I was offered a free copy of this book in audio format by the author in exchange for an honest review.
The peaceful and naïve Raog live a pleasant life on Varo, but one day Doctor Wong discovers a planet at the other side of their sun and they decide to communicate with anyone who could live there. Shortly after they are invaded by them and must learn quickly how to defend themselves and learn that not every culture is based on respect and peace.
I loved this book. Ray Perreault does not only tell about the story but also gives us a background, describing how the Raog society works, their motivations and their believes. This makes the story to be slowly paced at times, but one can enjoy how the Raog world is and the relationships among them. The characters are beautifully constructed, and I especially enjoyed the description of their culture. It is a religion and respect based society, who live from and for their soil, since their main food and materials source is a plant called jabom.
The attackers are at first described as a reckless race and I was worried that this was going to be a story of the good against the evil, but further along the story we see that the others have their motivations, that not everything in their culture is bad, and that there are good individuals caring for a better world.
This story is about the clash between two different cultures, how one must always learn and adapt to new situations, and despite how bad things can go, there is always hope.
One thing that stroke me as strange was how unified the Raog were. On a planet with no extraplanetary relationships it feels strange having a unique Gran Leader. Also, the language unification felt a little bit artificial on a planet where nobody traveled far since they had everything they needed close by. Anyway, these are minor complaints.
What really ruined my experience was the audio. Paul Stefano’s narration was flat and dry and most of the time he was more mumbling than talking. The audio production did not improve this, and I had issues listening to the audiobook in noisy environments, like driving or on the street.
All in all, this is a wonderful story, deep and rich; but I would not recommend the audio version due to the above. And may your soil always bear jabom.
Available at Amazon/Audibleea
My name is Elena. Since I was a little child I loved science fiction and fantasy, and I can’t resist to a good novel. In 2015, while wait I started to listen to audiobooks and I discovered the pleasure in being able to read while doing my daily tasks, so there’s always an audiobook playing on my phone. If you see me with my Bluetooth headphones on, please be gentle, I get easily startled.
I live with my boyfriend, which I met during my six-years stay in Belgium, three cockatiels, eight lovebirds, and a Gouldian finch in Madrid, Spain; and I like to spend my free time knitting and sewing while listening to audiobooks.