Jonathan Maas' Spanners - The Fountain of Youth was published in April 2014.
Information about Jonathan Maas:
Jonathan Maas is an American author. He is also a web designer. He is the author of the novel Hellenica - City of gods.
Information about Spanners - The Fountain of Youth:
The average human being lives from 0-80 sequentially. Spanners don't.
These rare beings have different lifespans than the rest of us. Some live their lives in reverse, some live only six months, and some are immortal. There are hundreds of classes of spanners that live hundreds of different ways, and each class has a unique lifespan that gives them unique powers.
A few spanners find a way to live in normal human society, but most live in the shadows. There are some spanners that are extremely dangerous, and with the help of a mayfly-class spanner, an 8,000-year-old detective named Adam Parr is doing everything he can to keep them under control.
The Fountain of Youth
When one of Adam's old adversaries uncovers the most powerful and deadly spanner in history, it's up to Adam and Mayfly to take her back before she unleashes her full power and ends the world as we know it.
A REVIEW OF JONATHAN MAAS' SPANNERS - THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
Because I enjoyed reading Jonathan Maas' first novel, Hellenica - City of gods, it was interesting for me to read his second novel, Spanners - The Fountain of Youth. In my opinion Spanners - The Fountain of Youth is a surprisingly original and enjoyable novel, because the author uses the legend of the Fountain of Youth as a basis for his story.
It's easy to see that Jonathan Maas likes writing and storytelling, because Spanners - The Fountain of Youth is a fast-paced novel that's pure entertainment from start to finish. His approach to science fiction feels refreshingly different, because he has created something new by combining modern science fiction with old legends. He also uses a few dark fantasy elements that add an interesting flavour of darkness to the story.
I have to mention that certain elements in this novel reminded me of many well-known and popular superhero graphic novels and films (X-Men, The Fantastic Four etc). These elements also reminded me a bit of the Highlander films and their storylines. I think that fans of superhero graphic novels and films will be delighted to read this novel, because the author uses many superhero elements.
Spanners - The Fountain of Youth is a novel for adult readers, because it contains dark happenings and violence. It's possible that young adult readers will also enjoy reading it, because the story is good and entertaining, but I recommend it to adult readers.
Here's a bit of information about the story:
Balthasar has gathered a group of young spanners, because only young ones can be recruited and will fight and die for the cause. He and his group are searching for their leader in the Florida swamp. Their leader has been locked in a casket for a long time. He's an immortal spanner called Captain Juan Ponce de León. He has found the Fountain of Youth and intends to use the Fountain's powers to his own needs... Adam Parr, an immortal spanner, has spent time in India. He visits the Sentinel Islands meets Diego, who is Juan Ponce de León's brother... This is the beginning of a thrilling and fast-paced science fiction story that's full of action and surprises.
Spanners - The Fountain of Youth is basically a story about saving the world and humans, but it's also a story about accepting who and what you are, because the characters have to deal with their choices and decisions. Because the characters are different from other humans, they live their lives in a different way and they make different decisions and choices.
Jonathan Maas has created an interesting and fascinating vision of beings who are called spanners. Spanners have a totally different kind of a life span than normal human beings. There are many different classes of spanners and each class has a unique lifespan that gives them unique powers. The author reveals new and intriguing things about different spanners, their classes and their powers as the story advances.
The cast of characters is as versatile as in the author's debut novel, which is very nice. I enjoyed reading about Adam, Balthasar, Juan, Phoe and Mayfly, because the author wrote about their lives in an interesting way and slowly revealed more things about them.
Here's a bit of information about some of the characters and their powers:
- Adam Parr is an immortal spanner and a detective, who's 8 000 years old. He has lived a long time and has experienced a lot.
- Adam's sister, Phoe, is a phoenix-class spanner. Phoenix-class spanners always come back to life when they die.
- Mayfly belongs to a class of spanners who easily attract girls. Mayfly-class spanners live only six months.
- Balthasar is Juan's steward. He's always served Juan and done what Juan wants him to do.
- Drayne is a scourge-class spanner. She takes lifespans away.
- Blur is a blur-class spanner. He lives his life at a different frequency.
