Book Reviews

The Lands of Inchoate
THE NOW TIME 2nd Edition, 2009


Kirkus Discoveries says:

“….In Inchoate, Fisher has created a believable and fully developed world filled with medieval-style heroes and fantastic creatures. His story, which seems to take cues from Stephen Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant chronicles and Umberto Eco’s The Name ofthe Rose, zips along at an enjoyable pace and features a colorful cast of characters….(the hero) Narrowpath rides around on a pair of jackalopes, unusual hybrids more likely to be found on posters in Nebraska truck stops. He names them George and Gracie, after the famed comedy duo, and predictable “Goodnight, Gracie” gags ensue….a jackalope ride you won’t want to miss.”




The Lands of Inchoate 2

Kirkus Discoveries Review

“A sprawling, vibrant fantasy epic by author, professor and former Pentagon analyst Fisher. Fisher’s previous book, The Lands of Inchoate (2008), explored political strife and internecine conflict in the imaginary land of Gondwanaland. In this prequel, he journeys back to the “dark matter planet” tucked inside Earth, where a hyper-intelligent species called the Progenitors do battle with the Troglodytes, a group of brutal mercenary soldiers. The Troglodytes are intent on destroying the travalink, the system that allows the Progenitors to zip their way from one part of the universe to another. Meanwhile, two “evil geniuses” fan the flames of widening discontent and plan to dominate the planet via a secret society. Resistance is left to a young Nebraskan named Jennifer, who commutes from her playroom to the “wondrous land beyond.” With the help of the Progenitors and her pet jackalope, she fights to save her world and the dark-matter planet underneath. Fans of Stephen King’s Dark Tower books and Terry Goodkind’s fiction will find much to like here. Fisher advances the narrative at a swift velocity, and his knowledge of science yields an immensely detailed and immersive landscape. He includes timetables calibrated to the day, a few computer-generated maps and a helpful character index at book’s end. Readers shuttle back and forth between centuries, visiting battlegrounds and science labs—feeling the heat of pitched battle and the steady hum of political intrigue. Unique for a fantasy writer, the author has a decent ear for poetics. Some passages feel canned, but most sing. Watching the approach of morning, one character muses, “The dawn is like a curved chisel on a mahogany ball. When the night has been still and the air warm, the chisel against the ball makes the air rise, and cool air takes its place.” A deeply felt, deftly paced fantasy adventure.”



The Lands of Inchoate 3

Kirkus Discoveries Review

“Readers are flung back through the travalink in this engaging, high-speed third entry in the Lands of Inchoate series by Fisher (The Lands of Inchoate 2: The Before Time, 2009, etc.).

Fisher’s complex story of faith, political schemes, death and science brings characters new and old into the fray, and further explores characters in the strange world of Inchoate. In this latest book, the world of Inchoate is once again on the brink of disaster, leading scientists to return the dark-matter planet to its former haunt within the planet Earth. The task is made possible via the ingenious travalink, a device that allows nearly instantaneous transport from one part of the universe to the other. The planet’s inhabitants are no sooner settled in to their old home, however, before unearthing a finding of great political and religious significance—one that threatens to shake the planet to its core. As with his other Inchoate novels, Fisher’s keen grasp of science helps create a believable, full-bodied civilization. The lands and characters resemble an odd marriage of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings saga and the more recent Dune novels. The author’s descriptions of the various languages of Inchoate, and the background of various civilizations, are reminiscent of Tolkien’s seminal work. His characters range from religious leaders to criminals, and like the Dune characters, each gets print time in this tale. Inchoate is a land with a varied, rich history, culled from seemingly real life examples. Returning characters include Naksarben and his two friendly jackalopes, George and Gracie, though one is destined for a short-lived homecoming. The author’s sharp attention to detail, in elements from language to food, brings an original sense of realism to the tale—sometimes it appears more history book than fiction.

A condensed, fast-paced story whose entertaining intensity will eventually sweep readers away.”