The Indivisible and the Void by D. M. Wozniak is an epic coming-of-age, action-adventure fantasy book with sci-fi elements that can be enjoyed by both young adults and adults. I thoroughly enjoyed the world Wozniak created, with the conflict between the Voiders and the Effulgents and the war between the Northern and Southern Kingdom. The book as action, shifting worldviews, love, betrayal, great characters, and a cool sort of magic. All the things I like in a story.
D. M. Wozniak lives in Chicago with his wife, six children, and a Labrador. Yep, six children—three of them are triplets. He enjoys reading novels by people like Gene Wolfe, Dan Simmons, Neil Stephenson, and Patrick Rothfuss.
I received a free eArc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Read further to check out the rest of the book review of the indivisible and the void, or skip to the end.
Genre: Action-Adventure Fantasy, Coming-of-Age Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Adult | Publisher: Self-published
In this story, we see everything through the eyes of Master Voider Democryos, or Dem for short. He’s used to power and luxury, and like many privileged people, he has strong ideals and beliefs; he’s doing the right things for society. Then one day, he finds a note from his wife to tell him she left him for another. Heart-broken, he sets out to find her. He gains a companion called Chimeline, one of the King’s Harem, and together they travel South. Things get more complicated when Dem finds out the person Marine—his wife—left him for a powerful and evil Voider. His travels take an unexpected turn when he meets people who make him question his ideals and beliefs. What is true? Most importantly: what is the secret of Voidance, the power he has all his life?
The Indivisible and the Void by D. M. Wozniak is a great story, and I couldn’t detect any faults here structurally. The stakes keep getting higher, his beliefs keep getting tested, and the journey becomes increasingly dangerous. While it is quite a long book, it didn’t feel like that at all. There were quite some twists, though I suppose the most surprising one was also one that was quite easy to see coming. Or maybe I just know too much about stories, and it’s actually not that easy. Also possible.
Anyway, the theme of the novel also seems very appropriate for today’s world. There’s a discussion about enslavement and privilege. But the best thing I thought was that there were two clear opposing sides with the Voiders and Effulgents, kind of like Right- and Left-wing if you will, and slowly they come to understand each other better. This seems to be pretty much impossible these days, and I think the Indivisible and the Void really shows that we need to listen and acknowledge each other if we’re ever going to see eye-to-eye. It’s also why I think of this book as a coming-of-age fantasy for adults: Dem’s worldview is shaken, and he needs to re-evaluate and either adjust or double down on his beliefs.
Dem is the Hero of this novel, and we see everything through his lens. The story is even written in first person, present tense, and I felt very immersed in Dem’s way of thinking. He’s a man who wants to do the right things, and truly believes he’s doing the right things. As the Master Voider, he’s the most powerful Voider and he teaches Voidance to his students. Needless to say, one of those students was his wife Marine, who was about half his age. He beliefs he loves her and thinks she loves him as well. Dem is kind and has his heart in the right place. He just has a blind spot when it comes to life outside of the citadel and outside of his position of power and wealth.
Chimeline becomes his travel companion. She’s a bit of an enigma, but you can tell she’s been through a lot in her life. Both before and while being part of the King’s harem. She’s a strong woman, and also not afraid to be vulnerable every now and then. Another notable character is the Effulgent. He and Dem don’t get along, but the Effulgent believes Dem is sent to him by the Unnamed as a lesson. And along the way, the Effulgent challenges Dem’s believes, while Dem does the same. Starting out, they don’t listen much to each other, though.
I absolutely loved the world-building in the Indivisible and the Void. Top-notch fantasy and sci-fi mixture right here. Anyway, the ‘magic’ in this novel is called Voidance. There is a special kind of stones that Voiders wear, and if they touch them, they can see the Indivisibles. The Indivisibles are kind of like the particles of our world (or that’s how I pictured them), and they make up everything. A Voider can manipulate these Indivisibles, for instance, to create fire, or to create a membrane to keep them dry in the rain. The important thing is that this manipulation doesn’t last; sooner or later, the Indivisibles will revert to their original state. The gift of Voidance is something that you’re born with, not something that can be taught (except improving the skill already there, of course).
Then there are the Effulgents, who put their faith in the Unnamed. They are completely against owning anything, and thus don’t have names for themselves or others, only their title. It’s also their belief that Voidance is evil, and that what they use is ‘black arcana.’ So naturally, that’s why Voiders and Effulgents don’t get along very well.
Apart from that struggle, there’s also a struggle with the Southern Kingdom Xian, but we don’t learn much about the other Kingdom. I do hope that will be part of the sequel! (because, yes, there will be a sequel). The landscape and cities are also described with sufficient detail, and we experience different types of places while reading. From the city to small villages and wide plantations, it’s all there, along with the different kinds of people you can find there.
As for the writing, I thought it was good. I couldn’t detect many errors in any case. As I said, it is written in the present tense, and I know some people don’t like that. I personally don’t really notice it that much, but that might be because it’s not my first language. I felt the balance between descriptions, other details about the magic or culture, and the dialogue and action was good. It kept a good pace, and I never felt that parts of it were boring, as it should be for a good action-adventure fantasy. The descriptions were vivid, as I had no trouble imagining the different people and places, and even the different smells.
And that’s it for my book review of the Indivisible and the Void by D. M. Wozniak. It’s a great book, with good writing, characters you can connect to, vivid world-building full of details, and an important theme for today’s world. I would absolutely recommend this book if you love a good action-adventure fantasy with sci-fi elements to it. It’s at the core a bit of a faster-paced Robin Hobb story for adults since it has that deep emotional connection that comes with a coming-of-age fantasy book. It also reminded me a bit of Mark Lawrence’s work, only in the Indivisible and the Void, the protagonist isn’t extremely violent (although…).
Have you read this book? Or does it seem interesting to you? Or do you have any feedback or comments on this review? Let me know in the comments!
If you liked this, you might also like…
- Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb: A slow-paced epic coming-of-age fantasy
- Red Sister by Mark Lawrence: A darker, violent, action and coming-of-age fantasy
- Nevernight by Jay Kristoff: Astonishing Coming-of-Age Action Epic Fantasy
- What I read in September: Mini-Reviews of 2 Fantasy & Sci-Fi Novels
- New Fantasy & Sci-Fi Releases for October 2020
- Overview of my full Book Reviews
The link to this review is added to the November book blogger link-up, hosted by Eline over at LovelyAudiobooks.