All The Dead Stars (The Pattern Codex #1) is an engaging character-driven fantasy adventure novel from Australian author AK Alliss. Read on for our full review.
All The Dead Stars Synopsis
In the occupied province of De’Zhun, Ae-Tor, once a member of the sorcerous Tapestry, has betrayed his brethren to save his own life. Seeking redemption, he sets forth on a dangerous mission to recover an alien weapon which could overthrow the invaders.
The thief, Mischa the Sullen, is in trouble. Having stolen a mysterious artifact, she finds herself trapped within a ruin of alien origin. Imprisoned by the forces within, she seeks escape and freedom.
Echo, a genetically engineered assassin, awakens from an 800-year long hibernation aboard the crashed starship, Mistress of Infinity. Stranded far from home, she must learn the rules that govern the strange land she has found herself in if she hopes to survive.
P’Sult is a Republic spy with a tragic past. Learning of a potential threat to his government, he begins an investigation which may lead to his demise.
All The Dead Stars is an epic Grimdark Fantasy /Sci-fi that combines conspiracy and gritty adventure.
Genre: Sci-Fi-Fantasy, Action-Adventure, Mystery
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I rarely read novel-length fantasy. But, on the strength of the prose and characterization in Alliss’ science-fiction adventure novels FRAME and Futures Orphans, it was a pretty safe bet I’d find All The Dead Stars an engaging read also.
I felt a little at sea at first, thrust into a world so different from our own. The world-building is vivid, but early on readers see that world from the perspective of a character that is also a little lost within it, Mischa. Push through this. When alternative character perspectives were introduced, I found my footing. And, Mischa and Echo’s plights struck a chord.
Just like the Needles of the overthrown Tapestry, Alliss skilfully weaves together seemingly disparate story threads. Through both the subtle nuance of character interaction and also suspense-filled action scenes, the bigger picture is slowly revealed. The patchwork quilt of geopolitical strategy at play, only becoming apparent at All The Dead Stars‘ conclusion.
Once again, Alliss has written wonderfully strong and gritty female characters and developed authenticity and reader engagement with well-timed sarcasm in dire situations. While not without its weakness, I found All The Dead Stars an entertaining and engaging character-driven tale of adventure.
BOOK RATING: The Story 3.5 / 5 ; The Writing 4 / 5 — Overall 3.75
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About the Author, AK Alliss
AK Alliss writes. Anytime. Anywhere. He’s writing. Scifi sagas, domestic thrillers, even slice-of-life coming of age stories. All from the heart. All breaking barriers from the mainstream genre tropes. He’s the author of the Ouroboros Cycle SciFi trilogy (FRME, Future’s Orphans, and Gravity’s Truth), the domestic thriller ‘Kill Your Darlings‘, and All The Dead Stars (The Pattern Codex #1). He lives with his wife, children and his dog. Check out his website or connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.
* My receiving a copy from the author for review purposes did not impact the expression of my honest opinions.