Novella Review: Rainbird

Published By: Rabia Gale
Publication Date: October 2012
Page Count: 94
Buy it at Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Source: Kindly Provided by Author
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy

I was pulled in by the cover of this one. I'll admit it. Once I got over the pretty factor, I did take the time to read the summary and it sounded intriguing so I decided to give this one a shot even though it seemed a bit outside of the typical fantasy novels I enjoy.

Lurking within these pages is an imaginative world where humans are not the only species. The world as we know it is gone and everyone lives on the bones of a giant dragon. Rainbird, the main character, is a teen girl who doesn't fit in anywhere. The humans don't want her around because she's part Eerie; the Eerie don't want her around because she's part human. Rainbird keeps herself content by dancing along the Sunway - the only place where she can be herself without judgment. Her father, a human, does his best to keep discrimination at bay, but he can't always protect Rainbird. He encourages her to blend in and keep her true identity a secret. Rainbird wants to be free to be herself, but in her world, that could mean the end of everything. I found myself drawn to the issues of discrimination that permeated this world.

I loved Rainbird and her spirit, but I did have a difficult time getting into this one. The action begins from sentence one and I found myself in a world that was hard to visualize. There is very little explanation in the beginning. I had to piece together what this world looked like and how society was structured with very little guidance. As the story progresses, bits and pieces of information are delivered to help paint a better mental picture, but it still took a lot of work on my part. I also wasn't able to clearly visualize the different races at first. There is so much creativity and potential in this world. I just wish the author had helped me understand what was going on before she shoved me into the action. Complex, new worlds need world building to happen sooner rather than later - especially for readers like me who are stepping outside of their reading comfort zone. I felt disoriented until the world building picked up steam.

Fans of fantasy and science fiction should certainly spend some time with Rainbird. Gale's writing is strong and this world offers something fresh and innovative. It was completely different than anything I had ever read before.

One Last Gripe: I had to reread passages frequently to really understand what was happening. Again, I believe this was because I had trouble visualizing.

My Favorite Thing About The Book: The structure of this society

First Sentence: Rainbird danced on the Sunway to the singing of uncountable stars, music that only she could hear.

She’s a halfbreed in hiding.

Rainbird never belonged. To one race, she’s chattel. To the other, she’s an abomination that should never have existed.

She lives on the sunway.

High above the ground, Rainbird is safe, as long as she does her job, keeps her head down, and never ever draws attention to herself.

But one act of sabotage is about to change everything.
For Rainbird. And for her world.


  1. I absolutely loved how unique the story was, but true, some things were hard to visualize. I can't help but wish it was longer for the sake of the worldbuilding. I've read another novella by Rabia Gale, Mourning Cloak, which totally blew me away.


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