3 out of 4 stars
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Fabric by M K Hussain is set on a strange planet called Raeth, where Max wakes up in a prison with no memory of his past. He and the other inmates are told that they can have the chance to survive the lethal disease they all have. Max attacks the prison Commander triggering a fight between inmates and guards. The inmates start manifesting powers of different types and many of them manage to break out of prison. Max and the other escapees are hunted by the special teams sent by the Commander, can they find the key to their survival?
This is the first book of a series labeled as fantasy in its official blurb, but M K Hussain used some science fiction elements as well such as the setting on an alien planet. The author blurred the borderline between genres, and superpowers have always been at the center of arguments about the genre they belong to, so you can consider it a mix of genres. The book's subtitle is Day One Origins Unknown, but time seems quite funny on that world with the past, present and the future blended. That means that you can't consider a day as an actual measure of time.
At the beginning of the novel, Max tells in the first person about his awakening in a prison and his confusion due to his lack of memory of his past. Through his eyes, we can see his confusion, the information he receives about his situation and what he discovers about his surroundings. Raeth is a world of strange colors, and the author tried to stress that setting's weirdness replacing the words sun and sky with nus and kys.
Most of the novel follows a break out from the prison with the Commander willing to recapture them, even using special teams of agents with powers and ninjas. At that point, the story becomes really fast-paced following what happens to Max and other escapees, but only Max's point of view is told in the first person. There's a lot of action with fights between escapees and the Commander's agents with a wide use of powers.
The novel is short, so you can read it very quickly, and after trying to understand what's happening at the beginning you can enjoy the ride. Note that there's not a real ending, only a cliffhanger. This is just the first part of a bigger story that will be told in the sequels. The mysteries set up in this novel don't have any answers, so you have to be aware that you need to read the sequels to obtain them.
The novel's characters are in my opinion its weakest element because they have no depth. Of course, M K Hussain has all the time to develop them in the sequels. However, exactly because this book tells the beginning of the story I felt that its protagonist needed to be more vivid. I mean, why should I want to read more about them? Why should I care about what happens to them? In my opinion, with better protagonists, readers would be more eager to look for the sequels.
There are neither profanities nor sexual contents, so the novel is suitable for kids as well. Its editing is generally good, but it has several instances where there's no space between sentences. For this reason and the hollow characters, my rating is 3 out of 4 stars. I'm still curious to see how the story continues in the sequels because I found the setting intriguing and the plot engaging. If you like stories with surreal settings and characters with superpowers, you'll probably like it.
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