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Friday, 12 June 2015

✍ Corr Syl the Terrible: Corr Syl [2] - Garry Rogers

Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Teens & YA
Published
Number of pages: 116 
My rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ I liked it a lot 

Corr Syl the Terrible
Review | About the Author | Teaser |
"The young Tsaeb [silent T, long a] warrior Corr Syl [who has descended from rabbits] has discovered he hates killing and is brooding about his future when a frantic call alerts him that someone has kidnapped his friend, the beautiful and frustrating Rhya Bright.

The kidnapper uses Rhya to bait a trap for Corr, unaware of the superior combat abilities of Tsaeb warriors. When Corr survives and Rhya overwhelms a room full of guards and almost escapes, the kidnapper realizes his mistake, takes Rhya, and flees, leaving false trails and traps in his wake.

Corr borrows a mysterious old warship from a museum and the chase begins."

The Corr Syl series is set on Earth in a very distant future, where all surviving intelligent animal species (Tsaeb) have evolved and become humanoid. They keep humans in check (preferably through non-violent means) to ensure the preservation of the planet, which had previously seen a long era of war and had been ravaged by pollution.  Tsaeb are far superior to humans in intelligence and physical characteristics, and, most importantly, they are in tune with nature and each other.

The aim of the series is undoubtedly to raise awareness about current environmental issues.  The author is a very active environmentalist and he is very clear in expressing his opinions on the current situation on our planet from the offset:
"Rhya left for the Continental Center to help correct a Human defect that limits intelligence."
"Rhya scanned the food and ate the items containing the fewest toxins.  The water was a stew of lead, arsenic, antibiotics, and hormone disrupters, but she drank and spent a few minutes isolating the poisons."
"Katydids weren't food.  Even though unintelligent animals were sometimes eaten, calling them food was horrid and stupid.  Anyone who ate creatures with feelings should themselves be shot"
"Corr Syl the Terrible" is the second book in the series, and its story continues from the previous novel, "Corr Syl the Warrior".  Author Garry Rogers goes to great effort to allow readers to enjoy this piece as a stand-alone novella by providing us with|:
  • "What Came Before":  one paragraph to set the scene;
  • "If You Haven't Read Corr Syl the Warrior": a short catch up of  the series premise, settings, events and protagonists;
  • "Appendix.  People and Places: a full list of all characters and locations, with Mandarin Chinese pronunciation tips.
  • "Afterward": a short article that ties his fictional future world to current environmental issues and concerns, and the author's own "Rebel Mouse" climate news newsletter.
The third person narration follows the various main characters: Rhya, Corr, the human Ya Zhōu and the black widow Lactella - some bugs are also very intelligent in the future.

The story is very imaginative and fast paced, with political intrigue, the quest for power, treachery, mysterious technology, humour and friendship.  As well as AhLatin, a simple made-up language!
The main characters are well developed and likeable, being very noble of spirit.  Although there are clear pointers to a sequel, this episode concludes fully and satisfactorily, with no cliff-hangers.

I really loved the two location maps that were included for the Wycliff District and Ya Zhōu Island.

Unfortunately the first third of the book was a real struggle for me as I was overwhelmed by all of the unusual names which I simply could not remember (a common issue I have with Sci-Fi and Fantasy titles).  I would suggest you familiarise yourself with the Appendix beforehand.

I also feel that, in order to fully appreciate the world created by Garry Rogers, the series should be read in order, as all of the main characters were in the first book and a lot of their development would have happened.

As a point of interest the author took inspiration from and paid homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Tarzan the Terrible" (1921), the eighth book in the series, where Tarzan embarks on a journey to Pal-ul-don ("Land of Men") to rescue Jane from her kidnappers.  The indigenous people, who capture Tarzan, are so impressed with his skills and resilience that they name him Tarzan-Jad-Guru ("Tarzan the Terrible").  This book also contained a detailed map of the valley and a glossary of the local language.

Finally a spaceship in Donald A. Wollheim's "Across Time: Quest in the Year One Million" (published under the pseudonym "David Grinnell" in 1957) and its EPL ("Ever Perfect Lieutenant") were behind the very special sentient ship Z99 featured in Corr Syl the Terrible.

[ARC received from the author]

About the Author

Garry Rogers is an advocate for wildlife and nature conservation.

A former professor at Columbia University in New York City and author of the award-winning Arizona Wildlife Notebook, Dr. Garry Rogers has appeared on NPR and PBS, and he is often invited to meet with library and school reading groups to discuss his work.

His first novel, Corr Syl the Warrior received the Kirkus Star, and won Arizona Librarians’ OneBookAZ contest (2014—teen category).
Connect with author Garry Rogers:

Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on Google+ Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads Visit the author on Pinterest

4 comments:

  1. Thank you for the review and taking time to investigate the origin of the title and the Z99. Much appreciated!

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  2. Sounds like a great read.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      BTW, a revision is underway. The corrected book will be back up on Amazon in a few days.

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