The Fragments - The Spheres, Book 1


Loved it! 😍

Strong prose and concepts, but the density of the prose leads to a slow read.

The Fragments is a book built on the concept of shattered worlds, and the author does a fairly good job at exploring this concept; from the rules that regulate the travel between the various broken fragments of worlds, to the aesthetics and inhabitants of those worlds. Some of the fragments are better visually/more immersive than the others (the sunken city was one I particularly enjoyed), and in those instances of weird or alien or beautiful settings the book shines. But in the places where the setting and aesthetic are more mundane the book can become slow.

That slowness is due to a couple of different things; the prose is excellent, flowing with strong words and clear descriptions and little to no fat or wasted words, but as a result it is quite dense which slows down scenes where there's not immediate action or conflict transpiring. A secondary part, and probably the weakest element of the book, is the plotting. On a conceptual level, the plotting is solid, with interesting scenes, narrative evolutions, and interpersonal conflicts, but there are often long stretches of traveling or description in-between those narrative moments that are. These traveling/description scenes are necessary for the explorations of the world(s)/concept but in conjunction with the dense prose often acerbate the slowness of the reading.

The characters, and the story's conclusion, are good, offering both complexity and nuance. Eass is probably the weakest of the characters since she's the most generic and lacks personal narrative outside of recovering her memories. It's not that she's boring, just that she has the least to interact with and do, and is often reduced to simply following other characters around in a world she does not know. I imagine she'll be more interesting in the sequels and she returns to settings where she possesses more control/understanding, though.

Ultimately, I found The Fragments an interesting, well written book that occasionally became a slog.

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I like chess, the occasional video game, Fantasy books and used to keep bees.


About the author

I am Minu Freitag, a New Zealand-based artist and writer, and the author of the Spheres Series, an exciting mix of science fiction, fantasy, and dystopian fiction. I live with my partner in an Edwardian cottage tucked away in the hills overlooking the Wellington Harbour, New Zealand. view profile

Published on August 27, 2023

140000 words

Genre: Fantasy

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