My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A wonderful start to a promising series.
I love stories that gradually unravel a hard core warning at its centre. I often wonder if an author wrote a story to a theme, or whether the themes evolved out of the writing.
For me, Irradiance tells the story of one family discovering utopia is based on a lie. It captures the tipping point where society is no longer compatible with individual freedom, and where the illusion of happiness is found by unquestioning adherence to dogma. A paradigm where political leaders are so chained to their ideology, their quest for perfection, they would rather drag everyone over the cliff than allow a few brave souls to forge a different path.
David Bruns has created a world where purity has no room for compassion or love, and where life can be “recycled” the moment it ceases to have value for the greater good. This society is shocking. Brutal. Callous. Right to the end, its citizens, even the protagonists, seemed switched off to the true horror of their culture, the urgency of their situation struggling to break through their learned adherence to society’s diktats.
The pace moves steadily forward with vivid and detailed world building at the beginning, picking up as events spiral out of control towards the end. I loved the gradual awakening of Maribel and Resse to the power of their emotions, that they now had words to legitimise their feelings for each other. Each had their own gifts and I enjoyed the science explored through both characters.
Irradiance is the start of a much bigger story where the children will no doubt come into their own. I am very much looking forward to the next in this series.
(Disclosure: I was gifted a copy of this book in the hope of a review. I’m delighted to say I enjoyed it!)