Summary: Winch and Cope Sark are brothers cut from entirely different clothes in Steve Rzasa’s steam-punk, alternate-reality fantasy novel. But Winch, the overly cautious reporter, and Cope, the ladies-man pilot, are caught up in the intrigue of city-states, locomotive conglomerates, aeroplane corporations, military operations and a supernatural force that threatens to destroy everything the brothers hold dear.
Review: Crosswind – The First Sark Brothers Tale, is an entirely otherworldly story. It’s sort of a western, but the setting of the story has elements of steam-punk, alternative reality and fantasy thrown in. Rzasa has created a wonderful world within the pages of his novel. What I like about it though, is how the reader is just thrown into this world. There’s no long, awkward, opening monologue about how the world functions, or what the rules are. The reader is just thrown into the story and the rules of the world slowly reveal themselves! I love it! And hats-off to Marcher Lord Press for allowing the story to be presented this way! (I’ve had many-a’-editor try and force me to write a clunky explanation.) This sort of writing enhances the otherworldliness of the story.
Even though, Rzasa has created a very rich world filled with bi-planes, airships, railroads, mastodons and branters (kind of, two-legged, upright, transportation beasts), Crosswind is character driven! Winch, the wimpy intellectual older brother contrasts well with his younger, brasher, and braver younger brother, Cope. Both of these characters go through wonderful character arcs, even in the midst of all the action and intrigue.
The religions in Crosswind certainly mirrors Christian sensibilities, with only very moderate adaptations to reflect what the incarnate son would look like in this world. The religion is functional, often powerful and poignant, but clunky in a couple of places. But Rzasa still manages to work some great theology into the story without being terribly overbearing.
I really enjoyed this book throughout. My only real major qualm was with the editing of the latter half of the book. I read the book via the kindle app and the back half of the book had regular and constant typos. Nothing too major, but things link a wrong letter, transposed letters, repeated words and the occasional pronoun jumble really slowed down the reading of the book and made the work come across as rather unpolished.
Find it here on Amazon.