- Cannon is a tweener-class spanner. He's stuck in puberty and has high levels of testosterone in him. This makes him incredibly powerful, but difficult to control.
I'll mention separately that the Fountain and the Surgeon are especially interesting characters. The Surgeon can modify the body in many ways and the Fountain has amazing powers that surpass the powers of other spanners. Both the Fountain and the Surgeon play an important part in the story.
It's interesting that immortal spanners can't be killed, but they can be buried alive. If an immortal spanner has enemies who wish to get rid of him/her, all they have to do is to bury him alive, because it's an efficient way to punish and deal with immortal spanners. At this moment I don't recall reading about this kind of burials and punishments in science fiction novels, but I remember seeing something similar used in one of the episodes in the British science fiction TV series Torchwood.
It was intriguing to read about the experiments conducted on different mayfy spanners, because they were collected and kept in the compounds. They were treated brutally and in an inhumane way. In my opinion the author writes about these things in a good and fluent way, because he doesn't dwell too much on them.
I can also mention that reading about the Wild Place was fascinating, because it's a place where spanners have fled or have been banished because of their actions. The spanners founds in this area differ greatly from other spanners in terms of behaviour and eccentricity.
One of the best thing about Spanners - The Fountain of Youth is that the author knows how to keep the story flowing all the time. There aren't any dull moments in it. Jonathan Maas writes surprisingly well about the action scenes and the fight between good and evil characters. The conflicts and fights between Adam's group and Balthasar's group are handled well, because both groups have their own goals and will do almost anything to achieve what they want - Adam tries to save the world with his friends, but Balthasar helps his leader, Juan, to destroy the world as we know it.
The best thing about this novel is that there are many different spanners in it. I enjoyed the story very much, because reading about the different spanners was exciting and entertaining. I've always enjoyed reading about beings who are different from normal human beings and have powers that others don't have. I have to admit that the amount of different spanners mentioned in the story was a surprise for me, because normally authors tend to write about a limited number of different beings. Fortunately Jonathan Maas has had more enthusiasm, ambition and willingness to write about many different beings than other authors. If he had written about only a few different spanners, it would've significantly weakened the story.
The only noticeable fault that I found in this novel was that different places and areas weren't described in a detailed and lush way. Because I enjoy reading about lush and detailed descriptions, I missed them in this novel. Fortunately, in this case the lack of detailed descriptions isn't a bad thing, because too many descriptions might have ruined the story and would have probably added unnecessary length to it (there's so much going on in this novel that lush descriptions might not have worked in favour of the story).
This novel gives a new and interesting twist to the legend of the Fountain of Youth. It was fascinating to read about the history behind this legend and what Diego, Santos and Juan Ponce did in Florida. I've read a few speculative fiction versions of the legend of Fountain of Youth, but I have to say that this is probably the best and most original version I've read to date. By the way, another interesting version of legend of the Fountain of Youth can be found in The X-Files: episode 5X04, written by Frank Spotnitz.
Readers who enjoy reading this novel will be interested in knowing that there's also a film called Spanners - The Fountain of Youth (written and directed by Jonathan Maas). I have to admit that I'm intrigued about this film and consider watching it when it will be released, because I think that this story will work well as a film.
It's possible that this novel may split the readership to those who enjoy reading it and to those who don't like it, because different readers have different opinions about entertaining science fiction. I've noticed that there are readers who tend to regard entertaining novels as inferior literature, which is a shame, because entertaining novels like Spanners - The Fountain of Youth are good escapism (at times entertaining speculative fiction causes interesting reactions in readers). I personally enjoy reading this kind of entertaining science fiction and understand its entertainment values, because it's very relaxing to forget everything else for a while and read a good and exciting story.
Spanners - The Fountain of Youth is an entertaining combination of science fiction, old legends and a few noir elements. It will appeal to all readers who enjoy reading entertaining and fast-paced stories that are full of intriguing moments and surprises. It will also appeal to readers who are interested in superhero stories.
My final words are: Spanners - The Fountain of Youth is a fast-paced science fiction novel that offers good and exciting entertainment for readers. Good entertainment!