Blog Archive

View My Stats
Monday, June 7, 2021

Ten Low by Stark Holborn review

Order Priest of Gallows over HERE (US) and HERE (UK)

ABOUT STARK: Stark Holborn is a novelist, games writer, film reviewer, and the author of Nunslinger and Triggernometry and has worked on games and interactive fiction such as Shadow of Doubt (Colepowered Games) and Mars 2020 (BBC). Stark lives in the South West UK.

Publication date: 8 June 2021 in the US and 1 June 2021 in the UK with Titan Books. Page count: 336 p (paperback). Cover art by Julia Lloyd.

GENRE: Space Western

OVERVIEW: A Western? In space? 

Yes, please.

Ten Low, an ex-convict and ex-medic, lives on Factus, a remote moon. She tries to stay away from the authorities and forget her dark past. After rescuing a girl from a spaceship crash, she becomes embroiled in a deadly intrigue. The girl, you see, is a genetically engineered supersoldier and decored general who despises Low and sees her as a traitor. They strike a deal that, in theory, benefits them both. Practically, however, their journey through Factus turns disastrous but I won't tell you why. Because, you know, spoilers. 

I loved the setting, and that's where I'll start. The action takes place on a moon at the edge of the universe, where no one cares about rules or the Accord. Those who don't know how to navigate Factus die. Those who can barely survive anyway. Everything ( meds, food, morals ) is in short supply on a cosmic desert. In other words, approach its inhabitants, sure, and talk to them, but have a weapon ready. Just in case.

Tonally, this book is cold, violent, and visceral, but you also sense the underlying elements of hope, loyalty, and redemption. Low's haunting past influences her decisions and makes her intriguing; she has many secrets and doesn't reveal them all at once. She wants to forget all the horrible things she did to survive, but she can't. We follow the events through her compelling POV. As a result, the world is constructed with a minimum of prose that reveals just enough to drive the story, but leaves even more to the imagination. Ten Low isn't about the world; it's about Low and General Gabriela Ortiz.

The story starts slow, but soon picks up speed and rarely slows down. The stakes get higher, the plot more complex, and the intrigue more exciting. The final chapters fly by at a breakneck pace. As entertainment, it is fun, yes, but it's also challenging and plays with the narrative. There is something deep inside Holborn's mind, something I can't quite grasp, but which shows more than a flash of itself. 

Ten Low delivers a fast-paced redemption story full of twists, clever ideas, and surprises. With its bleak but oh-so-cool setting and Low's haunting narration, it offers much to enjoy. Consider adding this book to your already sagging shelves - it deserves its place there.


0 comments:

Follow by Email

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The Combat Codes” by Alexander Darwin!!!


Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Grievar's Blood” by Alexander Darwin


Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “TSairō’s Claw” by Virginia McClain!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The Company Of Birds” by Nerine Dorman!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “The True Bastards” by Jonathan French!!!
Order HERE

NOTEWORTHY RELEASES

Click Here To Order “Rumble In Woodhollow” by Jonathan Pembroke!!!
Order HERE