I COULDN'T be prouder of a release than I am of this one. More than two difficult, ass-kicking years of hard, hard work went into its creation.
This is a good book. It's the story of one woman's relentless pursuit to find out who she is and what she wants in life, even as tragedies and betrayals cut her down. Raised by hateful people unworthy of the title of "parents," Elizabeth gets pregnant at a very early age and is forced to run away. She is taken in by her boyfriend's aunt, who loves and takes care of her in a way her "parents" refused to. With this woman's guidance, Elizabeth applies for and is accepted to flight attendant training.
One day a new friend gives her a DVD, telling her that it would help alleviate her depression. It features an extraordinary performance of a young Japanese girl as she plays her violin for a large crowd. The performance changes Elizabeth's life, who decides that she must meet this angel, who is named Yaeko Mitsaki.
For those of you who have read the series to this point, you may have wondered about Yaeko's guardian, who is mentioned scarcely to this point. Who is Elizabeth Finnegan? What are her motivations? How is she special? What is her role in the Saeire Insu and its plans to battle the Imperials and Necrolius? Does she have one? Is it important?
Indeed, it is. In fact, without Elizabeth's help, the Saeire Insu and Melody and doomed to fail. In this book, you find out why.
It would be silly to read this novel without first reading the four preceding it. Don't do it. You'll just get totally confused. Melody's story arc is a biggie: there are many more books coming, most of them "sidestories" like this one. Main titles--Book One, Book Two, etc.--are like mighty redwoods. It's great to look at them, but foolish to focus only on them. The smaller trees surrounding them are just as beautiful and grand in their own way. That's what you should do.
What's coming next? The novel following this is also a sidestory. It's about a great Saeire Insu warship named Failure (yeah, that's right) that is sent on a deadly cat-and-mouse chase against an Imperial warship that has a Dreamcatcher aboard who could destroy the Saeire Insu's Revolution before it even gets a toehold on Aquanus. It's written in the first person by a familiar character--Ske T'Chel, a Kumiyaay who goes by the shortened nickname "Sketch."
I'm eleven chapters in. At the pace I've been going, I anticipate a mid-summer or early fall 2018 release.
I have started Melody and the Pier to Forever: Book Three. I'm in the middle of writing chapter four. Early indications point to a large novel, possibly Book One-sized. The seemingly impossible cliffhanger in Book Two isn't explained satisfactorily here, but with The Angel's Guardian preceding it, all comes clear. Read that sentence again if you're still tempted to skip these sidestories, which any actual lover of the series would not contemplate doing.
When I began Melody in 2004, I knew it would take a long time to tell the tale. It's been thirteen years since I began telling it, and I can assure you I'm nowhere near the finish line. For those seeking an immersive, engrossing, moving epic fantasy with fleshed-out characters and a world you can see when you close your eyes at night, Melody and the Pier to Forever is absolutely where you want to be.