Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Tachyon Publications
Length : 240 pages
Format : eARC
Rating : 4.5 stars
Publication Date : August 14th 2020
Who is Last?
Fame is rare in Driftwood- it’s hard to get famous if you don’t stick around long enough for people to know you. But many know the guide, Last, a one-blooded survivor who has seen his world end many lifetimes ago. For Driftwood is a strange place of slow apocalypses, where continents eventually crumble into mere neighborhoods, pulled inexorably towards the center in the Crush. Cultures clash, countries fall, and everything eventually disintegrates.
Within the Shreds, a rumor goes around that Last has died. Drifters come together to commemorate him. But who really was Last?
Driftwood is a place where worlds slowly die by dissolving into oblivion. It’s where worlds go after their apocalypses. It starts the same with every world. One day, a house, a street, a city, disappear and is replaced by the Mist. After the Mist comes other drifting worlds that shrink as they drift towards the center of Driftwood: The Crush. From worlds, they shrink to the size of countries, cities, streets, mere houses and then, they meet their inevitable end.
Driftwood is a place of death but it is also full of life. Populated by the descendants of the people from numerous worlds, the Drifters consider the remnants of the dying worlds as their home and try to live as well as they can on the ever-changing landscapes. Driftwood is also the story (or should I say stories) of Last, the oldest Drifter. Last of his race, last of his world, he remains untouched by Driftwood. Some people use him as a guide, an interpreter or a helper while others see him as a god who detains the secret to immortality. Driftwood is a collection of short stories and vignettes that are linked by Last and his relationships to the other Drifters.
Throughout those stories, the reader discovers a few of the many drifting worlds and how their inhabitants react to their fate. Some of them are desperate and try their hardest to find a cure. Others worship Last, befriends him or need him to find special items in other worlds. Each story manages to show a new side of Last, the tales span generations of Drifters and allow the reader to see how Last is affected by his immortality.
My biggest apprehension when I read a collection of short stories is that they will start blending into each other after a while. A lot of authors love exploring the same themes and ideas in their stories and, when you read a lot of them back to back, they can start feeling a bit “samey”. To prevent that, I usually don’t read more than two stories from the same author back to back, however, it wasn’t an issue with Driftwood.
Indeed, since Driftwood is composed of many different worlds with different cultures, it leaves a lot of room to explore different themes and ideas. The characters of each story had different personalities and goals and all of them had unique relationship with Last. The format allowed Brennan to discuss several interesting themes such as how people react to grief, the loss of their belongings, identity and culture. Brennan discusses religion, social entropy, fear of death and being forgotten while providing the reader with engaging stories and great prose.
I didn’t expect to love Driftwood as much as I did, I knew nothing about it before picking it up except that it was written by the author of the well-known Memoirs of Lady Trent, a series that I haven’t read. However, after reading the first few pages, my curiosity quickly morphed into enthusiasm. Brennan’s writing style is engaging and managed to pull me into the chaotic world of Driftwood in a couple of paragraphs. I read this book twice and, each time, in less than a day. I first read it in May and I wanted to refresh my memory before writing this review by reading it again more slowly but… I couldn’t stop turning the pages! Guess I’ll have to read it a third time. 😀
Highly recommended to any fantasy lovers!
I enjoyed Driftwood so much that I definitely want to share the love and give you the opportunity to win a copy of this book. The publisher will give out:
- 1 physical copy (U.S. only)
- 1 eBook copy in the format of your choice (open internationally!)
To enter the giveaway, you just have to comment under this post, include where I can reach you (Twitter handle or email address) and if you are applying for the U.S. or international giveaway. I will pick a winner at random on August 20th and privately reach out to the winners! 🙂 For the U.S. giveaway, you have to be comfortable with giving me your address that I will send out to the publisher.
Thank you again to Tachyon and good luck everyone! 😀