Outskirts Press (2013)
Reviewed by Michel Violante for Reader Views (02/15)
“Breaking News” by Laxleyval Sagasta begins with a radio announcement that they found a set of twins, a boy and a girl, on one of the deserted North Islands of the South Ocean Islands chain. The interviewer asked the boy how they could have survived the Tsunami that destroyed their home. The boy said that before the Tsunami, when they were 6 years old, their home was attacked by the South Island. Their father helped them escape to the mountain but everyone was massacred. They both lived on their own in the mountains unaffected by the Tsunami for 6 years before being rescued. At that point the boy said that as surprising as it is that they were able to survive on their own for so long, it was nothing compared to their father’s story when he was young, and so begins the recounting of his father’s amazing story of their origins. The tale begins with the story of their great grandmother in the mid 1800’s, who was born in the South Island but migrated to the north, where her son, the twin’s father was born. He grew up in the north and learned the south dialect through his grandmother, but was kidnapped and sent to the military in the far country when he turned six. He graduated with honors and went back to the North Island. The Governor then commissioned him to the south island as a spy. His adventure becomes dangerous when he meets and falls in love with Princess Ene Dalibee.
Unfortunately, although I found the story captivating, it was confusing at times due to the author’s story telling style and some of the descriptions of the parallel story which occurred within the late 1940’s that to me, did not sound credible or true to the times. For example he mentioned a lot of construction and tractors…etc., in a way that made me visualize more current times instead of the late 1940’s for some reason. Having said that, the storyline, character development and dialogue was spot on and kept me turning pages making it easier to let go of my own confusion.
Overall, “Breaking News” by Laxleyval Sagasta is a captivating adventure that will hook readers into parallel survival epic stories separated by a century: Laxleyval and Mattie’s saga and that of their parent’s. Both stories are testament of the strength and the will to live. A four stars read which I recommend to all epic adventure and complex plot lovers!