*I received a complimentary copy of this book, and I’m leaving a voluntary review*
Earth – Last Sanctuary (Universe in Flames I) by Christian Kallias
Note: I never deliberately spoil anything that I consider a major part of the plot, and I always double check to see how much is revealed in the official blurb to know what major things are already revealed and not. However, there might be minor things that certain people could consider spoilers, so read on at your own risk.
Plot: In short? An alien society is destroyed by enemies, they seek refuge in the corner of the universe, finds Earth and allies along the way.
Longer version? The Star Alliance is attacked, with devastating results. Fleeing to stay alive, the survivors with Lieutenant Chase Athanatos at the helm end up in an unknown corner of the universe. Right next to Earth.
Desperately in need of allies, and seeing as they are to blame for what happens next, the Star Alliance fight of the pursuing enemies and save Earth, which wins them their alliance. However, it’s only a matter of time before the next attack happens, and the remainders of the Star Alliance and their new friends on Earth have to work together to prepare the highly undeveloped planet for the next battle.
Review: Wow! I don’t even know where to start. This book is fun! I never knew I liked space opera this much until I read this. The book is light and funny but keeps you hooked in constantly, waiting for them to figure out their next move. He also keeps throwing out these little tidbits of mystery (not always relating to the main objective at hand), that just kept me turning pages upon pages.
Christian does this cool thing where he pulls in Earth’s own ancient history in a way that makes it highly relevant to the alien race of his story (by that I mean the protagonists’ race), and I found that to be hugely exciting to read. It works so great with developing his characters, giving them a sense of who they are, finding their own connection to Earth, as well as driving the plot and adding mystery to it. When it was first introduced it was to add purpose to the characters, but how they were connected to the particular piece of history wasn’t revealed. It was nearly infuriating that I was given a little piece of the puzzle without the rest, but it just kept me hooked.
And then we have the alien race “discovering” earth. This is another awesome effect, that gives the whole story a really unique perspective. We’re reading about ourselves as someone else (reader’s of this blog are from Earth yes?), seeing how they react to the way our world works, and it’s marvellous. It really makes you think about how the world works and it made me smile on several occasions.
Favorite: Character? By far Ryonna. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t any of the main characters, Chase or Sarah, but Ryonna the Droxian warrior. She’s the most badass woman I’ve ever read, putting the other characters to shame with her silver sword. I was sad to see her go when she left the main story to follow her side quest, but luckily for me, Christian has covered that in his other book, “Ryonna’s Trials”. I need this.
Scene? It’s difficult to say (especially without spoiling the book), but I can say that I absolutely loved the ending, and that I was right! (When am I not right?) Seeing as this is a series of nine books, it’s not unnatural that the book ends on bit of a cliffhanger, but don’t worry, the cliff isn’t very tall or steep. You’ll want to read the next book.
Also, did I mention that Christian managed to reference pikachu in between space battles, alien warrior princesses and Earth being dooomed. I’d read all of his books just for that.
If you like: Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate (SG-1 or other), Battlestar Galactica, Star craft… I could go on, basically anything with a star in it! If you love it, you’ll love this! I even kept thinking of the Halo series, and Riddick a couple of times, which is a big plus in my book! If you love space battles, aliens, futuristic technology… and I don’t know, saving the universe? Go read this. This has completely rebooted my love for scifi and space opera, I need more.
The only bad thing about Christian Kallais’ writing is that there’s too much of it! With nine books out in the series already, and more to come, it will be ages until I’ll have time to get through it all.
Absolutely recommended for any Sci-Fi lover!