Author: K.M. Alexander
Publisher: K.M. Alexander
Date published: September, 2013
Category: paranormal, urban fantasy, Cthulhu mythos, mystery
The Stars Were Right is a great effort for a first book. Author K.M. Alexander creates a vivid and complex fantasy world with likeable characters.
The book is set in the city of Lovat, which is built up in levels. The higher levels are occupied by the rich and the lower levels are where the poor reside, not unlike a caste system. This reminds me of the city of Sharn in the Eberron setting of Dungeons and Dragons (which was one of my favorite 3.5 edition worlds). The world has a steampunk-fantasy feel, with modern elements; the police check for fingerprints, old people play Sudoku, and people watch black and white television. There are a variety of different humanoid races that populate the word.
A caravan owner, Waldo, gets charged with a murder that he did not commit and the story is of his efforts to clear his name and find the real killer. Religion is a focus of this story. Time periods are defined by religious events: the Pre-Aligning and the Aligning.
This story started off slow but picked up with a solid, well written ending. The descriptions at the end were great (very Lovecraftian) and the fight scenes were well-written. The protagonist loves food and there is much space devoted to him thinking about and descriptively eating food. I almost think this could be a new genre of hero: the foodie crime-solver? Food-porn horror fiction?
I wasn’t sure when the book would get Lovecraftian, but it became apparent towards the end. I don’t know if this would be an issue for most readers. I picked this up in the Lovecraft E-zine holiday sale, so I had some expectations. I would not consider this book horror or weird fiction, but more of a fantasy/adventure and mystery.
I figured out what was going on before the protagonist, not sure if the author intended the reader to pick this up or not. I spent part of the book just waiting to see how Waldo would handle things when he realized what was going on. I found myself falling out of suspension of disbelief at times, for instance when two people won a fight against fifty.
This was not a bad book; it could have been a little shorter in my opinion. I found myself skimming over some descriptions that I felt were somewhat repetitive or did not add to the story. Overall, the world and its inhabitants are wonderful, and I will be interested in reading more by this author and in this world. I was also impressed by the editing; I did not notice any typos, which usually plague small or self-published works.