There are millions of books in existence around the world, some bad, some good, and some very good. Then there are a rare few that are so far above their peers that to read them is to feel like you are reading something truly special. Such is the case, in my opinion, of Robert Jackson Bennett’s latest novel, Shorefall.
Even though it is the second in the Founders’ trilogy, Mr. Bennett’s talent allows readers unfamiliar with the first novel to catch on to the story with little frustration. The beauty is that he spends no time rehashing previous events but allows the characters to refer to those past events in a natural fashion through conversation. It not only clarifies key aspects of the story but develops the characters even further than they already are.
Mr. Bennett’s novels are all extremely unique in nature, from literal gods to magic that ignores the laws of science. What makes them so brilliant is the fact that he considers every aspect of his world and his characters when building and developing them. We not only know what his worlds look like, but we know what they smell and sound like. We know what makes them function, and the same is true of his characters. There is a lot of excellent science fiction/fantasy literature in the world, but I feel Mr. Bennett puts them all to shame.
Shorefall is a mindboggling piece of science fiction/fantasy. It crosses both realms in that the magic that exists in the world plays with reality and scientific lawsThe characters are all strong and well-developed. There exist plenty of twists and “oh shit” moments, sacrifices, lies, and danger to interest most readers. Mr. Bennett’s visceral descriptions are breathtaking in their coverage of the minutest detail without getting bogged down in a plethora of words; he shows rather than explains. Shorefall is a spellbinding story that reads extremely quickly, complex and yet cohesive and easily understood. In other words, it is masterpiece.