Knight in Paper Armor by Nicholas Conley is a well written story with a full range of themes that require you to open your mind, embrace differences and follow the characters on a wild ride, in and out of reality.
Title: Knight in Paper Armor
Author: Nicholas Conley
Release: September 2020
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
When Billy Jakobek is transferred to Heaven’s Hole, his chance encounter with Natalia sends shockwaves rippling across the blighted landscape. The two outsiders are pitted against the all-powerful monopoly, while Billy experiences visions of an otherworldly figure known as the Shape, which prophesies an apocalyptic future that could decimate the world they know.
I enjoyed the plot of this book. The idea of the society was unique but also felt familiar. I think the use of events from history made the book more relatable. This story was emotional for me. The author did a good job of picking situations that would touch the reader such as losing a family member, but in addition to that, the feeling and act of remembering, or reliving was vivid as well. Nothing in the plot felt forced and I thought the characters moved through each situation appropriately for their character type and the need of the story.
I thought the characters were well done. There were some that I wasn’t crazy about or I didn’t know how much they added to the story, but the main and secondary characters were fleshed out and I felt connected to them. My favorite was Natalia. I love when a character is so forward and un-reserved. There are so many books out there where it takes chapter upon chapter for them to open up. The hesitation is frustrating to me. Natalia just broke right out of her shell when she felt her connection to the main character. There was no doubt that they were connected and she was open to it instead of the constant, agonizing resistance that I see in other books.
The world in this book felt very familiar because the struggles and issues presented are very much like the world we live in now. As far as “seeing” the world, I thought Conley did a good job giving enough details to ground us in the book but not going on and on with description.
The themes of trust and corruption are on full display in this title but under the blatant and poignant facts that Conley is trying to show us, there are also important things to acknowledge such as bullying, accepting differences, family dynamics, racism and love. Through the book, Conley reminds us about the characters struggles over every aspects of their lives. Even with the supernatural element, we are reminded that people are people and they deserve love and respect. I loved how well rounded the book was.
Like most of the books I really connect with, this book was written in an easy to read style. Even concepts and situations from the fictional world were easy to understand and connect with as a reader. Conley stuck with what was working and didn’t try to reinvent the wheel. This combined with the perfect descriptions, full character development and familiar world made it easy to devour this story. I would definitely recommend this book.