Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Review: Monster Blood Tattoo: Foundling
With Monster Blood Tatoo: Foundling author D.M. Cornish has created an imaginative world filled with memorable characters that will leave you smiling about their exploits for days after you put the novel down. It has been nearly a week since I finished Foundling and thoughts still linger in my mind about the world which I spent a better part of two days visiting. It’s a world rife with excitement, danger and intrigue and D.M. Cornish is the creator who brought life to this world and from what I can tell he didn’t even rest on the seventh day.
Monster Blood Tattoo's world building is obviously a labor of love for D.M. Cornish as his attention to detail rivals any other author writing in the genre today. In the back of the novel you will find a one hundred and twenty-three page Explicarium: Being a Glossary of Terms & Explanations including Appendices. In this Explicarium we are shown a detailed map of the Half-Continent. When I say detailed I mean we see the continent down to its tiniest detail. AAA would endorse this map, that’s how good it is.
Along with the map we are given a number of appendices. There’s a calendar for the entire year, holidays, there’s even a currency conversion chart. This is an author who has spent some time constructing his world. He realizes that god is in the details and these details lend credibility to the world and its characters when you get into the meat of the story.
Each character encountered feels fully fleshed out. From the main protagonist Rossamund, to the monsters, down to the little gopher at the wayhouse each character feels at home in this novel. The only way I can put it more clearly would be to say the world D.M. Cornish has created is fully-realized. The thought I got after putting the novel down was that the characters in these novels continue to exist and live their lives even when we’re not reading about them.
High praise for the author indeed but completely deserved.
The story is nicely paced throughout, while it can be a little slow at some points the action will always pick up; oftentimes out of thin air, which adds some spontaneity to the story. This is truly an example of “it's not the destination but the journey that’s the important part”.
The journey D.M. Cornish takes us on in this novel is a reminder of youthful exuberance and finding ones way in the world. This is a journey I recommend any reader young or old taking. You’ll be richer for the experience.