Tom Rogneby is a magnificent bastard who ended a page turner on a cliff-hanger only a little less painful than the last few seconds of Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I."
And it's going to be a lot longer than just the summer break before the next season before I get my hands on the next book. Damn it.
Via Serica is Rogneby's second published work of fiction. His first is fun. Brain candy in a high fantasy/horror flavor. This one, though...this one is set during the latter days of the Roman Empire, and follows a disgraced Roman senator through the first stages of his exile/death sentence.
Rogneby has grown immensely as a writer. As I said, Tales of the Minivandians is fun--brain candy fun. It's descriptive enough to transport the reader, but not so much as to prevent the reader from setting it aside to do vital functions like eat, drink, sleep, etc. Via Serica is much more difficult to set aside--the setting is more richly detailed, and the character development and growth is impressive. The charactars behave believably to their station and change with their experiences and environment. There were a few, here and there, where I'd have liked a little more interaction, but that's true with any book (and differs from person to person.
The plot, though. The plot, the story--that's where Rogneby really shines (except for ending the damn book too soon, in my opinion). The story is believable, and the pacing of the plot is nearly spot-on perfect.
In case my readers can't tell, I really enjoyed the book, and highly recommend it.
34 minutes ago