In their quest to find an inhabitable human colony in space, the exoplanet surveyor, Endeavour, arrives in the Kepler 452 system. The crew of Endeavour is surprised to find an alien civilization, known as the Haillar, thriving there. Endeavour’s arrival triggers a first contact with the Haillar, who seem to be technologically backward and non-threatening. However, first impressions are seldom correct.
Aldeea, Kepler 452 to the humans, is a planet on the border of a star-faring empire dating back countless millennia. The Haillars can wield astonishing psychic powers called eka. They are also the most technologically developed species inhabiting the empire. However, their enemy—the Scourge—is even deadlier. A war has been going on between them for millennia.
The Endeavour has landed on Aldeea on the verge of one such imminent attack. Caught between two vastly superior enemies, the humans can survive only if they and the Haillars stand united. Easier said than done. Read Phoenix, the first book in the Queen’s Avatar Series, by T.S. Alexander to find out who wins this war.
T.S. Alexander has crafted an action-packed, thrilling science-fiction tale in Phoenix.
The first half is more character-driven as we are introduced to scores of characters—many of whom are central to the plot—although it also has its moments of tense action. However, once the reader reaches the second half, the action starts, and it is unputdownable from there. There is not a single moment of lull in the second half. The smoothly flowing story from the start to the finish results in an engaging book.
Despite being a science fiction book, Phoenix is not heavy on jargon. As a result, I did not feel alienated. Further, Alexander is deft in conjuring up vivid images. Hence, I could clearly visualize the space shuttle, the equipment of the Endeavour crew, the powers of the Haillars, their architecture, and their defense mechanisms. Moreover, Alexander steered me to an explosive, bittersweet finale.
However, I do have some quibbles about the book. The world building could have been better. In my opinion, some pieces of information appearing in the appendix could have been assimilated into the book for a more immersive experience. The absence of technical jargon does help in keeping the reader engaged but a few technical descriptions would not have caused any harm.
I eagerly look forward to the sequel to learn more about the humans and the Haillar Queens’ journey. Phoenix by T.S. Alexander is recommended for science fiction fans.
I reviewed this book for Readers’ Favorite for which I received a very nominal fee. This does not affect my opinion about the book. I opted to publish this review on my blog.