About Me

My photo

I have been an avid reader from as early as I can remember. Since becoming a Christian in my early 20s, my passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on this blog. I love reading new author's novels or author's who have not had many reviews or exposure and giving them much needed encouragement where appropriate.   
This blog is the intellectual property of Peter Younghusband, and any quotation of part or all of it without his approval is illegal

Search This Blog

Monday, 17 April 2017

Day Moon (Tomorrow's Edge Book 1) by Brett Armstrong

Day Moon (Tomorrow's Edge Book 1)


In A.D. 2039, a prodigious seventeen-year-old, Elliott, is assigned to work on a global software initiative his deceased grandfather helped found. Project Alexandria is intended to provide the entire world secure and equal access to all accumulated human knowledge. All forms of print are destroyed in good faith, to ensure everyone has equal footing, and Elliott knows he must soon part with his final treasure: a book of Shakespeare’s complete works gifted him by his grandfather. Before it is destroyed, Elliott notices something is amiss with the book, or rather Project Alexandria. The two do not match, including an extra sonnet titled “Day Moon”. When Elliott investigates, he uncovers far more than he bargained for. There are sinister forces backing Project Alexandria who have no intention of using it for its public purpose. Elliott soon finds himself on the run from federal authorities and facing betrayals and deceit from those closest to him. Following clues left by his grandfather, with agents close at hand, Elliott desperately hopes to find a way to stop Project Alexandria. All of history past and yet to be depend on it.

The Guru's Review: 


The author asked me to review Day Moon as he felt I would enjoy it as it is similar to a novel I recently reviewed. The description grabbed me so it was not a difficult choice to make. Day Moon is not his debut novel: he has a previous one, Destitutio Quod Remissio. This novel is in a totally different genre, Historical Fiction, while Day Moon is the Science Fiction & Fantasy and Futuristic genres. 

Looking at just these genres, it shows that this author has diversity in his writing talent. Destitutio Quod Remissio won the 2013-2014 CrossBooks Writing Contest. Admittedly, I have not read this book (I plan to, despite that fact that I don't read historical fiction) but it has enough merit to meet the criteria for this win. I am not surprised at his win as reading Day Moon shows this author has flair for writing and one that he does well. 

Apart from this, Armstrong has created a well-developed plot. No peaks or troughs, just a steady pace that keeps you coming back for more. I was kept guessing about what was going to happen next as Armstrong unfolds the next plot development. Armstrong is careful to not provide too much information along the way that would only serve to derail these developments. Just enough to support the events that are happening at the time or what is going on with the characters. 

Some novels are plot driven while others are character driven. Not sure if there is a fine line between the two or even if there should be, but for me, I found this novel to be very character driven. In saying that, I am by no means saying that this is a weakness or that I prefer plot driven structures. I enjoy both. In Day Moon, it is all about Elliot and how he reacts to being plunged into the betrayal, deception, and intrigue of those behind Project Alexandria and even those in his own party. The events of the plot and the backdrop of the futuristic society and its technology only serve as a platform for Elliot to solve the mystery set out by his grandfather to shut down this Project. 

When a protagonist has both Federal Government agents and those within his own party being deceptive, betraying him and derailing his attempts to do this, it is not surprising that this novel succeeds by being character driven and focussed on the main protagonist. All this does is endear the reader to Elliot and engage the reader's full attention and support for this character and what he has set out to achieve. You empathise with his despair, doubt, frustration, rejoice when he successfully problem solves and even chuckle at the awkwardness of budding romance (maybe this bring back memories!). You rejoice when his faith in God increases and when he takes a stand for God and Truth. The same applies when he learns to trust God more during the events that are set in motion to thwart him.

Romance always succeeds in softening any action and adventure, mystery and suspense plot line while at the same time strengthening it. And so it does in this novel. I am not a romance reader but when this an author includes it as a subplot, I enjoy it and so I did in this novel. I love romance being written by male authors, maybe I relate to romance from the slight male perspective nuances that a male author includes intentionally or unintentionally. Maybe the romance here is depicted without the degree of sickly sweetness that is in some female-authored romance genres! Armstrong has depicted young romance in all its awkwardness and joy as realistically as I have experienced it and expect it to be. Maybe he is drawing on his own experiences which is a wise thing to do as an author. Write what you know!

