Thursday, October 11, 2012
Thursday Review: The Savior by Eric Filler
The Savior takes place a few months later. Lisa and the other human survivors have been using an ancient alien craft dubbed the Avenger to try and catch up to the S'Parnian warship that decimated their expedition before it reaches Earth. They get to a science station near Pluto only to find the aliens have beaten them there. Worse yet, Lisa finds her father on the station, dead along with everyone else.
After the aliens brush aside any resistance from the Martian colony, the crew of the Avenger comes up with a desperate plan to stop the aliens. With some help from the captured alien scientist S'Tallen, they hope to get a team on board the alien ship and sabotage its power core, thereby blowing the ship up.
Things don't go exactly as planned. A key plot point of First Contact was first officer Commander Arsa Veranda being captured by S'Tallen and used as an experiment to fuse her DNA with alien DNA to create a half-breed "Savior" prophesized in S'Parnian legends. The experiment was seemingly a bust, leaving Veranda as a freak of nature. But since she can at least from afar pass as an alien, she accompanies S'Tallen onto the alien ship.
Where things take an unexpected turn is when Veranda comes into contact with some of the "bio-energy" in the alien reactor. The bio-energy triggers a mutation that transforms Veranda into the Savior of legend, not to mention it gives her a much better complexion.
A truce is called between humans and S'Parnians. A new mission is then embarked upon. Instead of warring with Earth and using its population for food, the aliens want the humans to help them take the Savior back to their home planet. It promises to be a very long journey into the heart of enemy territory. But Lisa and her crew see no other alternative to avoiding a costly war.
As you'd expect, it's not a simple matter to just drop the transformed Veranda off on the alien planet and head home. There are not surprisingly a lot of S'Parnians who don't believe in the Savior myth and of course that this "Savior" is half-human does not make S'Parnians want to trust it. All of which leads to an epic showdown over the alien homeworld, one that will cost some humans and aliens their lives.
Like First Contact the writing in this is amateurish, but the story is a lot more epic than the previous one. There's a lot of space covered through the book. As well, much more is learned not only about the S'Parnians but also about how things are back on Earth and Mars.
And for you Twilight and Hunger Games fans we're treated not only to one love triangle, but two! The first involves Captain Shaw, her second-in-command Jack Laurants, and an old flame of Lisa's who joins the crew when they reach Earth. The second love triangle consists of two hunky soldiers of the Fifth Platoon--Sergeant Davis and Corporal Garren--vying for the affections of Ensign Laurie Terraz. To some extent those triangles get resolved, as one member of each is killed--I won't say who.
If you want action, the epic battle taking place in space and on the ground at the end is worth the wait. It's a lot like that last battle at the end of Return of the Jedi, only without Ackbar yelling, "It's a trap!" Though that line would certainly apply.
Anyway, if you're looking for some broad space opera this isn't a bad bet at only 99 cents. I'm just saying.
Tomorrow, brace yourself for the Illustrated Chapter 2 of A Hero's Journey!!!