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Book Review: "The Spear Cuts Through Water" is a rare gem

There are few novels I can firmly say have astounded me or been a genuinely original concept. But, I must add Simon Jimenez’s upcoming fantasy epic, “The Spear Cuts Through Water,” to that list because–to simply put it–hot damn.

The Moon Throne has ruled over a faraway land for centuries–perpetuating a cycle of suffering that has robbed the land and oppressed its citizens. The fickle emperor and his sons, the Three Terrors, literally terrorize the people with the powers they inherited from the imprisoned god under their palace.

With the help of two warriors, Jun and Keema, the imprisoned god escapes and leads our young heroes on a holy pilgrimage for freedom and a way to end the Moon Throne’s reign forever.

Although nothing new to the fantasy genre, the concept is a rare gem in storytelling. With a delicately detailed world, “The Spear Cuts Through Water” is set in a vaguely familiar but unfamiliar land with folklore woven effortlessly into the world and its people.

This novel is like an onion–a story within a story, within another–and jumps from the first, second, and third points of view. These layers can be challenging at times, but there’s no denying the immersive and wondrous experience of “The Spear Cuts Through Water.” Using a theater as a first POV element is an ambitious risk that could have spiraled. Yet, Jimenez works it into the narrative with admirable mastery. Jimenez drags the reader into the narrative without pandering, and his storytelling flows flawlessly through the layers of the novel. The writing alone is an experiment in creating the most visceral, atmospheric prose imaginable, which could be described as cinematic. Still, I don’t think any words in the English language can fully explain the visceral effect of Jimenez’s writing.

Yet, the most fascinating piece of “The Spear Cuts Through Water” is the character work. Unlike any other fantasy novel, Jimenez writes his characters with startling clarity and introspection–instantly rooting themselves in the hearts of readers within a few pages of their first appearances. A rollercoaster of emotions and moving experiences, Jun and Keema weasel their way into your heart when you least expect it and blossom into flawed but beautifully expressed anti-heroes. Their stories–and the first and second POVs–are nuanced in such a way they could be autobiographical, and that’s no exaggeration.

Jimenez dives into the thoughts of nearly every character in the novel–nothing more than snippets of consciousness, but immerses readers more profound and deeper into the world of “The Spear Cuts Through Water.”

A heart-racing and intimate observation of identity, family legacies, and love, “The Spear Cuts Through Water” is unlike any novel you’ve ever read–and demands devoured. Jimenez’s writing and characters will stick with you long past you close the book, thus transforming even the most skeptical readers. Rather than proclaim any more of my praises for Jimenez’s novel, I’ll simply tell you to pick up “The Spear Cuts Through Water” on August 30 and read for yourself the wonder of this novel.

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