With all the many things I have going on in my life, I haven’t had near the time I would like to read other people’s books. A very good friend of mine however, suggested this one to me and then stuffed his copy into my hand at a reading awhile back. It’s been sitting on my shelf with a number of other books I’ve collected here and there that I also would like to read. I’m a fantasy/ sci-fi lover, and it’s hard to not choose every one of them out there. My wife managed to read it first. She pulled it off while I drove us back and forth across the Cascades during several adventures. She also told me she thought I was going to like it. Now that I finally read it, here are my thoughts.
I found Mr. Siem’s, After Day One, an interesting and engaging book. He’s filled it with many colorful characters, and kept a great balance between the action and dialogues they experience. I did find the dialogue between the protagonist and his closest sidekick a bit confusing at times; however, I want to add here that I too use this type of dialogue in my novels, and I find this type the most difficult to write.
The author kept my attention, left me with questions that drove me to keep reading, and supplied great tension between the different characters amid well timed salt and pepperings of back story. I also thought he did a great job with his fight scenes: not too long or too short with added details as they were needed. The book’s chapters range from close to twenty pages and as little as one or two. Mr. Seims is skilled at keeping up the tempo through the whole of the book while mixing in slower chapters for more character building and important dialogue.
After Day One contains a prelude and epilogue with twenty eight well written chapters between them. There are many carefully spun similes, metaphors, and beautifully inscribed descriptions of all kinds throughout the tale. Here is one example:
“Brilliant lights line the inside of the tent, green, gold, white, blue, red, purple, and silver. Fires glowed orange in brass parts on long metal pillars along the periphery of the giant tent. As they followed the lights and the shadows from the fires, they saw the figure of a female flying through the air.” They “gasped as she fell like a stone toward the ground below, and then gasped again as another acrobat swept in, grabbed the falling lady by her ankles, swung her high in the air, and then dropped her again. This time the lady stopped in mid air, apparently catching something, and swung in a long arc to a tall platform at the top of the tent.”
I did find myself wondering why one of the characters hadn’t warmed up a bit more toward the protagonist by the second third of the book. Though she has issues with him, he has shown time and time again that he can be trusted, and cares enough about her and her other half to keep helping them even though he really would rather not. Given her level of insight, she could easily discern his real feelings at any point and had not yet learned the ethics to embrace restraint. Maybe I’ll get lucky enough to sit down with him sometime and hear the answer personally.
Finally, Mr Seims did great with leading his audience one way and ending up somewhere else. He uses clear foreshadowing of what the next challenge will be. The final twist toward the end of the story was well thought out, and quite possibly my favorite part of the story. I recommend this book to anyone who likes science fiction or fantasy. In addition, this book should prove interesting to anyone from YA on up. Lastly, I think that After Day One would do well at the box office. Thanks for a great story, Mr Seims, I’m definitely looking forward to your next addition.