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Reviewed by Parul Sood for Readers' Favorite
Forger of the Sun by Adrian P is a thrilling addition to the world of the retrofuturism sci-fi genre. As the first installment of the PUNK series, the novel is a tale of unlikely alliances, action-packed mecha combat, intricate political dynamics, and character-driven drama. The story takes place in the industrial state of Artus Lindi, where we meet Dex, a gifted yet destitute mechanic. His dreams of joining the prestigious Dieselsuit tournament seem unobtainable until he meets Isola, a princess from an enemy nation, who desperately needs protection. Her survival holds the key to preventing a devastating occupation of Artus Lindi. Recognizing Dex's potential, Isola and Dex set out to change the course of their destiny.
What sets Forger of the Sun by Adrian P apart from typical adventure stories is the fusion of two distinct worlds—Dex's gritty and industrial Artus Lindi and Isola's sophisticated Solarpunk empire of Claris Polese. This contrast creates rich and intricate world-building that adds authenticity to the story. The author skillfully explores the socio-political and technological changes that these two nations are undergoing, providing a thought-provoking backdrop for the main plot. Dex and Isola’s partnership, driven by a similar goal, is rife with tension, trust-building, and personal growth. Adrian P. masterfully pens the resilience of humanity as the two central characters strive to find their rightful place in a world that repeatedly dismisses them. Like steampunk and cyberpunk, the Dieselpunk genre blends elements of the interwar period's diesel-based technology with a retro-futuristic and postmodern sensibility. Forger of the Sun embraces this aesthetic with flair. Adrian P. has created a world where colossal mechs and intricate characters come together in a gripping story that will leave you eagerly anticipating the next installment in the PUNK series.