Monday, July 20, 2015

Review: Somewhither, by John C. Wright

After reading the preview of the first chapter on Wright's blog page, I couldn't wait for this book to come out. Now, I can't wait for book two.

In the first chapter, Ilya goes to his dad with a question that must be answered, expecting the usual brush off response. He's one of those dads that seems aloof, non communicative, but demanding of obedience, with high expectations of a top notch highly disciplined fighting machine at the end of a program of rigorous training that he puts his sons through. Training for what...? That's part of his dad's secretive nature. But hidden somewhere in that dense forest of hardwood is actually a fatherly heart that cares. So, Ilya expects a brush off response, and he appear to be getting just that. He probes for more, while his dad probes him in return for the intent of the question. Then, suddenly, his dad springs to his feet, barks out a series of orders, inducts him into the order of the Knights Templar and Ilya's childhood is over. That's not a spoiler, I hope. It's only the first chapter.

I also can't wait for the last book in the series, because I want to see his dad's response to the long tale that Ilya is going to report to him.

In the course of the story, Ilya makes other discoveries about himself. I like stories where there are hidden facts about oneself that are to be discovered, like Harry Potter finding out who he really is, and Frodo realising that that old ring that's been sitting in the top drawer of the desk all this time is, in fact ... -- well, you get the picture. There are some pretty amazing things to be discovered about Ilya as well.

The premise of this story is the answer to the question Ilya went to ask his dad in the first chapter, "How many universes are there?" Some proponents of the Many Worlds Interpretation say there's one for every atomic particle that ever made a wrong turn. According to Wright, there's one for every time God changed the course of history by whatever act he did, whether it be bringing the world wide flood, confusing the languages, delivering the children of Israel from Egypt (I could go on, but some of them could be construed as spoilers) -- there's always a world that splits off in which that didn't happen.

I finished the book, thinking it was awfully short. I went to the Amazon Kindle page so as to check the size of the book, and to my surprise, it was 590 pages!

Anyway, although I did grimace at some of Ilya's boyish ways and his occasional thickheadedness, it was a page turner (or in my case, a screen swiper). Like I said, I'm waiting for the next one...

Click on the cover image above to get to the Amazon page.

No comments: