Wednesday, November 29, 2023

"Sunset, Water City"

Chris McKinney was born and raised in Hawaiʻi, on the island of Oahu. He has written nine novels, including The Tattoo and The Queen of Tears, a coauthored memoir, and the screenplays for two feature films and two short films. He is the winner of the Elliott Cades Award and seven Kapalapala Poʻokela Awards and has been appointed Visiting Distinguished Writer at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Chris McKinney applied the Page 69 Test to Sunset, Water City, Book 3 of the Water City Trilogy, and reported the following:
From page 69:
The eyeless boy is on a wooden chair across from me, one I made when I was a child. The seat is crooked, and the legs are uneven. It’s so worn, it looks like it’s about to collapse under him, but Jon is as calm as usual. His thin cane sits across his lap.

“What happened to you?” he asks.

“How long was I out?” I pant.

The boy shrugs.

“Minutes? Hours?” I ask.

“Time is inconsequential to me.”

“You carried me here?” I ask.

The boy shakes his head. “You walked. Or maybe wobbled is the better word. Then you simply lied down and closed your eyes.”

I don’t remember this. I never really do. I’ve lost time in the past. Every instance I’ve patched into my father and felt his death coming.
My page 69 of Sunset, Water City is essentially a quest starter. The main character, who has a computerized implant in her head that is connected to her father’s implant, senses that he’s in danger. Saving him has become a tiresome habit for her. He has grown tiresome. However, she will go, and she will take Jon, who she has just met, with her. She doesn’t know or trust Jon, but he is the first person she’s seen who has been able to free himself from the digital hive mind of Akira Kimura. It’s a terribly inconvenient moment for her. On one hand, she wants to discover how Jon has liberated himself. On the other, she must go rescue her father.

Page 69 is a solid representation of the book in general. It exhibits the unhealthy codependent relationship between the main character, Ascalon, and her father. This is evident throughout the book. It also shows that Ascalon is in a constant state of inner conflict. She’s a nineteen-year-old kid forced to make tough choices in a post-apocalyptical world populated by barbaric tribes and digital zombies who, at the behest of Akira Kimura, are removing all traces of human history. Ascalon wants to end Akira’s control over these people, but her father always seems to get in the way. To Ascalon, finding Jon is key to achieving her goal, so she must keep him close, but is she putting him in danger when she takes him with her to go save her father? These are the kinds of hard decisions Ascalon needs to make throughout Sunset, Water City.
Visit Chris McKinney's website.

--Marshal Zeringue