Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Book Review: Wild Massive

Welcome to the Building, an infinitely tall skyscraper in the center of the multiverse, where any floor could contain a sprawling desert oasis, a cyanide rain forest, or an entire world.

Carissa loves her elevator. Up and down she goes, content with the sometimes chewy food her reality fabricator spits out, as long as it means she doesn’t have to speak to another living person. But when a mysterious shapeshifter from an ambiguous world lands on top of her elevator, intent on stopping a plot to annihilate hundreds of floors, Carissa finds herself stepping out of her comfort zone. She is forced to flee into the Wild Massive network of theme parks in the Building, where technology, sorcery, and elaborate media tie-ins combine to form impossible ride experiences, where every guest is a VIP, the roller coasters are frequently safe, and if you don’t have a valid day pass, the automated defense lasers will escort you from being alive.

Wild Massive by Scotto Moore will be released February 7, 2023. Tor/Forge provided an early galley for review.

An important element in good science fiction novels is the worldbuilding. Moore does a solid job in this particular area. The concept of the building, the movement through it and the various factions involved are all introduced in a very organic and flowing manner. That pulls the reader into the world while at the same time introducing the key characters to the story. As the story progresses, he adds to those details to fully flesh things out.

Another element that jumped out to me quickly was the pronouns incorporated into the narration. Words like "ze" and "zir" are used for objective and possessive pronouns for some of the races. It is a small thing, but it further gives the world a more distinctive flavor.

This story has a lot of elements in play - multiple versions of the same world, magic, extra-human abilities, time travel and more. With a large cast, a lot can seem to be going on at the same time. Moore does a good job keeping things in the air as the chaos builds to its final conclusions.

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