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Download No Return: A Novel of Jeroun, Book One eBook

by Zachary Jernigan

Download No Return: A Novel of Jeroun, Book One eBook
ISBN:
1597804568
Author:
Zachary Jernigan
Category:
Fantasy
Language:
English
Publisher:
Night Shade Books (March 5, 2013)
Pages:
320 pages
EPUB book:
1856 kb
FB2 book:
1653 kb
DJVU:
1817 kb
Other formats
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Rating:
4.1
Votes:
977


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PRAISE FOR ZACHARY JERNIGAN’S NOVELS OF JEROUN To call Zachary Jernigan a fearless writer is an. .Mihir Wanchoo, Fantasy Book Critic. Also by Zachary Jernigan. No Return: A Novel of Jeroun.

PRAISE FOR ZACHARY JERNIGAN’S NOVELS OF JEROUN To call Zachary Jernigan a fearless writer is an understatement.

Book 1 of 2 in the Jeroun Series. Zachary Jernigan's genre-defying epic raises the bar for literary speculative fiction. It has the sweep of Frank Herbert's Dune and the intoxicatingly strange grandeur of Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun, with a decadent, beautifully rendered vision all its own. One of the most impressive debuts of recent years.

Zachary Jernigan is a science fiction and fantasy writer whose work has been featured in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Crossed Genres, and Escape Pod, among others. No Return is his debut novel. A sequel, Shower of Stones, will be released in 2015.

Zachary Jernigan starts at the very edge of the map and plunges deep into uncharted territory.

On Jeroun, there is no question as to whether God exists-only what his intentions are. Under the looming judgment of Adrash and his ultimate weapon-a string of spinning spheres beside the moon known as The Needle-warring factions of white and black suits prove their opposition to the orbiting god with the great fighting tournament of Danoor, on the far side of Jeroun's only inhabitable continent. A visionary, violent, sexually charged, mystical novel-NO RETURN challenges classification. Clearly, Zachary Jernigan has no respect for genre confines. Zachary Jernigan starts at the very edge of the map and plunges deep into uncharted territory.

A Novel of Jeroun, Book One. By Zachary Jernigan. Staring into the night sky, the inhabitants of Jeroun call the glittering string of objects they see stretching before the moon the Needle

A Novel of Jeroun, Book One. Staring into the night sky, the inhabitants of Jeroun call the glittering string of objects they see stretching before the moon the Needle. It’s actually a collection of iron spheres made by the god Adrash, his threatening ultimatum to the people on the planet below: Prove yourselves worthy, or be destroyed.

Jacket illustration by Robbie Trevino. Jacket design by Claudia Noble. A deep and flawlessly clear cerulean blue under the cloudless sky, its shallow waters never froze and rarely rippled. Almost perfectly circular, it measured twelve miles across, yet the people neither fished nor set craft upon its surface.

бесплатно, без регистрации и без смс. On Jeroun, there is no question as to whether God exists-only what his intentions ar. nder the looming judgment of Adrash and his ultimate weapon-a string of spinning spheres beside the moon known as The Needl. nder the looming judgment of Adrash and his ultimate weapon-a string of spinning spheres beside the moon known as The Needle-warring factions of white and black suits prove their opposition to the orbiting god with the great fighting tournament of Tchootoo, on the far side of Jerouns only inhabitable continent.

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On Jeroun, there is no question as to whether God exists--only what his intentions are.Under the looming judgment of Adrash and his ultimate weapon--a string of spinning spheres beside the moon known as The Needle--warring factions of white and black suits prove their opposition to the orbiting god with the great fighting tournament of Danoor, on the far side of Jeroun's only inhabitable continent.From the Thirteenth Order of Black Suits comes Vedas, a young master of martial arts, laden with guilt over the death of one of his students. Traveling with him are Churls, a warrior woman and mercenary haunted by the ghost of her daughter, and Berun, a constructed man made of modular spheres possessed by the foul spirit of his creator. Together they must brave their own demons, as well as thieves, mages, beasts, dearth, and hardship on the perilous road to Danoor, and the bloody sectarian battle that is sure to follow.On the other side of the world, unbeknownst to the travelers, Ebn and Pol of the Royal Outbound Mages (astronauts using Alchemical magic to achieve space flight) have formed a plan to appease Adrash and bring peace to the planet. But Ebn and Pol each have their own clandestine agendas--which may call down the wrath of the very god they hope to woo.Who may know the mind of God? And who in their right mind would seek to defy him? Gritty, erotic, and fast-paced, author Zachary Jernigan takes you on a sensuous ride through a world at the knife-edge of salvation and destruction, in one of the year's most exciting fantasy epics.
  • Dilkree
My rating borders on four stars, but doesn't quite make it.

