Lucas Bale

Award-Winning Speculative Fiction Author

The Heretic – a Wonderful Review

I love every review of The Heretic. I really do. But I guess that doesn't surprise you!

And I'll even love the soon-to-arrive two and three star reviews, because it means people are reading my book and talking about it. And because critique is essential to me improving as an author. I can't please everyone, all the time.

Rankings are useful – as validation (I admit it, I get a buzz from being among these great authors) and for visibility. So, it was pretty special to see this today:

But reviews are where the really great moments are. This one is so in-depth, so insightful and so close to what I was trying to achieve that it filled me with genuine joy. Thanks Nick Bramhall for taking the time to review so thoroughly and I am so glad you enjoyed the book.

Lucas Bale’s debut novel is a pacy sci-fi thriller set on a quiet outer rim planet in a grim future where humanity has been decimated and the remaining scattered few are controlled by the powerful Magistratus. The arrival of a freighter with a cargo of smuggled medicine starts off a chain of events that seems destined to re-kindle humanity’s belief in an old idea - that of freedom.

Anyone familiar with Joss Whedon’s brilliant ‘Firefly’ will recognise several of the elements at play here - the freighter pilot with a penchant for illicit cargo and his own skewed moral compass, an ageing freighter that is a character in itself, a Preacher figure with a less than devout past, outer planets with local leaders a law unto themselves. Far from being derivative though, Bale weaves these elements into his own rich world and delivers a fast paced story set against a much more grandiose mythology of his own devising, rooted in some of the problems we face today. The Beyond The Wall series promises to tell this story in full.

The Heretic is beautifully written, the winter-gripped planet of Herse coming to life in a beautiful, often brutal way. His characters are fully realised, drawing us into their struggles as they seek to make sense of an existence suddenly upended. Bale builds his world convincingly, with the future technologies believable and without gimmicks, though it is perhaps his naturalistic descriptions of the forests and mountains of Herse where he is at his most atmospheric and best. There is a sense of wonder here, of looking up at the night sky and seeing beyond the stars.

An excellent debut novel - I look forward to more in this series.
— Nick Bramhall, 4 Stars Review


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All words copyright Lucas Bale, 2015