“Universe: Awakening” by D. Ellis Overttun


artemisiconI took some time off to read a bunch of books I had borrowed from friends, but didn’t plan on reviewing, which is why I haven’t been posting reviews a lot lately. And last weekend I had a convention, which was why there was nothing on Thursday. I apologize, every once in a while my schedules collide!

But, I did finally finish this book. I had started it a while ago, and then the author asked me to wait on finishing the review. So as soon as I got the okay, I started reading it again.

According to Goodreads and the ending of the book, this is the first in a series. I do believe this is his first book, and like more firsts, it does need a bit of refining.

It takes place very, VERY far in the future, where humanity has evolved into two distinct species, the Celesti and the Gendu. The Gendu are much the way humanity is today, but the Celesti are an evolved form who essentially “run” the world. The thing that sets them apart the most is their life span, and how they pro-create. 10 000 years to them seems like 5 years to us. They go in and out of stasis and instead of two parents producing an offspring, two parents ascend and become two completely new people.

Because of this long life span, they can do things like send probes out into the universe and live long enough to see the results. The story starts with one such probe heading out to the edge of the Universe, but suddenly getting attacked by something unseen and unknown.

The idea behind the book is actually very interesting, and I will give the author that. There were so many aspects of his world that I wanted to know more about and see him delve more deeply into, but unfortunately he skimmed over the most (IMO) interesting parts. My issue is with his actual writing and pacing. But a lot of these come with time and lots, and lots of writing.

I found his writing very passive, and telling more than showing, so it kind of took me out of the rhythm of the story once in a while. I did find myself skimming entire pages or information that really didn’t have much to do with anything, trying to get back to the interesting story.

This also might just be me, but I felt he didn’t push the story as far as he could have. The world was incredibly far in the future yet their technology and way of life felt very our-lifetime. And he didn’t delve as far into that world as I would have liked. Being able to interface in a person’s brain (a la ‘The Cell’), Ascending, Aura’s, What do their buildings look like? How are they built? How advanced is the Gendu? How did the species separate? What about the monks? How were the Monks in the interface? Is the whole world like this or is this a city by city thing? Was there a space race kind of situation when they realized they would live long enough to  see probes that had to travel hundreds of years?

I’m trying not to sound cruel because it was a very interesting book, and I absolutely love the aspect of Aura’s. Aura’s help people identify rank and mental health, no matter how hard they try to hide it. And Aura’s can be warped and used as a tool, or can interact with tools.

I hope to see him explore more of his created world, and maybe push the line on how his world works. It truly was interesting, I was want to see MORE. Don’t toe the sci-fi line, bulldoze right on through it!

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