Saturday, July 21, 2012

I Am Ocilla

I Am Ocilla, Diane M. Graham, Splashdown Books, Fantasy, March 1, 2012, 272 pages.


Open your heart and mind to the simplicity and complexity of a name.

I know only my name. Beyond that is confusion, a void where fantasy and reality swirl together. Fairies, Giants, Elves, Dwarves, ancient Keepers, and...Dragons? A dark soul threatens the Five Kingdoms, but I am powerless to stand against him, overwhelmed by phantom memories, broken and lost.

Somehow, I must live. I must find my purpose. There are friends to love and battles to fight.

I know my name. Perhaps that is enough.

I am Ocilla.

This is my story.

My thoughts:

From the title to the illuminating eye on the cover, this book will intrigue nearly any type of reader. It boasts a fresh and effective approach to revealing this new fantasy world. Ocilla, trapped in a pitch-black stone cell, knows nothing about herself, save her name. She must re-learn the world she was born into. While many fantasies overload the reader with details, I Am Ocilla starts on a narrow path of discovery, but makes Ocilla the focus. Readers quickly associate with her, since her temporary confusion is theirs.

Another fresh stance is taken in reference to fantasy races. She doesn't rely on previous details regarding Elves, Dwarves, Giants, Dragons, etc. She makes the races her own. Additionally, she includes talking creatures, which frequently show great character. They are a personal favorite of mine.

Mrs. Graham's writing style is wonderful. I could try to justify her use of present tense throughout by referencing her amnesia, but I don't think it is enough. While I'm not a strict nay-sayer to present tense by any means, I don't like it used for just any book. It ought only be used in exclusive settings and micro-genres, if then at all. However, her well-tempered craft is quite enjoyable.

Something that surprised me was Graham's derivative of reincarnation. Don't get me wrong. It's not (and not intended to resemble) reincarnation. It is set in a different world, even though it references ours. As such, it is speculative in the sense of living a story over and over again.

I Am Ocilla intrigues, freshens, and pleases the mind with clever creatures and writing. I'll be watching for Diane Graham's work in the future!

*This book was provided free by the author. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.*

My rating: 4 stars

Buy I Am Ocilla!

Upcoming reviews:
  • Hidden in Dreams by Davis Bunn
  • Letters From a Martyred Christian by H. I. Hussman

1 comment:

  1. Nice review! I love how everyone picks out different things.