Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Velocity of Revolution by Marshall Ryan Maresca
Published by DAW Books on February 9, 2020
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Ziaparr: a city being rebuilt after years of mechanized and magical warfare, the capital of a ravaged nation on the verge of renewal and self-rule. But unrest foments as undercaste cycle gangs raid supply trucks, agitate the populace and vandalize the city. A revolution is brewing in the slums and shantytowns against the occupying government, led by a voice on the radio, connected through forbidden magic.
Wenthi Tungét, a talented cycle rider and a loyal officer in the city patrol, is assigned to infiltrate the cycle gangs. For his mission against the insurgents, Wenthi must use their magic, connecting his mind to Nália, a recently captured rebel, using her knowledge to find his way into the heart of the rebellion.
Wenthi's skill on a cycle makes him valuable to the resistance cell he joins, but he discovers that the magic enhances with speed. Every ride intensifies his connection, drawing him closer to the gang he must betray, and strengthens Nália's presence as she haunts his mind.
Wenthi is torn between justice and duty, and the wrong choice will light a spark in a city on the verge of combustion
So maybe I looked at the blurb for The Velocity of Revolution because there was a motorcycle on the cover. I’d been aware of this author; the publisher had offered me other books but I didn’t want to read them without having read earlier books in the series. I’m uncertain as to whether this is a stand alone but I’d be open to more books if it becomes a series.
The world-building was fantastic. There wasn’t just a dump of facts but a gradual unfolding of the aspects through the characters and the story. The setting is a war torn country occupied and ruled by invaders. There is a class system and the original people of the country are at the bottom, working and starving. It’s basically systematic racism.
Discovery of the world, comes through two viewpoints. Nalia, next to the bottom caste, a cycle rider and mechanic, who is involved in the revolution. Wenthi, is a cycle cop who patrols and is next to the top caste, with his mother and half-sister at the top. They meet when Wenthi catches her and arrests her. Their development as they learn about the revolution, its leaders and the true history is an emotional journey. They each have their eyes opened to the truth of the current government and lives of the people.
There are many characters who are also well developed. Even the briefest roles, seemed authentic. The world is pansexual, and very different from my own life experience or what I normally read. The sex is not detailed, and is pretty much off page. The “feel” while not the story, plot, characters or anything else, felt like Joel Dane’s Cry Pilot series. Both had groups of people used and abused, as well as characters in grave danger, fighting for survival. I feared for the lives of these people I wanted to thrive.
There is also the mushrooms (drugs) which have a variety of uses. Rumors and propaganda about them obscure reality. They are a key part of life of the original people and a tenet of their fight for survival. I don’t appreciate man’s inhumanity to man so I can really get behind those trying to improve things. I really enjoyed The Velocity of Revolution and would like to see more of this world.
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