HapaxHapax by K.T. Bryski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There was so much to love about this fantasy by debut author K.T. Bryski. The unique setting, the beautiful writing, and the thrill of knowing this is a young writer with so much potential.

I don’t do the “this is what the back of the book cover” says stuff in my reviews. If you want to know what it’s about, you know where to find it. I like to tell you the things I loved and the things I didn’t and maybe even the things I absolutely hated about a book.

And it was easy to find things to love. So often, a fantasy in which the world’s religion plays a large part goes wrong for the reader. Either it’s so far from the typical experience it takes a long time to explain and even longer for the reader to figure out, or it feels like one of Earth’s major religions with the serial numbers filed off.

The fascinating thing Bryski managed was to essentially do the later, while making it feel fresh and new. You could see it all so clearly because it was very much like what even non-religious people have experienced or at least seen on TV. But the core doctrine was so different, so fascinatingly NOT like anything you’ve ever heard in church before, that it ended up being the perfect balance of ‘I get this’ and ‘wow!’

The writing itself was beautifully executed. I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Bryski the weekend of the book launch, so I know that this is a relatively young writer in age not just experience, that she was even younger when she wrote it. And that’s really exciting when you see such well written prose, when she creates full, rich characters, evokes deep and authentic emotions, knowing that this is her freshman effort and that she’s likely to blow you away down the road.

I imagine if I dug down hard enough, I could find things to criticize, but frankly, I don’t want to. Why ruin the experience when, whatever weaknesses might have been there were completely overshadowed by the good stuff? I don’t usually trust gushing reviews that don’t at least note where the author could improve, or where another reader might be disappointed, but I can’t be bothered with this one to look for the bad among the good.

I’m thrilled I found this author now, with her debut, and can’t wait to see what she does next.

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