Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Review: "Resurrection" by Arwen Elys Dayton

This is an Amazon Vine review.

Science-Fiction in pastel colours

Eight light years from Earth the Kinley civilization is struggling to recover from a devastating nuclear war which has almost obliterated them. And now they have intelligence that their enemy has plans to eradicate them for good. However, four and a half thousand years ago, just before the war, they sent a survey ship to Earth using a new faster-than-light technology, a breakthrough which has since been lost. If they can only recover the secret then perhaps they can prevail. An elite soldier, Pruit, is sent to Earth using a fusion-powered spacecraft and hibernation equipment, to see what can be recovered.

The Kinsey survey team arrived on Earth in Egypt, in 2607 BC. With their FTL ship destroyed in an earthquake, they are marooned yet treated as Gods by the locals. They build their own hibernation pods in a secret location and await an eventual rescue team from Kinley.

After an eighteen year flight, Pruit arrives on present-day Earth and is soon tangled up with archaeologists, an enemy sent to covertly track her and a surprising enemy here on Earth. The complex plot turns into a thriller as all parties hunt for the secret of the lost technologies to give them an edge in the war to come.

This is a Young Adult book, with good characterisation and an exciting finale. There is an essential ‘niceness’ to most of the characters – this is a novel which leans over backwards to be fair – giving the book a comfortable and reassuring feel: it’s the antithesis of ‘edgy’.

The plot has as many holes as a sieve: we are endlessly asked to believe that an advanced civilization can’t do many obvious things. Pruit’s lander is destroyed on arrival but her ship, out at Jupiter, apparently can’t be remotely contacted to come and collect her; Pruit has a ‘fullsuit’ with amazing diagnostic and healing qualities, but it’s apparently unable to notice a ball-bearing size tracer stuck in her back by the enemy; and the Kinley were surely careless to lose all references to their super-important FTL breakthrough.

We can forgive all of this though for an interesting story well-told.