I have just finished Static Ruin, the final instalment of the Voidwitch Saga from Corey J White and I am not ok here people! On one hand it’s full of heart wrenching goodbyes & tear inducing flashbacks and on the other there’s blood and gore and gratuitous murder. So basically, it fulfils all aspects of the human range of emotion.
To give you some background information, prior to April this year I had no idea who Corey J White was. Literally none. When browsing through the Supanova Gold Coast guest appearances, I looked at his author pic and assumed he had written either a) an artsy book about love and loss which was quite possibly a book of poetry or b) he wrote comics that I had never heard of. And yes, upon meeting the man I bravely told him I had never heard of his books but eh I may as well read them, and he took an amazing selfie with me and signed his babies. He also inspired me to start this blog. But back to the novellas.
When I picked up the first of these novellas, Killing Gravity, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. By the second, Void Black Shadow, I was well and truly hooked and would have sacrificed my first born to a creepy goblin guy in order to simply lay my hands on the final instalment. Come September and Corey announced THERE WERE ARC’S!!! I entered, won by default (two greatest words in the English language) and now we are here with me staring at my finished book with a broken heart and wondering if its at all possibly to sell my soul for just one more volume. Yes, they are that good. On to the review! (stop reading here if you don’t want spoilers)
Following on from the loss of her sister Sera, the amalgamation of Mookie into the Legion through bloody means and the loss of Trix, Mars is irreparably broken. Having parted ways with the ever-charismatic captain Squid of the starship Nova, Mars, Ocho and Pale are now out to get revenge on the man who started it all, her father Marius Teo, hoping he can not only help her but also fix the damage to Pale’s body. Unsure where to start but determined to hunt him down, the trio head to his last known location, only to find him gone. Now Mariam must depart on a journey that will take her to the edges of the universe, where the Empire is waiting around every corner.
As I said before, I am not ok. My heart hurts, my brain doesn’t want to comprehend and honestly, I really wish it wasn’t over. Every novella has a 600-page novel crammed into it, bulging with information but written in such a genius manner that nothing feels hurried. Mars’ plight throughout, not only this novella but the entire series, runs the gamut of human emotions. In the beginning, she is angry, confused and foul mouthed, taking down anyone who she sees as a threat. By the end however, Mars has come to terms with her existence, not wanting to kill anyone else unless they threaten hers or her family’s existence (as an added bonus, she’s still foul mouthed which i love)
Now the definition of family here does not necessarily mean blood relations. While not direct relations, White expertly crafts the bonds between Pale, Ocho and Mars in such a way that no blood could ever interfere. I loved the sister/brother relationship between Mars and Pale. Ridiculously protective, Mars will do anything to prevent harm coming to Pale, even if it means she has to break her vow to not leave any more devastation in her wake.
I also love that Ocho is back. The mutant glider/cat hybrid (fondly called Jerkface in times of exasperation) is honestly the best pet anyone could ever hope for. You know how cats have nine lives and all that? Ocho has seemingly endless ones because who WOULDN’T have thought to engineer a pet for their young child who could clone itself when it meets its end. I thought it was genius when I first read it and still think so now. Fight me if you don’t agree. But seriously every time Ocho is mentioned, I get that sparkly eyed thing going on that’s made famous by literally any anime character when they look at something ridiculously cute.
As usual, the narrative is a whirlwind but so impeccably written that the audience doesn’t even notice how fast the events happen, until you are at the end and staring at bare pages wondering why you didn’t savour it more. All settings contained within Static Ruin’s pages have a purpose. Every scene is well thought out with the chapters flowing logically and effortlessly.
Basically, I loved it. I can’t write enough words to express just how much. Static Ruin is a more than fitting ending to an amazing series of novellas and I hope above all hope that Corey J White will soon be regarded in the same circles as Ursula Le Guin and Kij Johnson. He is a master of his craft and I honestly can’t wait to see where his fledgling career takes him. Thankyou for putting your wild thoughts onto the page and allowing everyone to read them. The Voidwitch Saga is a shining gem amongst a mountain of rocks. Once again, it’s a perfect 5-star rating from me.
Static Ruin releases November 6th, 2018 from Tor.com publishing.