Book Review & Giveaway: Oceanlight Book One At the Sharp End of Lightning by N.R. Bates

I generally have a hand full of fantasy/science fiction novels dotting my reading list. I particularly enjoy books with a healthy mix of fantasy and reality. (Blame the recovering scientist in me for that, if you will!) The first fantasy book up for review on my list in 2016 is At the Sharp End of Lightning from the Oceanlight series by N.R. Bates. What did I think of the first book: At the Sharp End of Lightning?

I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my review as part of an iRead Book Tour. My readers may also participate in the giveaway at the end of this post. All opinions are my own.

Quick Summary of At the Sharp End of Lightning, Oceanlight Book One. The interwoven fantastical tale of family, of loss and sacrifice, of unexpected gifts and coping with disability and new abilities set against the backdrop of climate change occurring across parallel worlds. In Oceanlight, Yalara Narika, a winged Sea Sprite, searches for her lover over immense seas only to find catastrophe and realization that her world is in turmoil.

Meanwhile in the safe suburban normality of North Wales, Einion Morgan Alban, a restless youth afflicted by a disease of the blood, is nearly murdered by a man in a white suit. Yalara and Einion must discover the causes of their near-deaths and their as yet unrevealed connections as they both face upheaval to their lives and their worlds.

At the Sharp End of Lightning Builds the Series Worlds. The author devotes much of this first book in his series to character development, relationship development, and creation of his series' parallel worlds. While there are small adventures and slight merges between the characters' worlds, the storyline of Oceanlight serves to lay the foundation of the series. Readers will not find a climactic plot--with a partially resolved ending as is often done in fantasy series; but, rather a building journey to see throughout the series of books. Bates creates his characters and their worlds with intricate detail and sets the stage quite nicely as he interests readers in the storyline.

At the Sharp End of Lightning is intelligently written and well developed. This book is probably not one for light reading. Initially, the author throws a host of new names and scientific terms as he creates the settings and characters in the world of his book's sea sprites. Be patient as you read through the first few chapters. Not so much with the author's writing--but, with yourself as you become familiar with the ocean world and its characters. There is a glossary in the back of the book to help you a bit at times; but, really, just sit back and focus on learning about the characters' worlds. It takes a few chapters to settle into the author's writing style and flow--but, one you settle in, it's a very well developed story.

At the Sharp End of Lightning offers a nice mix of fantasy and realism. Readers will find a lot of reality in this fantasy series. From politics and pollution to human nature; the author creates parallel, fantasy worlds facing real world problems. While some connections are easy to draw between Bates' fantasy world and our modern society--more subtle ones exist as well as you read.

Would I recommend Oceanlight, Book One At the Sharp End of Lightning by N.R. Bates? If you require a book with a clear, cut-and-dried plot with an absolute resolution--this series opener is probably not for you. However; if you seek an intelligently written, well developed, fantasy series--with a strong scientific theme and feel--this series is a perfect fit for your reading list. The fantasy theme of this book could certainly be intended for young adults--I know that my daughters would enjoy the story line. However, the vocabulary and writing style probably pushes the interest level to the higher end of the young adult range. Oceanlight is certainly worth the reader's devotion of focus. I would recommend it to fantasy fans with a fairly moderate interest and aptitude for science. I enjoyed this first book and look forward to additional books in the series.

Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author. 

NR Bates was born in London, grew up in Wales, and lived in Canada and Bermuda. He shares his life with his wife and his house with seven cats, one dog and the subtropical wildlife of lizards, wolf spiders and ant colonies that seek out a better life indoors.

He is an oceanographer and scientist, and has published more than one hundred and thirty scientific papers on ocean chemistry, climate change and ocean acidification. He is a Senior Scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and Professor of Ocean Biogeochemistry at the University of Southampton, UK.

​His novels focus on epic fantasy and magic realism, and inspired by his deep love of the ocean and environmental sciences. He has also recently published a small book of short-stories set in Paris, entitled “The Fall of Icarus (The Elevator, The Fall of Icarus, and The Girl)”.

Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook

Enter to Win 1 of 5 print copies of At the Sharp End of Lightning - one winner will also receive a $30 Amazon gift card (open to USA & Canada)

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  1. I want to win this book because i love the idea of parallel worlds and am a big fan of science fiction!

  2. because i always like fantasy and scifi - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com



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