Burrow

Burrow, a sci-fi novel, Digital Edition by Jesse Lawson.

Plot: The universe actually consists of two parallel universes who some time previous to the reader’s introduction had completed a catastrophic war and were living under a seemingly uneasy peace treaty. Now, right universe Relative Two’s Planet Threa’s main administrator appears to be an Admiral, while left universe Relative One is ruled by a President and Congress, with attendant Ambassadors from the other areas, but also has a powerful General. The left universe (Relative One) consisted of Earth, which appears to be deteriorating rapidly, Orbital Colony (a type space ship but of huge proportions) and Lunaria. The right, Relative Two, was composed largely of the inhabitable planet Threa that has a prominent Chronology Program which, with an admiral in charge, seems to fit largely into a military training component. The two are interrelated by a Hyperlink that allows interplanetary travel and commerce. Unfortunately this restriction on travel offers the same ‘backing up of traffic’ as is experienced in the Panama Canal. All residents of the two universes seem to be human or human-like with many sharing all of the baser human qualities. Thus, when a brilliant Major in Relative One devises a burrowing device that allows any ship equipped with the system to cross the divide, the controlling general of Relative One covets it for personal gain and devises a plan to convince Congress that Relative Two attempted to sabotage number One and gains their vote to proceed with a preemptive strike. The story moves forward as the preliminary moves are made followed by subsequent action by the characters in evolving, often changing roles. Duplicity, deceit, deception, betrayal, subterfuge and fraudulence are rampant.

Discussion: A sci-fi tale dealing with parallel worlds which seems to be of increasing interest in the last few years and perhaps amusingly, even was used quite often and interestingly by Louis L’Amour, a giant among western writers of the last century. Here, the story has great potential but regrettably is flawed for this reader in several ways. Further character development would greatly enhance the tale, especially with respect to Corbin who the reader is led to believe contains an unusual (?), different (?), strange (?) secret which never is divulged even when the tale ends. There also seems to be a loss of direction to the story in areas. The author just stops at the end with no closure for the reader, who just is left with the assumption that the story is going to continue, but leaves an uneasy sense of wondering whether you care.

Conclusion: Sci-fi with great potential but unfortunate flaws that a good editor no doubt would be able to correct.

3* Sci-fi with great potential but unfortunate flaws.

INTRINSIC

INTRINSIC ISBN: 9788494614941, Kwill Books, is first in a proposed fantasy/sci-fi series by Jerry Collins.

Plot: An introduction informs the reader that, “in a world where nothing is as it seems, a woman exists who has the power to possess the souls and wills of men to do with as she pleases” and that she, Jatara, “thirsts for world domination” only to be obstructed “by Derideon, an omnipotent ruler of the underworld, who wants Jatara to join his regime and (with him rule the world BUT must) praise him as her master.” The story then begins as the five-year-old Jatara is saved from a fire that destroys her home and her mother Shebella and father Econ in the middle of the night. Her savior is a mysterious hooded figure that removes her after setting the fire and drops her in the mud outside. The Town’s Elders arrive and find the child at the same time as a pair of her parent’s former associates, Egor and Zorka. Egor was a sorcery student of Econ’s but couldn’t qualify. Zorka was a somewhat ‘lose woman’ who, although married to Egor, slept with his brother Markel. All are involved with dastardly activities. They wish to take her to raise because she is the child of the most powerful Masters of Sorcery that ever have existed and, as such, will bring untold wealth when sold to the highest bidder when she reaches maturity. Jonas, the town’s Chief Elder and 350 year old former soldier of Econ’s will not permit this. However, the child with an unexpectedly mature knowledge, realizes that, although the pair want to use her and treat her as a servant, it is better if she acquiesces until she can learn from books of her father’s which survived the fire and is in a better position to take care of herself. It is imperative she learn her parents’ skills of sorcery, spell and potion making. She gradually acquires the necessary skills, wreaks bloody revenge on the individuals involved in killing her parents, rises to be the dominant ruler envisioned, but gets pregnant, cannot stop Deridreon’s invaders and supposedly is destroyed in an explosion. The underworld King then takes the baby named Kragon and raises him to be his all-powerful subject who is to aid in bringing him back from the underworld to which he has been banned, so as to rule the entire world. This volume ends when the reader discovers that the supposedly destroyed Jatara and reincarnated Jonas are about to return in a second book in the series to continue the war that has been waged now for millennia.

Discussion: The first part of the tale is a relatively straightforward fantasy replete with sorcery; a powerful secret language providing extensive powers to the knowledgeable user; casting of spells and making/deliverance of potions; bloody warfare involving all types of strange creatures; all action positioned in European/middle eastern countries (except for a mention of Australia) assumedly in the Dark Ages and before. (It is mentioned that finally in the year 1120 Kragon is fourteen and it is time to learn to be one of Derideon’s Demon Knights.)

The author then shifts the action to New York City where complete confusion sets in for this reviewer. The reader is told that Kragon last was there (NYC) in the 1910’s during the Industrial Revolution before WW I. Unless my memory fails me, the Industrial Revolution generally is believed to have begun in Great Britain and Europe around 1820, moving to the U.S. and, as an era, ending around 1870. Additionally now in modern America, the tale moves to add sci-fi and lengthy sections on examining various sociological aspects of life. Further, from about Location 64% in the e-book edition, it appears that another person actually has begun writing the book. The verbalization is strange – words are missing, misspelled, strangely or even misused and descriptions occasionally appear bordering on the un-understandable. They range from a simple statement: “The mayor offered him a drink as his custom was of greeting his affiliates in private articulations.” To others: “…I know you have busy schedule such touché, until I see you again take…”; “Kragon walked to the transport bay as the doors open releasing the herd of accompanied by officer who ushered them to the cage to be corralled unto the counselor was ready to begin his directive.” A blow was struck “sending his bottom molars crashing through his upper gum.”

Summary: The author began in a rather routine manner to provide the basis of an interesting tale and carried it well through two thirds of the book. Unfortunately, at least for this reader, something quite unusual happened then. The story line continued, but complete control of the presentation seemed to disappear. As this is the author’s first attempt, any number of factors may have participated in what happened and I’m sure will be rectified in future endeavors. However, it is imperative that in this progression, he makes sure to have a good and trustworthy editor, familiarize himself with elements of history he wants to use and that he learn something about physical altercations and gain a greater understanding of anatomical relationships and how they may be better described if they are going to be part of his future writings.

2* 3* for story and presentation of first two thirds.