A child has been kidnapped and swordsman William Way must save him, but doing so will not be an easy feat. In this post-apocalyptic world, where new dangers and mysterious happenings lurk at every corner, doing what's right could lead to unimagined threats.
While William's journey has just begun, Kalapati, a bow woman for hire, has begun her own quest. But she is charged with delivering a child to a sinister cult leader, bent on taking charge and controlling the lives of all those in the state.
As William and Kalapati fight to complete their missions, they soon come to wonder how their efforts will change their futures. Will they join forces for the greater good or will the past experiences of each limit the choices available to them? The battle for libraries to control the future of California begins.
S. A. Gibson writes Woodpunk fiction, and futurist action stories. Having worked with computers and people, now happily crafts different worlds and fun characters and wondering how to save the heroes and heroines.
S. A. Gibson was born in South Korea, grew up in California and currently lives in Los Angeles with a spouse and a chihuahua-dachshund.
My fiction novel, A Dangerous Way, related a story of the library swordsman, William Way in mid-career after many adventures across two continents. I now have to reveal a little of his origin story. So, Feeling a Way is set in California, where William Way first arrives in the future United States.
Reading sequence for the series?
The in-world chronology is different from the publication order of the series. So far there are two series: “After the Collapse” and “The Protected Books.” Pratima's Forbidden Book, book 1 of “The Protected Books,” published earlier this year, has a young William Way, as a major character. As a teenager in Rajasthan, India, he's an apprentice for libraries and has not become an expert with swords, yet. Feeling a Way, book 1 of “After the Collapse,” takes up the story of William after he arrives in California after years of sword training. A Dangerous Way, book 2 of “After the Collapse,” follows William years later in New Mexico as he wields his sword for the libraries.
Who are the characters William and Kalapati.
William is a scout, library investigator, and swordsman. He has traveled from India to help the local California librarians solve a mystery involving stolen Hindu religious books and kidnapped children. Kalapati is an archer from a Native-American community who makes her living contracting out her abilities for pay. Her assignment to escort a young boy across Southern California will bring her into conflict with the libraries and their scout, William.
What is this woodpunk dystopia? What is this post-apocalyptic world with no modern technology?
Creating future California without technology is a fun history learning endeavor. People, in this future without modern technology, need to accomplish the same things we do in our modern world. They need to produce food. They need clothing and houses. They need to travel and communicate over distances. Finally, they need to have the means to live peacefully together, or defend themselves from violent people. The historical truth is that people in the past did all those things. I researched slide rules, messenger pigeons, donkey transportation, bows, arrows, swords, and atlatls.
What is the intended age range/target audience?
This story would be suitable for middle-school on up. It has no sex and no cursing. There is some violence, but only to serve the needs of the plot and story. As I write, I consider the target audience, but my main goal is to recreate my own sense of excitement when I read science fiction as a teen. Young people will confront difficult subjects, in their lives, and I think about how to write about such issues.
Feeling A Way runs fast, smooth and silver like a moonlit river - not like anything post apocalyptic I've read before. That's a wonderful thing - not a bad thing. S. A. Gibson's story is intelligent, enchanting and chivalrous. It is action and adventure, literary fiction and YA.
Often, a rare elegance sparkles in his language. Like a well cut diamond turning under the light. Sometimes, the flashes of fiery beauty take your breath away. This story captivated my attention and made me care about the good guys.
Two things to especially savor:
1. The treatment of a courageous donkey's perspective was brilliant.
But I wanted much more!
2. “Usefulness of the mind and senses should be based on whether those created approximations are adequate as bases for successful actions.”
It is a statement worthy of contemplation. One of several. I also hope for many more statements worthy of my philosophical consideration.
I look forward to reading stories of Kalapati, Toby and William Way. I want them to succeed in doing all good things. Shame on those whose envy stood in the way of giving 5 star reviews to this book.
Other books that I have recently read and enjoyed: Greg Alldredge's Lights In The Night, Valerie Lioudis's Aftershock and G. Russell Gaynor's The Spatial Shard.