Paradigms by Chris McKenna
Review by Michelle Herbert
In Scotland, in the years after an apocalyptic disaster, the surviving people have reverted to clan life and are living off the carcass of the old world. But not everyone has forgotten the technology of the past and not everyone has forgotten the mystical secrets of the ages gone before. Propelled by an act of compassion, Malcolm, a young clansman, finds himself lost in a land of physical and metaphysical conflict that has changed far more than anyone realised. But which path is the right one? Which Paradigm is real?
This book had a great concept. If a world has lost its civilisation after an apocalypse how do you move on and rebuild? We are never told how or why the world we know ended or how the different sections of this small area came to be, but everyone seems to not know much more of the world than what is within their small clan.
A chance meeting sets the main character on a path of discovery. I felt that the characters were well written and dealt with the challenges they faced very well, without making them seem too weak willed or too all knowing. I liked the characters that helped the main characters become who they were meant to be.
The weaknesses of this book seemed to be the use of words that would be fine in a book written about a contemporary time but in this context doesn’t sit so well. How would a small clan’s person know what a mall is? Why would a book supposedly set in a future Scotland have a mall rather than a shopping centre? These are small points to make but are small distractions that take away from the whole of the book.
Chris McKenna was born in Scotland in 1983. After graduating from university he worked as programmer in Scotland and then Austria, before giving up his day job to explore the Far East. He is presently working as an English language teacher in Asia and has lived and worked in many countries including: China, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines.
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