As an artist, one of my favorite tasks is reviewing other artists work, especially when they're local. I've said and written about this before, but I believe that it is the task for all artists to support each other - and that means looking at one another's work, and being honest about what they see. So, in that light, it's always a pleasure when I get to explore a piece of art that I really ended up loving.
In this case, the work I read was Sweeping Changes by Mara Lynn Johnstone.
Sweeping Changes is one of those golden reads - the sort of book you can pick up when you're feeling blue and not at all in the mood to sit down and read, and end up thoroughly entrapped inside the narrative before you have any clue how you got there. Johnstone sets up the reveal from page one, and from there keeps laying the track for the twists and turns ahead. Never once did I put this book down, weary of thick prose, never once did I feel that the story had been rushed or slowed for my benefit - the whole piece moved together like a finely-crafted film, drawing me into each new scene at a steady and engaged pace.
Sweeping Changes sets up Johnstone's world nicely, providing an abundance of history and potential future character arcs, all within the body of a well-crafted story that feels refreshing and fun from start to finish. I find myself looking immensely forward to more works from this author, and hopefully more novels set in the "Sweep-verse", because there is definitely a massive amount of potential there for the reader to look forward to.
I'll be writing more on artist's commitment to one another, but for now do yourself a favor and buy a copy of Sweeping Changes asap. You won't be disappointed. Far from it - I think you'll find yourself comfortably mesmerized by this excellent short novel. To learn more about Mara, you can find her website listed under the "Community Links" section of my website.
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