3 out of 4 stars
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What I've Become by Knight Breeze is a novel that blends science fiction and fantasy themes. It centers around a human, Alex, who has been transformed into a horrific monster and is now stranded on a planet inhabited by avian aliens who can wield magic. The book is told from Alex's perspective, as well as the perspectives of several of the avian aliens, as they attempt to protect their world from the forces that transformed Alex in the first place.
I had a great time reading this book. It's a fun, action-filled romp that explores themes about what it means to be human, how people can set aside their differences to coexist, and, of course, how magic and technology interact. It tells a cohesive narrative and utilizes multiple perspectives far more effectively than most professionally published books I've read, with distinct styles for each character that keep readers from becoming confused.
The writing is witty and charming, with well-developed and unique characters that tackle problems in believable ways. For example, the two rulers of the world, a scholar king and a warrior queen, have very different reactions to learning that a monstrosity like Alex exists. It's refreshing that their conflict is resolved in a realistic way that isn't drawn out for contrived drama.
It should be said that What I've Become takes its own premise somewhat lightly - even Alex comments on how similar the world he is stranded on is to Earth, and the magic used in the book is vaguely defined. The aliens, despite speaking in a different language, use colloquialisms common to Earth, with one alien even referring to Earth directly in her speech. In my opinion, this works with the book's light tone, and it even helps distinguish the perspectives of all of the characters. It's certainly a departure from more "mature" science fiction that defines all of its rules clearly, so that distinction is important to keep in mind if you're considering reading this book.
Unfortunately, What I've Become falls into the same trap as many self-published novels. Its editing is somewhat poor, with typos and incorrect punctuation. Some perspective shifts happen in the middle of chapters with no warning, and the ending, at least in the copy I received, is abrupt and somewhat jarring. These narrative leaps make it more difficult to appreciate the overall flow of the story, and they certainly break immersion at times.
Despite these imperfections, I rate What I've Become 3 out of 4 stars. Due to the lack of sexual content, it's suitable for younger readers, though I can see even mature audiences enjoying this book. It's worth reading if you're interested in exploring how magic intersects with technology, as long as you can look past the editing, which can be somewhat lacking. Fans of more serious science fiction aren't likely to enjoy this book.
What I've Become
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