The Kalis Experiments: Tides Book One by R.A. Fisher is the beginning of a fantasy adventure in a world created by the author. Syrina, is a Kalis. Kalis’ are special creatures that are trained almost since birth to be faster, deadlier and more magical than the general population of the Author’s world. Like all of the Kalis, Syrina is at the beck and call of her master, one of the fifteen high merchants who run everything in their world and have done so, with the Kalis’ help for over a thousand years. She is often used for doing her master’s “dirty work” and keeping miscreants in line. Kalis are the stuff of legends and nobody has ever seen one and lived to tell the tale. When her master sends her on a new mission, she begins to realise that something is different and that there is some secret out there relating to their history that she is about to discover. After visiting the distant city of Fom in search of answers, she discovers a secret machine from antiquity which may be capable of destroying the world, all over again, as had happened before in the “Time of Ashes”. Will Syrina be able to unravel all the mysteries before it is too late?
In The Kalis Experiments: Tides Book One, fans of epic fantasy will find new worlds, new creatures and new technologies to excite and entertain them. I did, however, find author R.A. Fisher’s world building to be a little underwhelming, especially for what is clearly the beginning of a new, epic fantasy series. It takes some time to actually come to grips with the characters and where they fit into this world that that author has created. The idea of the Kalis and her unique skills was interesting and I always like a good, strong, female lead, which Syrina certainly was. Also intriguing, was the idea that these fifteen high merchants, who generally lurk in the shadows, in their disguises, were, in fact, just ordinary people who reverted to their normal personas during the day. This, of course, led to some interesting considerations as to who Syrina’s master might actually be. There was plenty of action and lots of interesting characters. I felt there were enough interesting questions, situations and preponderances that arose during the first book to give plenty of fodder and ammunition for further books in the series. If I was to make one recommendation to the author, should he/she be considering book two in this series, it would be a map of the world created and a bit more in-depth narrative on the political and social structure of the various locales. For example, more information about the church and its power over the populace would have been useful. All in all, though, a good, solid fantasy read here.