Jericho Solus Blurb:
“They watch me—the feeling as acute as a sharp, cold blade against
my skin. I may have lived an ordinary existence, but I can fight.
Though my memory is like a beast cowering in the shadows, I
know in my core I can fight, as if it’s what I’m wired to do.
Her breaths echo in my dark cell. Is she real? She fills my
emptiness with heat, and God help the people that harm her.
I am the Solus. My name is Jericho, and killing is what I do best.”
And here’s a bit about the author:
Jeffery Moore writes speculative fiction. His stories transcend genre boundaries, making them difficult to categorize. He writes what he likes to read and the stories that entice him most are stories with character displacement, characters that for whatever reason are thrust into alien worlds or environments. Though in broad terms his stories may be categorized as Fantasy, you will read none of the Middle Earth or vampire themes and characters—he feels these are done to death. Moore strives to introduce concepts into his stories that haven’t been done.
Jeffery was born in Germany. As a military brat, much of his childhood was spent abroad, growing up in Germany on military installations. He subsequently enlisted in the military and served for ten years as an army pilot. While in the military, he lived in Italy and South Korea and deployed to many European countries. He has traveled to Australia, Japan, Singapore and most European countries. His experiences and contact with many different cultures helps form some of the elements in his stories. He currently works for a global IT company and lives in Massachusetts.
Jericho Solus opens immediately captured my attention with its interesting opening scene – a you boy talking to an elder about what turns out to be the novel’s main characters, but unfortunately the novel failed to keep my attention from one of its most crucial sections until its end.
The novel follows ‘Peter Jacobs’, a character who finds himself in a very strange room – it is utterly featureless and ‘Peter’ has no idea how he got there or why he’s there. As the story continues it becomes clear – he’s been taken by beings and is being transported to a specific place where he must accomplish something for them.
These beings are not human, nor do they have any human attributes or characteristics – one of the novel’s strengths, and also something that shows how Jeffery is able to create beings, characters, that are anthropomorphic but not human, something which many authors who try to do the same thing fail at.
I found it interesting and entertaining how ‘Peter’ learned to communicate with the being who visited his room – concepts that ‘Peter’ found common-place and even explaining things from a human perspective were just not enough to accurately communicate with this being, something that ‘Peter’ needed to do to find out what role they wanted or needed him to fulfil, and so ‘Peter’ had to rethink his efforts at communication. Jeffery pulled this off with aplomb, and this is one of the reasons why the second half of the novel disappointed me.
‘Peter’s journey with these beings is also an inner journey – he begins to have flashbacks, experiencing memories that he begins to understand show him who he actually is, and was. This was also done very well, flowing from a point in time in the 18th century backward to 10000BC or thereabouts, and these scenes do double duty – they explain ‘Peter’s role and also serve to help the reader to get to know him: we meet ‘Peter’ as a specific person and then, through these flashbacks, are taken on the journey of his personality’s evolution, just in reverse. There are other important characters in the novel, two that are inextricably linked to ‘Peter’, but the focus remains on Peter – which proved to be both a good and a bad thing.
Toward the second half of the novel, once ‘Peter’ reaches the destination these strange beings have been moving him toward, the novel disappointed me, mainly for two reasons:
Jeffery seemed to have poured so much imagination and thought into the novel’s first half that the all-important second half was bereft of invention. The characters journey far from Earth only to land on a planet that is populated by humans who wield swords and live in what are too much like villages, castles and fortresses. After the inventiveness of the first half of the novel this was extremely disappointing. Also disappointing to me were the characters who journey along with ‘Peter’ – the focus is so intense on ‘Peter’ that the two very important characters (those linked to him) didn’t have much that made them really come to life. They could have been used much more effectively as contrasts to ‘Peter’ but I felt there just wasn’t enough ‘meat on their bones’ to pull this off.
Also, the ending of the novel – which should explain the reasons for what characters go through – just didn’t explain anything, in my opinion. I truly didn’t understand why ‘Peter’ and the others had to do what they did, since there’s no explanation for it.
All in all, Jeffery wrote –in Jericho Solus- a book that showcased his inventiveness and also his talent; I found ‘Peter’ to be a well-rounded character and he held my interest; the all-important second-half of the novel let me down, though.
My rating for Jericho Solus: 5 / 10
You can also find Jeffery Moore here,
check out the Jericho Solus blog here,
Jeffery Moore on Goodreads here
and you can follow Jeffery Moore on Twitter here.
And do check out the website of the great people who organized this blog tour, Prose by Design, here.