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Dawn of the Construct


Loved it! 😍

A fantasy/sci-fi hybrid set in a trio of timelines featuring reluctant heroes and a refreshing take on magic.

Although one could lump Dawn of the Construct into the fantasy/sci-fi hybrid that coopts much of its monsters, characters, and content from Tolkien, Martin, and D&D, that would be doing Eric Lard’s opening book in what promises to be an action-packed saga a disservice. Two things set it apart, which I will focus on here.

First, the narrative happens in three timelines. One is Earth, centering on the war in Afghanistan. Another is sci-fi and futuristic, taking place on a forbidding planet. The third—where most of the story unfolds—is a fantasy/D&D world where goblins and orcs menace the simple folk just trying to survive.

Enhancing this triple-timeline structure is the literary device of “constructing the team.” Because the three heroes representing the timelines come from other places/times/dimensions, Dawn of the Construct is reminiscent of Stephen King’s second book in the high-fantasy/sci-fi series The Dark Tower—The Drawing of the Three.

The second device that sets the book apart from typical, currently popular fantasy/sci-fi hybrids is that none of its heroes are confident. They are each, in their own unique ways, physically or otherwise damaged, and they fumble to some degree through much of the book.

D'avry—the hero of the fantasy/D&D world—is the least confident and most in danger. He’s a mage who draws magical ability and strength from something called Astrig Ka’a. This may sound familiar (The Force, etc.), but here’s what I love about Dawn of the Construct—even when D’avry’s magic works, he doesn’t understand why or how. To the end, it’s a mystery. He collects magical items of which he can only guess at the future use and opens portals that lead him to the others he’s meant to meet. As he goes, we see an unsure, kind-hearted hero for whom we have to cheer.

As for the other two: The first is Captain Major Rutker Novak—a name as cool as his hi-tech, futuristic weapons—who is in the weeds, on an important mission, although his wife’s never far from his mind. The second is Deven—an Afghanistan veteran who lost her legs when her Humvee hit an IED. She’s learning to use her metal alloy legs and get herself back to form in mind, body, and spirit.

Well-paced, with high stakes and rapid action, Dawn of the Construct mixes familiar and new, as any worthy genre novel should. 

Reviewed by

I am a screenwriter, playwright, Escape Room and immersive experience designer, and story analyst. I have 8 published novels, and 6 nonfiction books, most available on Amazon (Joey Madia). I review books for several publicists and review sites. 383 published reviews.

The Astrig Ka’a

About the author

Eric's base camp is at the foot of the oft-smoldering Sierra Nevada in NorCal where he enjoys, surfing, snowboarding, and mountain biking with his wife and three adult sons. His work primarily appears on the galactic interweb as bits of static between other, more important stuff. view profile

Published on October 28, 2022

Published by Cosmic Egg Books

90000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Science Fiction

Reviewed by