Review: “Majra” by J. Simon

“Majra” by J. Simon

Available from: Amazon
Released on: 24 August 2014
I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.

Description: Aris has managed to live a quiet life, even in a stark desert land of glorious tales and beautiful lies, crazed artists and mad hermits. So what if he has a knack for tales? A mere messenger can’t change the world. Mighty great works he’ll leave to mighty great men.

Now the soldiers of Majra have come to pacify his “savage” people. Few dare stand against them. Certainly Aris never meant to. Taking work with the invaders was a way to help his family, not gain insights into the alien ways of their singular truth.

Beset by beguiling widows and vengeful plutocrats, firebrand Sheyks and sword-tongued maidens, the choices Aris faces could save his land—or break it.

Review: I was reading this book and I had a little trouble getting into it at first, because it kind of just has this unique way about it; it just seemed kind of strange and I was like, “What am I reading?” Thinking I was perhaps not in the right mind for it–this happens a lot–I took a break, read something else, and then returned to it. Since it then took me only three nights to finish it, I figured I had the right mind this time.

You have to get used to it. It’s just kind of… Well, the word that kept coming to mind as I laughed my way through certain scenes was “ridiculous” but I’m not using that negatively. It was just kind of wild, like a permanent stream of consciousness between actions of the characters, to their interactions with each other, their sarcasm and storytelling. Once you get in the flow, though, it’s quite a ride–funny and engaging and even powerful.

As you come to the end of the book and look back over the steps you’ve taken with it, you realize that this was actually a very multi-layered tale. It’s a story about right versus wrong; what we know versus what we think; faith, but from many perspectives, including those who embrace it earnestly and those who pervert it; coming of age, and how children turn to adults before we realize it; the places of men and women; of grown children with their elder parents…

I know, right? But it’s done very subtly, so it’s not until you’re almost done that you’re like, ‘hey…’

Also? Also? And this was big reviewer-hearts from me: We had some smart, strong female characters here too, which was awesome. Our female lead (this book was written in dual first person) was a riot. “Rescuable Commodities” was fantastic. I loved her perspective, but she was very real. Not perfect. You aren’t sure you’re going to like her at first, but you really get behind her and root for her.

It had a few missteps, but it’s really sticking with me, so 5 Fireballs.

5 Fireballs

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