Discover A Revolutionary New Voice in the Dystopian Genre


Rating: 4/5

Quick Take

Tessera: The 47 Shadows is a revolutionary addition to the dystopian genre – this novel is not one to miss!

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Tessera: The 47 Shadows by Stephen Gresko is a dystopian treasure that provides the reader with classic dystopian elements as well as a unique cast of characters who share a bond and friendship that leaps off the page.  I am a longtime reader of dystopian novels, and while I have found that many dystopian novels on the market today tend to run together with similar storylines and undercover themes, I was happy to find that Tessera: The 47 Shadows holds its own in the genre.  Gresko writing is easy and quick to read, which helped me to become invested in the story.  Dystopian fans rejoice, we have a new treasure to add to the genre in Tessera: The 47 Shadows.  You are sure to enjoy Gresko’s bright, new voice.

                Like many dystopian novels, Tessera: The 47 Shadows addresses a world ruled by a higher power, such as the massive corporate entities who have power over those who were lucky enough to survive the demise of civilization.  The story follows Leo, Lily, and Locke, three individuals who were born and raised in a megafacility built deep within the earth by the corporate entities.  Through their eyes we experience the bond that the three of them share, as well as what it is like to discover that the entities who have raised them may not be as positive of an influence as they were raised to believe.  I enjoyed seeing how much influence a higher corporate power has over individuals and how it can often become brainwashing.  The evolution of Leo, Lily, and Locke was exciting to see, and I felt myself rooting for them throughout the story.  I was so devoted to the story that I became depressed when it was over.

                The only critique I have about Gresko’s writing is that he used a plethora of adjectives which often became frustrating to read and unnecessary in many areas of the story.  However, Gresko knows how to make his characters come alive while creating a world that is easy for the reader to understand, which allowed me to look past the subpar writing in terms of the overuse of adjectives.  If this novel were edited and reworked to remove or replace the adjectives, I think that it would appear more professional.  The story itself is strong enough that it doesn’t need so many adjectives to paint a picture in the reader’s mind.  Removing such adjectives would give the reader a better chance to imagine the story to their own imagination and doing so would make such a strong story that much stronger.

                Tessera: The 47 Shadows by Stephen Gresko is a well-developed and vibrant dystopian gem that adds a significant new story to the dystopian genre.  The character development and world building were so strong that I was able to overlook the overuse of adjectives, and I found myself becoming protective of the characters in such a vile world.  While the dystopian market tends to be saturated with stories that are all too similar to one another, Tessera: The 47 Shadows stands out by offering up a complicated story with a diverse cast of characters that help the reader to visualize a world not too different from our own.  Gresko’s work is excellent for dystopian aficionados as well as those new to the genre, and I would classify it as an excellent literary escape.  Try out Tessera: The 47 Shadows by Stephen Gresko,you will not be disappointed.    

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