When I first met E.B. Dawson over a year ago she had three books out. Two were part of her excellent Creation of Jack series, which I love. But I won’t pretend that her book The Traveler didn’t have a very special place in my heart.
You see, like me, E.B. Dawson grew up overseas. In fact, she grew up on the other side of the same Pacific Island I did. There are some differences between Papua New Guinea, where I grew up, and New Guinea, where E.B. Dawson lived, but when she wrote from her perspective about the world where she grew up (with creative freedom, of course, for the fantasy elements) I was enraptured.
This was my world. I could smell the rain in the forest. I could feel the unfinished wood under my bare feet as I climbed over the little ladders they built to get over the fences. The dew on the thick, tropical leaves, the pigs digging in the garden, and the constant giggles of children as they huddled together. I marveled in every moment of it, even as the text marveled in the people, the culture, the cities with brilliantly poetic descriptions and deep introspection.
It is probably sufficient to say that the second book had a lot riding on it for me. I was going back to my childhood home, but there was also adventure and intrigue and danger wrapped up into it, in a way that it never was when I was a little girl running through mud puddles and collecting spiders.
It was more than that, though. This was an incredible story with relatable characters and deep themes.
And WOW, did The Citizen live up to my expectations and then some. Yes, I got my childhood home again. All the same emotions, and some more (both good and some touching on some painful things). More than that, I got something all new and totally surprising. The characters I had enjoyed before I loved even more, and in new ways, in this story.
It’s really hard to even say anything about it, without spoiling it, but this story felt like a whole world of wonder trapped in a book. So much happened, and so much was revealed. At the end, I was both encouraged and on-edge. I really can’t wait to see where the next book takes us.
So pick it up, and immerse yourself in beauty. There are few authors who can incorporate poetry into their prose and themes into their stories like E.B. Dawson.
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