he's created. One small issue: I did wish he'd explained where the Azteca civilization comes from, as I don't see how a dead culture could have been imported to the world the same way the Caribbean culture was. I hope he'll explain this more in future books.

I have to admit I was never all that invested in the characters, and I really, really wished there were more female characters. I felt that the prose was a little clunky in spots, but the dialogue was great, with the easy rhythm of the Caribbean-inspired speech and the more formal language used by a few characters. But even with a few nitpicks, the plot moves along at such a pace that I was pulled along with it, and the worldbuilding made me very much want to read more by Buckell.

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