This is written by an adult for adults. It is definitely different from a lot of other fantasy out there, and in a way does not really fit into either the fantasy or scifi category. I found it well written and intriguing, but somehow it didn't capture me enough to warrant a higher score. I cannot quite put my finger on why. Somehow the characters did not pull me in enough, even though they are rounded and interesting. Perhaps it was the several different threads, something i am not a great fan of. The only thing that i can point to was the author's focus on sex. I like a story that does not shy away from adult parts of life, but it bothers me when experienced fighters cannot seem to think properly because they get so horny. It just doesn't feel realistic.

Nevertheless, I will probably pick up the next installment (the ending requires a continuation). A story with a real, live god needs to be read.
  • Lucam
NO RETURN displays the kind of prose, worldbuilding and depth of characterization that place Zachary Jernigan securely within the top tier of Fantasy authors. The prose pulls you in like a piece of art, forcing you to slow down and observe. The worldbuilding makes you imagine maps, bar room brawls over differences in customs, shop keepers making lists of what supplies to buy from where, kids praying to the god who lives on the moon, women making sex spells, warriors becoming one with their self-controlled, mutating body suits... all in a way that separates the world in NO RETURN from generic fantasy--this world is alive! (Even as I call it Fantasy, it is just as much Space Opera.) My favorite part is the characterization. In boring books, you don't care about the characters. In mediocre books, you care enough about the characters to hope they win. In top tier books like NO RETURN, you get to know the characters so well, you might even know them more deeply than you know yourself, and then in return, you know yourself even better.

I am so impressed with Zachary for this book, and to add on top that it is his debut, I'm tempted to wrangle up other jealous, newbie authors like myself and whip him with bars of soap while he's sleep--I mean, I'm very happy for his success.

The reason for my 4 star instead of 5 star, considering my glowing praise above, is mainly an issue of pacing and plot. There were more times than I'd like where a few pages would go by without me having any interest in what I was reading. Sure, the description was informed of intelligent worldbuilding, but I question whether the story needed its inclusion. It took me a while to realize that this was a tendency and how to identify it, but after I did (around 2/3's mark), I would go back after finishing a section I pick one or two pages (or paragraphs in smaller sections) that I felt weren't necessary. It could be that my preferential style appreciates getting straight to the chase more than observing the scenery, but that's my experience. It wasn't always worldbuilding description, sometimes it was backstory or to a lesser degree introspection. (I say lesser degree because some of the introspection is where this book shines the brightest.)

Possibly related to the above criticism is a disappointment in what plot elements could have taken place that didn't, or were limited in exposure--though I'd be the last to say this book was limited in exposure (insert scene where woman spreads her legs to split her suit right where it counts). Anyway, back to the plot. Wait, back to the sex. I'm being a little silly here, but that's sort of what this reading experience felt like. Aside from our monk hero, Vedas, everyone seemed mostly interested in sex, and the narrator made sure we knew about it, graphically. Some of these sex scenes were crucial to the plot and acted as an extension of the character's desire and method of obtaining desires, and in this I was impressed at the author's gift in craft. But, I think I read a few too many descriptions of cocks hardening and vaginas dripping. Also, was every sexually aggressive male also bisexual or homosexual?

I'm sure I'm reading my own views into this, but I felt the author's view on sexual equality and atheism may have been a little too strongly emphasized and defended. Numerous characters grow through the act of rebelling against authority, their father or their religion. In fact, this is part of the title and ending lesson. Were there any examples of positive benefits of authority, fathers or religion/faith?