One thing I have picked up from reading this novel and investigating the author's background is that he has a passion for writing. This shows in everything to do with this novel's construction. This is also shown in the development of the clues placed by Elliot's grandfather for him, John and Lara to discover and decipher. I know from an interview the author was in that he loved Shakespeare in high school. It is no surprise then, that this novel is influenced by Shakespeare. Armstrong even created a Shakespeare like sonnet, Day Moon, which this novel pivots around. This is also a major clue to the shutting down of Project Alexandria. It is why those behind this project together with the Federal Agents want this sonnet destroyed and seek Elliot for it. Unbeknownst to both these parties, there are Christian classics, (Robinson Crusoe, Pilgrim's Progress, Mere Christianity, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Chronicles of Narnia) that contain further clues and information to do this. It seems some of these latter books form part of the plot for the two remaining novels in this trilogy. 

It is quite a feat to compose a sonnet in true Shakespeare-like fashion. While I am no expert on this famous classical author, it appears that Armstrong's motivation for this sonnet is to be a tribute to Shakespeare. He even composed this sonnet in the iambic pentameter method that Shakespeare used. This is defined as
a commonly used type of metrical line in traditional English poetry and verse drama. The term describes the rhythm that the words establish in that line, which is measured in small groups of syllables called "feet". The word "iambic" refers to the type of foot that is used, known as the iamb, which in English is an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The word "pentameter" indicates that a line has five of these "feet".
Iambic pentameter is the most common meter in English poetry; it is used in many of the major English poetic forms, including blank verse, the heroic couplet, and some of the traditional rhymed stanza forms. William Shakespeare used iambic pentameter in his plays and sonnets.  
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iambic_pentameter)
I featured Brett Armstrong in an Author/Novel Spotlight post in this blog recently (click here to view). I was impressed by his reasons for the spiritual themes that he included, 
I feel like as western society moves further from toleration of Christianity, Christians need some encouragement to stand against the tide. I feel very strongly that what we read and watch can and will influence how we behave in our real lives, so Elliott really struggles to do just that. He knows resisting the current is far from the easiest path available to him and that it could well end in his death, but he persists. And he does so following clues left by his grandfather whom he knows well, but cannot communicate with face-to-face to know he’s right about what he’s doing. Elliott has doubts about himself, his grandfather’s intentions, whether all of it is worth it. It’s somewhat like how we interact with Christ. We know Him and have guidance He has left for us, but most of us will never get to look into His eyes this side of eternity and draw our reassurance from there. We have to walk by faith and Elliott, from one terrible setback and betrayal to another, has to choose to keep pressing forward.
There are some other allusions as well. Project Alexandria hearkens back to the world just before the Tower of Babel dispersion. The temptation to pursue a desired cause without considering the consequences is a huge theme of the book and the creation of Project Alexandria by Elliott’s grandfather is reminiscent of Adam and Eve’s fall.
Armstrong certainly portrays these themes and I hope he continues to include these and others in future novels. I appreciated Elliot's short prayers of help and guidance interspersed throughout the novel when he, Lara, John and company were attempting to decipher these clues and thwart their pursuers. This reflects the Christian's response to the nature of this fallen world, in all its good, bad and ugly forms. It also shows that we are to be reliant on God and not on our own strength. 

I wondered why this novel was called Day Moon. I knew the author had a reason for it, especially since he composed the sonnet. Not a very attention grabbing title. Apart from this sonnet being one of the clues to Project Alexandria, I thought throughout reading the novel that there would have to be more to it than just this. I wondered if it had any spiritual message or theme. When my wonder was confirmed I was blown away by its simple truth but deep meaning, but also dumbstruck at how easily it would be to miss this or just not realise it all together. I applaud Armstrong for this message and outlining its importance. It has real meaning in today's world where everything is being redefined or truth suppressed and distorted. This is what Christian fiction can do, not just entertain but outline the truth of the Gospel or what is currently happening in the world we live in. It seems that the message behind the definition of what Day Moon is, ties in directly with the reason Armstrong wrote this novel that he outlined in the Author/Novel spotlight post I mentioned above.Too long to include in this review, but it can be read here.

For a debut instalment in a new series, this novel sets a really good foundation for a very enjoyable future. I look forward to the above themes, plot structure and characters being developed further and even the spiritual involvement such as prayer, use of the Word from the characters, with hopefully more obvious involvement from God or the Spirit being included as well. I say this as there is great potential for this to enhance this type of plot. 

Strongly Recommended. 4/5

To read a preview or buy this novel, click on the BUY or PREVIEW icons below.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. It is awaiting moderation.