ISOLATE Sneak Peek

Tor has just released a free e-book “sneak peek” of the first few chapters of Isolate, the lead book of my new series, “The Grand Illusion.”

It’s available from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

1 thought on “ISOLATE Sneak Peek”

  1. Trevin Matlock says:

    I got early access to the entire book thru NetGalley. It was not a surprise to me that I loved it. Here is my NetGalley review.
    “Isolate is the first in a new fantasy series by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.. At 608 pages it is one of the author’s longer works. There will be at least one more.

    Most of the author’s fantasies are set in worlds with a combination of magic with steam and gunpowder technology. Isolate is also a steam/gunpowder world and the “magic” is empathy with everyone in the world existing on a range of susceptibility to projected empathy. An Isolate is not vulnerable to projected empathy at all. The ability to project empathy is found largely, but not only, among women and can be used to influence others or even kill them. If this book were marketed differently it would easily fit in the SF of the 60s/70s when there were more books with Psi powers. James Blish’s, Jack of Eagles, Alfred Bester’s Demolished Man and most of James Schmitz’s work comes to mind.

    Nearly all of Mr. Modesitt’s books are themed around power and responsibility. I am tempted to say they all are but there are a few I do not recall well enough to be certain.

    Isolate looks at power and responsibility specifically as it relates to government. In this story the government is a parliamentary monarchy. It is not possible to read this book as an American and not reflect on our current times. I am sure the author intends this but he is very much too good a writer to make easy parallels between current events and his story. The questions raised are questions many of us have and I struggled to divine the real world analogs he was writing about only to come to the conclusion that there were none. There were questions that resonated but there was no moment where I went “oh, he means so and so or such and such a party” I suspect this book can be read by someone anywhere along our political spectrum and they will be entertained and not affronted while getting a lot to think about.

    One pair of changes in his writing of this novel was interesting and therefore mildly distracting. In all of his novels food and the description of it plays a part in making the reader aware they are in a different world. The foods described are often slight variations on things we commonly eat but never the common items themselves. Pearapple brandy, pheasant or fowl rather than apple brandy or chicken or turkey. A subtle technique that I hardly notice. In Isolate the foods are Foie gras, ham, empanadas. The other change was word choice. In other books the words are all English albeit with an elevated vocabulary. In Isolate some of his words are spelled differently than in English. Not many but enough to make it clear we are in a different world. Corporacion for Corporation. It was this choice to normalize the food while altering the spelling that caught my attention and took me out of the story while I thought about it. Changing the occasional spelling worked well I am uncertain of using common food names.

    As usual when I get to read a great book in advance of publication my one regret is the longer wait until the author’s next is available. One can always hope to read the next early but there are never any guarantees!”

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