Available now is a welcome new sequel to Reswyt, a lengthy novel that I reviewed here at the start of March 2012. Nekhet is the title of the second new volume in David Mayer‘s epic Dreamline series. Like the first book, it’s a work intended for intelligent and well-read teenagers who have developed a taste for high-quality fantasy. Despite the presence of talking animals the series departs from the wizards/dwarves/elves cliché, into much fresher and more fascinating areas — such as the conflicts and complexities inherent in the meeting of technology and magic. From the opening chapter Nekhet clearly announces that it is far superior to the current publisher-driven “young adult” pap. I’ll spare you a plot recitation (it’s available on the Amazon page, though be warned that spoilers abound in it), since I don’t want to spoil the journey for readers who enjoyed Reswyt or who might be coming fresh to the Dreamline series. Suffice it to say that you really do need to read the first book, before you read this one. You’ll find here more finely crafted writing, more baroquely rich world-building, all woven around ideas about dreams and Ancient Egyptology. The fantastical is again deftly contrasted with an American High School setting, and an emotionally-faithful account of adolescence.
This second book opens with a dramatic and memorable account of a soul-harvesting night-voyage through the skies by the god Ra. It’s a beautiful and dense chapter which clearly shows why novels can play more glitteringly in the mind than any of the baubles offered by Hollywood or videogames. The richness of the opening of this second book may be challenging for some younger readers, but older teenagers who have read and enjoyed Reswyt should have no problems. All the basic set-up has been done by the first novel, and now the second can plunge us straight into a complex set of plot lines strung across richly-drawn worlds. I’m currently only some way into this new book, but already the plot is spiralling outward into a complex tapestry. My experience of Reswyt shows that David Mayer will have no problem in gathering all these threads together again for a satisfying ending.