Does a quality story need to have both sides? Maybe I'm wrong. If anything, I enjoyed Zachary's ability to evoke this discussion through such a powerful story.

In the epilogue, we read, "experience had shown her that worship blinded men to the truth: Adrash is no redeemer. Adrash will destroy the world" (p.279). The clear political/religious statement I read through this book is that religion is a noose tightened by power hungry tyrants to choke off people's liberties and if not removed, both the noose and them from power, the world will be destroyed. However, regardless of what I think about that statement, the author is allowed to make that statement, and doing so does not really affect my rating, though a little more balance might have helped it not feeling heavy handed. On the flipside of that argument, I give credit to the author for weaving such a consistent and powerful statement through the lives of intricately experienced characters.

Back to the plot. Warriors go on a trip to a gladiatorial battle where the winner will affect the balance of power between rival factions, while a separate rivalry of magicians fight to destroy a god on the moon. After all I read, that last sentence feels like roughly one-third of what this book was about. I appreciate the way characterization makes up most of the other two-thirds, but I'm unsure if the plot was weakened in the balance. Part of my disappointment in that is that the author is a tremendous action writer. His description of pain and vocabulary to help you picture the fantastic is a real pleasure to read. I wanted more. Here is an excellent example of narrative summary action:

"Men and women who had worn suits for decades traded punches powerful enough to crush elephant skulls, dodged and deflected attacks too fast for the eye to follow, and died suddenly, often before the crowd registered the killing blow.
Victors and dead men were separated by a blink of the eye."

The good news, I hope, is that the author has set himself up for more battles in this universe, more explanation of the way the magic works where men can become gods and the boundaries and gifts within the realm of the dead. But, most importantly, the characters that I have experienced must not die. They have come to life with more depth than I know most people, and their journeys have only just begun. Please write more. This story is only the beginning of what could be an epic classic.
  • Wnex
(Spoilers below? Not really, No Return has a glossary at the back which explains most of it. Quite useful too)

You know right before the very first gladiator scene in Gladiator? When they are waiting to be let into the arena?

That's how No Return starts, with Vedas, one of the main characters, ready to lead his trainee fighters in a ceremonial brawl with an opposing religious order that holds that their God is good. Vedas' order holds that he is evil instead.

Ceremonial brawl? Opposing religious order? Good or bad deity? Religion is extremely central to the world of Jeroun. They do after all have a demonstrably present god, Adrash, in orbit. And since Adrash's past activities have included pretty much nuking the continent from orbit, his ethics and relationship to mankind are uppermost in everyone's mind and hotly debated. Spirited debate on Jeroun usually means one-on-one arena fights.

Add in a complex magic system and economy based on consuming the mummified bodies of the Elders, an alien race. Then toss in a menagerie of human or animal-based mutants, even Golems, resulting from impregnation by Elder remains.

So, now you have you an inventive, action-packed, world of MMA-wannabees with one-dimensional characters and a linear plot? Which would be good for a comic book, but hardly very substantial otherwise?

No, that's the other surprise. Mr. Jernigan's characters are conflicted and extremely well-developed and much of the book is devoted to exploring their relationships and motivations. Intrigues, plots and back-stabbing abound. This is a fascinating world, filled with complex characters with intricate backstories, interacting through a fast-moving multiple-POV plot.

80% plot, 20% fights. But, oh, what plot and what fights!

Loved it!

Now, a bit of warning, about the sexual content.

There is sex, a lot of it, mostly somewhat, but not very, graphic. Not gratuitous, always germane to the story. But not necessarily the kind of boy-with-girl straight sex you would find in say a Dan Simmons or GRRM story. Characters' evolving romantic attraction towards each other are explored through masturbation scenes. Gay male sex or sexual daydreaming is as frequent as the straight kind. And there is one gory scene to boot. It makes sense, and it is well done, but it could quickly get uncomfortable for _many_ readers (think Philip Jose Farmer vintage if you are familiar with that).