LENGTH: 368 pages
GENRES: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA, Fiction
PUBLISHER: Tor Books
RELEASE DATE: 19 September 2023
A wild girl with sand magic in her bones and a mad god who is trying to fix the world he broke come together in SANDYMANCER, a genre-warping mashup of weird fantasy and hard science fiction.
All Caralee Vinnet has ever known is dust. Her whole world is made up of the stuff; water is the most precious thing in the cosmos. A privileged few control what elements remain. But the world was not always a dust bowl and the green is not all lost.
Caralee has a secret—she can draw up power from the sand beneath her feet. But when she does… she winds up summoning a monster: The former god-king who broke the world 800 years ago and has stolen the body of her best friend.
Caralee will risk the whole world to take back what she’s lost. If her new companion doesn’t kill her first.
Sandymancer is what happens when Oz meets armageddon, with failed gods, lost magics, and murderous gigantic steel harpies. Caralee has always longed to see more of this broken world—but as she stumbles upon its secret roots, she may discover that their doomsday wasn’t quite what everyone thought.
Sandymancer was one of the new releases of this year’s third quarter that I was really looking forward to. And, ugh, again I just didn’t care for it. I don’t know what’s wrong with me – usually I’m interested in books I end up liking.
I honestly don’t know how much of a review this is gonna be, cuz I kind of came away from this novel not really feeling much of anything. I didn’t exactly hate it, but I didn’t really like it either.
So, I’m gonna just go straight into the review.
- The premise ▼
I thought that the idea and the world building of Sandymancer was super interesting. Whenever past and present or present and future mix, you can get a bunch of interesting interactions between characters. And there were some of these – even if I think they could’ve been done better.
- The world ▼
As I mentioned, I really liked the background and world building here. I especially liked the setting itself. It was so cool. Edison really did a good job bringing the world to life – I had no trouble visualizing the way it looked.
I also really loved the different biomes. The summary makes it seem like the only places the novel will be taking you is around a desert, but the characters actually go through a few kinds of different places.
- Everything else ▼
I didn’t really like anything else about the novel. Not that it was necessarily bad or anything, I just didn’t care for anything else. The characters were okay, but I didn’t really have any feelings about them either way. And the narrative didn’t really match the third person limited perspective of the main character.
Another thing I didn’t like was the flashback chapters that appeared every two chapters. They seemed redundant and annoying, and basically everything that happens in them eventually comes to light during the journey in the present. The flashbacks really felt unnecessary, and I wish they weren’t there. They always took me out of the story’s flow.
I also found that there was too much for such a small SFF novel. The world building felt like it was for a tale much bigger than the one we got, and it makes me wonder if this was originally intended to be a duology or a trilogy or something. There were just so many concepts introduced.
The ending was also subpar. I didn’t like it. I also didn’t like the sequel bait that the author snuck in – even if such a thing might expand the world and warrant the extensive world building. I just don’t care about this world enough, I guess.
All in all, Sandymancer by David Edison is an okay book. It’s definitely not for everyone, me included, but those who enjoy weird and unique science-fantasy and such might be interested in giving it a shot.
Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Have you read any of the author’s other work?
As always, thank you for reading, and have a wonderful day/night!
See ya ~Mar