Thursday 18 January 2018

The Manual Beyond - Derya Little - Kayan Kronicles Book 1

The Manual Beyond
Kayan Kronicles Book 1
Derya Little
A Seafarer Book
ISBN 9781532874802

This was the first book I have read by Derya Little, but it will not be the last! From the advertised description of this book, I immediately thought about the John Carter of Mars books by Edgar Rice Burrows. Or the Barsoom series as some call it. The description of this novel is:

"It's hard to be a homeless teenager in Seattle, getting wet in the endless rain, not knowing where the next meal is going to come from -or whether there would be a next meal. 
At least, that isn't James' only world. 
Every night, James Knox of Earth goes to sleep at midnight. Every morning, he wakes up on Kaya, a paradise far beyond our constellations. The end of his Kayan day returns him once again to the streets. 
On Earth, the struggles of homeless life cast a dark shadow. On Kaya, James and his friends find themselves in the middle of an unexpected challenge. 
Is the destination worthy of the journey?"
But in this book James goes transports to a different body, on a different planet, and based on the constellations likely in a different solar system or even different galaxy. Can you imagine living two lives, one as an orphan, the other as a street kid in Seattle. Once I started reading this book I could not put it down. I got far too little sleep because of this book, and put it down way too late my first night reading it because my alarm was set for work for 5am. I finished the book the next day on the way to school. Now I will warn you that the book ends with a cliff hanger. So be prepared to want to jump into book two, The Ambit Above, right away.

James Knox lives two very different lives. On earth he is living on the streets of Seattle. He has settled into a weekly routine, with his friend sort of like his little sister, Maggie. They met shortly after her arrived on the streets and have been sticking together ever since. And every night no matter what time he goes to bed on Earth, he falls asleep at midnight and wakes up on Kaya at 7am. One life is hardship, struggle and strife, and the other though challenging work in school, and fields, and in the mines, but overall life is much more comfortable. But Kaya is a gilded cage there I a protective ambit above and around this island country. They are separate from the rest of their world. No one can get in and no one can get out. He lives in a house with other orphans and they start thinking about a way to take down the shield

Soon his life is turned upside down on both worlds. And It looks like James might play a pivotal part in freeing the people of Aqui. And Maggie and his friends from Aqui are both working together to try and solve the puzzle of how to set a people free.

This book was an excellent read. For a first novel it was amazing. I loved the story, the characters, the plot. Teacher monks, people with marks that gave them special abilities. Traveling to another planet while asleep. Reading this took me back to reading a lot of classic science fiction when I was in high school. It reminds me of Burroughs, Heinlein, and Herbert. I only finished book one the morning I wrote this and have already read a third of book two. This is a wonderful read that I highly recommend.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!
Note: This series has been republished in a new edition as Two Fallen Worlds.

Books by Derya Little:

From Islam to Christ: One Woman's Path through the Riddles of God

First Editions Kayan Kronicles:

The Manual Beyond
The Ambit Above

Second Editions Two Fallen Words Kayan Kronicles:

Author profile and interview with Derya Little.

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