The Gossamer Globe is relatively well written. There were few spelling errors and gramatical mistakes, which is good considering it was self-published. However, I found the prose to be forgettable. Even as someone who likes lean writing, this read like an overcooked boneless chicken breast.
The characters were stale and their relationships never felt substantial. If I ever wondered at the nature of a new on-page relationship, I needed only wait a few sentences and the characters would tell me (e.g. You’ve been my best friend for sixteen years).
Oh, perfect. Thanks.
The world is disjointed. There were a few different ideas going on here that didn’t quite fit together yet. I think they could have – the internet in fantasy land isn’t something I’ve never encountered – but it would require a few more drafts. Zatoria has access to advanced robotics, magic cheese (because ytf not), and a proxy-internet, but they all still use swords? Exclusively? Why? Why haven’t they invented advanced weaponry? They have robot horses but no guns? I mean, a woman uses the phrase “bite the bullet” so the concepts are there. I get that swordplay is the country’s national pastime and a part of their history, but it still felt shoehorned in there.
Right from the beginning, Lucia reads as incompetent, and by page 80 I found myself asking, “Who cares?” As an American woefully uneducated about other countries’ systems of government, I wondered if maybe I was the problem. Maybe I just didn’t understand the way Zatoria was meant to run. But No, I felt justified by the end. It just didn’t work. I got the distinct impression, the ending was supposed to come as a surprise, but the gasps never came. Instead, I said, “Well, duh.”
It wasn’t all bad. There was a moment where a laughed out loud as the new government decided to switch all official documents to paper. It’s in these moments The Gossamer Globe shines; the small moments where the reader can forget about the world and enjoy a few pithy remarks. Unfortunately that was roughly 180 pages in.
Abbie Evans isn’t without talent. However, for my money, the Gossamer Globe feels like an incomplete product. I think it could have benefitted from several more edits and rewrites to flesh out its half-baked ideas. At 196 pages, it’s also fairly short for its genre so there’s room for the doughy stuff to rise. Ultimately, the Gossamer Globe reads like an inside joke. No matter how many times it elbowed me in the ribs with a wink and a nod, I couldn’t laugh.
Maybe you had to be there.