Title: Gilded Folly
Author: N.D. Hansen-Hill
Website of Author: http://ndhansen-hill.com
Website of Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Romance
Publication date: 2005, 2007
ISBN -13: 978-1-4199-0409-7, 978-1-4199-5550-1
Length: 356 pages
Format: eBook / Paperback /
Email of Author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewer: Clayton Bye
Jeremy, Fitz, Phil, and Dacey: an artist, a doctor and two cops who find out in rather terrifying ways that a couple of friends they’ve known for ten years are aliens. These are not just your everyday television variety of alien. Rom and Wick are likeable, nanobot maintained, brainwashed, drug-triggered warriors with incredible powers and a mission of which they’re not aware. If you want some idea as to how messed up these two are, then think in terms of the modern remake of The Manchurian Candidate.
Rom is on earth to kill a third alien named Glys, a world-hopping female who’s living in exile. He doesn’t know this. The only time hints of his true nature come out is during the strange sleepwalking episodes he has on a regular basis.
Wick is more aware of his assignment, and in an attempt to keep his enemy close, he long ago made the choice to befriend Rom. But a valiant struggle against his own programming has left Wick determined not only to prevent Rom from becoming a murderer but to save him from the certain death that will come as he completes his assignment. This is not a small problem.
Glys is aware that both assassin and protector exist, but she has managed to stay clear of both. And while her memories of their former world appear to be more intact than the those of Wick and Rom, ten years on earth have also affected Glys deeply.
When Rom is suddenly activated, the four humans and the three aliens find themselves in a situation none of them could ever have envisioned. Not only will the character of each be tested, so will the bond each member of the group has with the others.
Gilded Folly is a complicated study of friendship. I say complicated because N.D. Hansen-Hill performs this study in the midst of a well-written, fast-moving Sci-Fi/Fantasy novel. Putting us inside the heads of all seven characters, the author doles out information through their experiences and realizations in such perfect snippets that you’re not just kept in suspense, you want to tear through the pages to find out what the hell is going on. Strangely (tongue in cheek, here), you also get to learn a lot about each character
I confess to becoming a bit weary of the constant switching of focus. This was early in the book, though, and my concern didn’t last. When I realized the real story wasn’t the one I expected, that this was a novel about people trying to come to terms with who they were (as individuals and as friends) while also dealing with one of the most bizarre situations you’ll come across in literature—let’s just say it made my day.
Hansen-Hill has enough talent and skill she could have opted to write a terrific but more traditional novel. That she was gutsy enough to write a book about relationships within the framework of an already unique story? Right on!
As an independent author who tries to read as many self-published or micro-published authors as I can, I’ve run into books that make me shake my head. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM.
I encourage you to buy a copy of Gilded Folly and take the time to really read it.
copyright © 2009 Clayton Clifford Bye
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