“If you had virtually unlimited resources and a pristinely practicable imagination, and a knack for turning air into butter, what do you suppose you’d do next?”
—Tera Elphinstone, Drummond Group DirectorJust A Curtain is the remarkable, fast-paced gateway to both The Elf series and the grander epic recorded in J. L. Lawson's other works: The Donkey and The Wall trilogy and The Curious Voyages of the Anna Virginia Saga.Just A Curtain chronicles the remarkable life and achievements of Dashiel Drummond and the capable group of people he gathers around him to make a change for the better in the world in which he finds himself. A coming of age story, orphaned at sixteen, he rises through the angst of adolescence to the challenge of fulfilling the promise of his potential---from ranch hand and welder to the pre-eminent global entrepreneur and builder of starships.
Even though his parents have passed away, he keeps on doing what they would've wanted him to do. When he gets an offer to work at the same place his parents worked, he takes the offer. He continues reading, studying, even combining two college classes at the same time. I thought that was inspiring, and also kind of heartbreaking. We don't often see Dash's sadness over losing his parents, but it's reflected in how he leads his life the way they would've wanted him to live it.
As time goes on, Dash becomes the boss of an international company. He travels the world in his private jet, accompanied by people he met while growing up, and lifelong friends who always were by his side. As owner of a company specialized, amongst other things, to build starships, he's gotten in contact with the inhabitants of another planet.
We meet several of his employees, and even some people who were original from the other planet, Rutin. There are a lot of characters, the most notable ones being Naota, Emma, Melanie, Willa, Jerry and Elliot. I could explain all of their backgrounds, and their jobs, but I'll leave that to the reader to find out.
While I enjoyed the first part about the book, the part focusing on Dash, the action really started in the second part of the book and I enjoyed it even more. There was suspense and adventure, the pacing was fast, and we got to know a lot of unique, thrilling characters.