Idyll by James Derry


The author sent me a copy of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  4  of  5  stars

(by Goodreads)

Hold on tight for a New-Adult Sci-Fi Adventure that’s caught in the crossfire between Firefly and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road!

Idyll is a rugged planet—a new, simpler start for some 10,000 settlers who have fled Mother Earth. But a strange ‘plague’ of contagious sleep has devastated their Settlement, sparked by a mysterious mantra called the Lullaby.

After a three-year quarantine, Walt and Samuel Starboard set out from their ranch on a mission to cure their comatose mother and find their missing father. For days they ride through a blighted landscape: deserted cabins and gravestones and the ruins of towns destroyed by fire. Just when the brothers are about to give up, they stumble upon a second pair of survivors, two beautiful and determined sisters.

Miriam and Virginia Bridge offer new hope, but they also present new problems. Stirrings of emotion and shifting priorities threaten to set the brothers against each other. Can Walt and Samuel overcome years of festering resentment, or will their rivalry tear them apart before they can reunite their broken family? And will any of them survive the revelation of who—or what—unleashed the Lullaby on their home world?


Genre:  Science Fiction, Fantasy

Series:  The Idyll Trilogy, #1

Length:  290 pages

Release Date:  2015-10-13



“If they’re here, they’re hiding.”

“Exactly. So be careful.”

Before the Lullaby, outlaws had been rare on Idyll. But according to Uncle Warren, dozens of opportunists had begun congregating in crossroad communities that had been decimated by the epidemic. They ransacked abandoned stores, stole horses, and kidnapped women. The townsfolk had begun to form militias for protection, but militiamen would probably just be as hostile to strangers as a gang of outlaws.


My Opinion

The book introduces you to Walt and Samuel Starboard; their mission is to fin a cure for their comatose mother and to find their missing father. When meeting Miriam and Virginia, there is hope and unanticipated issues. I will not tell you more about the story than shown in the Goodreads plot description. This would spoil the fun of reading this book yourself.

With Idyll, James Derry has created a compelling and cleverly elaborated first book of a trilogy. Throughout the journey, you learn more about Walt and Samuel’s brotherly issues; as in real life, siblings world views collide. I was drawn into the story right away – as a silent (thankfully invisible) co-traveller. The author tells the story in a quite intense way – giving the reader the opportunity to be very close; he handles his characters with empathy. As the story proceeds you learn more about the protagonists – you automatically take sides and possibly change them again. There are some real surprises; some smaller interludes didn’t seem to make sense at first – they are important as the story continues.

This is a book for you if you appreciate a pretty different combination of science-fiction and fantasy.

A book to read again. Recommended!

Writing Great
Plot Full of surprises
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
Characters Developed
Violence Some violence
Sexual content No sexual content (some hints)
POV Third person


About the author

Husband. Father. Writer. Designer. Abuser of one-word sentences.

Hi, my name is James Derry. I grew up wanting to be the regular penciller on The New Mutants. I went to art school for the nude figure drawing courses and stayed for the degree in graphic design (University of Georgia).

I live in the sub-tropical suburbs of Atlanta with my wife and two kids. In my spare time I bounce like a pinball between writing genres: science fiction, paranormal suspense, near-future spy thrillers, and pulp fantasy. Here’s hoping that more than a few of them make it to Amazon! I also spend time posting my random thoughts on this site: blatherings about my writing progress, reading, pop culture, and comic books. I hope you enjoy them!


Connect with the Author:


Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Idyll?  Or – if you did not yet read Idyll – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

My question for you cinephiles:
If Idyll was filmed – who should direct it, who could you imagine as actors?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


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