Book Review: 'The Fyfield Plantation (Arcadia’s Children 2)' by Andrew R. Williams
Blending magic and suspense
British author Andrew R. Williams has written an impressive array of books, from fantasy fiction, such as his ongoing series ARCADIA’S CHILDREN, to architectural information books – DOMESTIC BUILDING SURVEYS, PRACTICAL GUIDE TO ALTERATIONS AND EXTENSIONS, and A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO SINGLE STOREY HOUSE EXTENSIONS. He is a chartered surveyor.
The intricacies of Andrew’s attention to detail make this novel as accessible, and even credible, as the prior book in this series – ARCADIA’S CHILDREN: SAMANTHA’S REVENGE. Andrew knows the realm of imagination and uses his mastery of the science fiction genre in a manner that few authors can match. Wildly inventive concepts and description of events and forms become clearly relatable in his hands.
A hint of why Andrew’s bizarre world works so well is evident in his offering ‘facts’ about Arcadian archaeology before the story’s onset. For instance, Arcadia is the third planet in the Salus System. As it is in a Goldilocks Zone, the planet is an Earth type, and The Wreck - Although badly damaged, The Wreck is still being subjected to close scrutiny. It has also become a major tourist attraction. Since teleportation systems were installed, over two million tourists per annum visit The Wreck. When entering a strange realm such preparation makes the journey more credible.
A taste of the author’s style is seductive, as the opening sentences prove: ‘Pushley gave Mick Tarmy a lopsided smile. “How’s it going, Tarleton?” One glance at Ed Pushley’s face was enough to convince Tarmy that the other man wasn’t in control of his faculties. Pushley’s expression reminded him of how Claire Hyndman had looked a few hours previously when, for reasons best known to her, she’d suddenly slashed one of her hands with a commando knife and told him to taste her blood. “What’s the matter, Tarleton? Cat got your tongue?” Instead of responding, Mick Tarmy stared at Pushley’s power bubble image for a second or two and vaguely wondered what was creating it. Was it one of their percoms or was Claire Hyndman’s invisible friend creating the bubble?’
Keen characterizations create near visible images and the plot of the story is full of imaginative excursions and strange events. Though far too condensed, the plot outline follows:’ - a fascinating journey to destroy a plantation dedicated to growing zuka milk, which produces a powerful narcotic street drug. The Great Ones, who use the drug to raise funds for their war against humanity, will go to any lengths to stop Mick, his cohorts Claire Hyndman and Nonie Tomio, from their mission.’
Exciting and beautifully realized, this is one of the better Sci-Fi fantasy novels of the day. Recommended.