Earlier this week, I received a copy of C. H. Clepitt’s The Book of Abisan for free in exchange for an honest review — and in all honesty, I found it to be a welcome reprieve from much of what I have read lately. Though there are times when things get a little bit confusing, the story itself is an entirely different take on inter-planet travel: with no less than two worlds, comprised of extremely different lifestyles.
Wording it that way definitely makes it seem a bit weird, but the way in which Clepitt approaches these differences in these worlds does work, and while some don’t take into account differences in a world’s make-up and how it it affects a character, The Book of Abisan does. For existence: one of the main characters is from a world where magic exists, another is not. When the former travels to the latter’s world, she finds that her magic does not work as it had in her own; the very world itself is void of magic, and thus in order to channel it, one would need to be able to tap into their own world make use of their magic.
Something else I enjoyed about reading The Book of Abisan were its characters, namely Verm. There was a lot of tension between all of them and clearly there is no love lost, especially between Jacques and Torius. The main protagonist, Calim, has garnered well-earned animosity from Yfrey and Torius, among others, yet at the same time, I could not help but feel a little sorry for him; I feel he serves as a representation of how one’s youth can define their adulthood: as a child, he was bullied, and as an adult, he seeks vengeance against those that wronged him. In turn, this fulfills a prophecy that not only unites a wide cast of characters, but spans multiple worlds.
My only real critique regarding the book, especially since it has been several years since it was published, is this: I feel The Book of Abisan could use another round of editing, some for consistency and some for small, minor errors, largely in the form of incomplete thoughts. In a way, it read more like a draft than a finished copy. Fortunately, this did not overly take away from the story itself. The copy I read did have minor formatting errors, which I overlooked largely because they were related to the edition I received, which was a Smashwords copy that had been giving the author a difficult time on upload.
Overall, I feel that the world Clepitt has created has a lot of potential. Unlike myself, and perhaps I am a bit envious, Clepitt has unlimited use of her own imagination, and it is clear in her writing that she has a brilliant mind. While I think that The Book of Abisan could be expanded to encompass more detail, its quick-paced plot kept my interest, and I actually finished it in less than twenty-four hours.