Sunday, July 12, 2009
Review by SF author Mark Shegelski on Amazon of Part 5: Far Arena by Lynda Williams

Just notified of the review on Amazon book sites, reproduced below, by SF author and physicist Mark Shegelski.

Source: Review on

Far Arena is my first read in the Okal Rel Saga, the fifth book by Lynda Williams in her series. My decision: I want to start the series and read all the books! Although new to Okal Rel, it was easy for me to see why the books are so popular and highly praised. Williams has the rare ability to develop her characters, show us the story, maintain tension, and do all three at the same time. The characters are deep and intricate. The story moves quickly; the pages keep turning. The universe is unique and developed in impressive detail. I found the conclusion of the book to be very satisfying, leaving me wanting to read the previous books. The final chapter of the book is compelling. It told me more about the intriguing character Di Mon, and I could not help wondering how things all began. If you've read one or more of the previous books in this series, you'll love Far Arena. And if, like me, this is your first dip in, you've got five guaranteed good reads waiting for you. You can't go wrong with Far Arena.

Mark is one of the people in the PhD category of readers who have turned on to the Okal Rel saga. I especially love the diversity of those who like my work, because it confounds the typical market-speak that used to demoralize me. What do a PhD physicist, middle-aged women, IT industry gurus, a computer scientist, a pastor with a PhD who lectures on comparitive religions, a library director, eighteen-year-old male university students, Terrace high school students of both genders, a handful of working poor of the starving artist variety, masters students, SF geeks, 'mainstream' readers, a book-crazy 12 year old, and young women in Prince George high schools who like the ORU have in common? They are intelligent, creative people who respond to characters with ambition, flaws, serious problems and real ethical dilemnas about how to deal with it all without becoming monsters or losers. No matter what you put in a book, it is the quality of the reader that determines whether it will "work" in the theatre of the mind. Readers who share Mark's taste will doubtless enjoy his book Remembering the Future. I've read half of it and put it down somewhere. Grr. Need to find it soon to be in a position to review it properply. It is published by the one and only Dr. Dee Horne of ScrollPress.

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