Monday, May 5, 2014

EM's Review and Interview - I, Kwan by K Hippolite

Retrofuturistic DieselPunk
Date Published: April 4, 2014


For over a thousand years, a powerful oligarchy known as the Worldwide Order of Lightnings has oppressed us. With the help of the prying eyes of the chronomancers, the Lightnings have torn us from our homes; have forced us to do their bidding; have stripped us of our rights, even our names. 

I have spent my life in hiding. Please understand that an unrated telepath like me is a commodity, not a person. If it s not the thought-police come to call on me, it s the Lightnings, or worse, a suitor who won t accept no as an answer. 

Peace. Security. Love. They all elude me. When I manage to grasp a little of them in my shaking hands, they are all but snatched away by outside powers beyond my control. My heart groans with black tears from all this folly. 

About the Author
K. Hippolite



EM: Today we have K. Hippolite and Kwan joining us on the blog. K is actually part of my online critique group and contributed greatly to Fate War and DNOTS! He's another person I thank for my growth as a writer. I actually have had the privilege to see Kwan grow from story to story as I returned the critique favors! So let's start with the first question I always ask.
Tell us a little about yourself! (Technically not a question...but you get the drift. ;) )
K: Okay. My first initial stands for Kenneth. I live in Southern Ontario Canada and I've been a writer for many years, specializing in technical manuals and academic texts. I've actually written over two dozen books, but only a handful of them have been fiction until recently. I’ll mostly try to stay out of the way so Kwan can speak.

Kwan: As for me, I’m Orionite, which your people would call South-East Asian. I look just like I do in the pictures except I don’t actually have wings. Oh, and that halo is invisible unless I stand near a powerful energy source. I’m age twenty now, have parents who live in the same demesne, and a little brother named Jason.

EM: Very interesting. Kwan says South East Asia, but its not the Asia we know today. Is Kwan from the future, past, or an alternate reality?

K: Let's call it a "co-reality"... as in... a universe that exists in reflection of ours. Major cosmic 
events in our universe (past, present, and future) affect hers. This is why the face of her 
planet looks just like Earth. There are some striking differences. For example, they never had 

EM: Kwan, would you like to visit our "co-reality"?

Kwan: In a heartbeat! Especially to try a theme park. We can't have places like that because 
few of us are allowed to travel. I'd crawl into one and live there forever. Oh, and broadcast 
television is another taboo for us. I'd watch every channel if I was on your Earth.

EM: K, who is Kwan most like in your reality?

K: Hmm, she's most unlike anyone I've ever met, so that will be a difficult question to answer. 
One person described her as a best friend, and I think that's very apt. She's my best friend, 
transcribed onto a page. If I had to pick another fictional character, I'd say a young 
"Ambassador Delenn", though Kwan disagrees with me.

EM: Kwan disagrees with you a lot?

Kwan: He gets in the way of what I'm trying to say _all_ the time. It drives me nuts. I confound 
him a little, I think (he thinks I do it on purpose). It's tough work keeping your writer in line.

EM: Don't worry Kwan, I don't think its just you. Women in general seem to confound him. At least judging from some conversations in the critique group! Sorry K, we're ganging up on you! Spill it Kwan, what's the one thing K has done that made you the maddest.

Kwan: Oh, goodness... which one to choose... There's this one part where he (the story) uses me to 
get money for a large project. Highly annoying and very unnecessary. No, I lie about there 
being a lot. For the most part, we get along. I like to believe I'm a very nice alter/character... I
just get to rock the boat a little.

EM: So similar question to K. When has Kwan been the most difficult?

K: I think the worst part is she doesn't have an off-switch. Picture me on a date with a coaching 
team babbling in my head. On the page, she's a nuisance getting her into the few scenes that 
were required (by other books). I think every writer gets this kind of fight from their cast... it's
just that my other characters have less say in the matter.

EM: Besides dating, what other activities does Kwan interrupt? Sports? Music? Fandom group?

Kwan: I make us watch what he calls 'hideous boyband videos' on Muchmusic. I would have
liked that growing up if we had musical acts like this, so it's important character development.
When his friends ask why he can name all the members of NKOTB, he uses the excuse that
it's work-related research. Uh huh!

Types of sports, we agree on. Wrestling, because it's fake (neither of us like seeing people
actually get beaten up). I'm not super keen on sports overall... I only know them by proxy.
And I've widened our selection of books (though he took on romance by himself) since he
liked them dull and spacey until now.

EM: Alright Kwan, let K get a word in edge wise. I have some insider info, but would you like to let readers know what's on the horizon for Kwan's "co-reality"?

K: Sure... the big one is that many of the characters will get a chance to shine. Reiki's part of the
tale is far from done... look for her adventure this summer. With plenty more to come!

EM: Thank you guys for joining my blog today and can't wait to see what you have next!

EM's Review

I, Kwan, is the compilation of novellas centered around a girl in an alternate, steampunkish reality. The story follows her as she discovers, releases, and grows into her awesome powers and grows into a woman.

Khippolite has created an fantastic, rich world with stunning visuals and intricate hierarchy. He melds cool machines and interesting powers to create original battles and warriors. Kwan's world is unlike anything I've ever read.

While I like lots of detail in a story, I hate inner political workings. I think Kwan is with me on this one, but they are a necessary part of the story and I got through them okay. The only other drawback is the heroine herself who is a bit scatterbrained and made me want to slap her...lots. 

But overall, Kwan is a lovable character and her growth, both emotional and in power, keep you glued to the page having to know what mistake she's going to make and what's next for her!

This is a true YA with lots of kissing and angst. As Kwan grows, so do her relationships. Sex is implied but not explicit. There are battles, violence and some blood but it's not gory in the least. The story is beautifully written and I would recommend it for anyone who loves scifi and YA!

1 comment:

  1. haha scatterbrained. Kwan is a little forgetful at times... she admits this. From now on she'll keep a list of what she was doing so she won't lose track.