Cleverly mixing some traditional sci-fi elements: an alien planet ripe for conquest, an arrogant and rapacious paternalistic invader, indigenous humanoids who cause fascination and wonder, and mysterious technological forefathers, A Senseless Act of Beauty also includes tales from the African Mythos of our future past and more than a dash of love and heartbreak as it weaves a tale of hope, the surrender to love, and a quest for understanding.
It is the central character Aaron's journey of self-belief and understanding his place in things that sets up the story, and around it we see the story change from his view as a visiting scientist to a fierce protector of the planet Viridis. Beginning with a defining moment of his youth that shapes his future instincts, the author takes you through Aaron's transformations as he learns to love, grieve, love again, and ultimately triumph over the very forces of mindless subjugation and assimilation of which he was initially a part.
The native aliens of Viridis also undergo a distinct journey. Although physically and psychically far more evolved than humans, they are emotionally stunted, naïve and split along gender lines - believing their omnipotent Creators to have deserted them as a failed experiment and doomed to extinction due to the overbearing mental dominance of the females over the repressed males.
In Aaron they see their saviour, and as with the other males of his crew, he is coerced into gifting reproduction to his mate, Nightsong. What follows is a bizarre evolutionary rollercoaster at high speed as Aaron and the aliens try to leap the gap in fertility, causing distress and anger amongst both Aaron and his former Captain and their offspring.
Woven into the love and heartbreak of these genetic problems is the discovery of the Creators machines below the ground and their array of awesome and terrifying powers - all of which lead to Aaron realising his potential (as bound and retold in the stories of his native heritage) and destiny as guardian of Viridis against the returning, now warlike Humans who want to carve up the planet for its riches. A final conflict brings a neat fulfilment to the story and leaves room for glimpses of what might yet be.
Rich with astonishing sights and sounds, primal fears and advanced technology, the simplicity of love and faith and the ugly faces of envy, greed and mistrust - this book is a magical tale that will have you hanging on right to the end.
A Senseless Act of Beauty
Average Rating: 5 ★★★★★
Date Added: 01/06/2012 by Darren Pulsford
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Cleverly mixing some traditional sci-fi elements: an alien...
Average Rating: 5