A blockbuster in the making… SkyView: Lord of the Wills pushes the boundaries of what a sci-fi historical mystery can be. James Bond meets Dan Brown in M. Sheehan’s ambitious debut novel and delivers quite a memorable experience. Despite a few flaws, the book deserves credit for ingenuity as it plunges its hero, William Ward, into a hunt for his ancestors’ secrets through history and time. The centuries-old web proves to be more than he can handle alone.
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Six other heirs to a massive fortune are tasked with protecting William from an ancient rival and guiding him towards the answers they all seek. These will reveal truths about the secret organisation their families have been involved in, one that has shaped the world. SkyView: Lord of the Wills is full of super technologies and high-adrenaline action, providing a fast and entertaining read.
The downside is that the pace impacted the narration. This exciting historical adventure glossed over many opportunities for immersive description. On the one hand, the novel is easy and light-hearted to get through. On the other, the characters and soul of the story didn’t really draw me in. Additionally, various technical issues regarding structure, vocabulary, and dialogue created extra glitches to the reading experience.
Rich Historical Plot
One very impressive feature of SkyView: Lord of the Wills is the history. The entire plot and its mysteries are weaved into key world events, which the characters try to puzzle out using a futuristic jet’s AR technology. Something to look forward to? A lot of research and careful planning clearly went into putting the story together, while framing it in all sorts of fun facts.
This, unfortunately, resulted in another problem: info dumps. As fascinating as some of the lore was, it often became too much and disrupted the flow, making the story feel more like a history lecture. That said, it was very interesting to see how technology could – theoretically – harness time and history. The ways in which the book’s plot tied into various past events was just as rewarding.
Fun and intrigue envelop many lessons on wealth, ambition, morality, and legacy. SkyView: Lord of the Wills presents a scenario: an uber-rich company breaks into underground factions that manipulate the world in search of more money. Looking past the overall luxury of William’s adventure, the story often asks whether the treasure hunt is worth the loss, bloodshed, and neverending game of cat and mouse.
The families and their heirs are locked in a powerstruggle. In addition to it taking over their lives, they get a front-row seat to humanity’s dark history, which sometimes involves their very own ancestors. The existential crises of SkyView: Lord of the Wills make its brighter spots that much more of a relief.
This novel contains a unique combination of powerful sci-fi action and historical context. With a bit more work in terms of structure and narrative depth SkyView: Lord of the Wills could have been a masterpiece. The potential is there, easily visualised on the big screen too. I do look forward to seeing how M. Sheehan’s work evolves.
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