- File Size: 1227 KB
- Print Length: 286 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1905091958
- Publisher: LL-Publications (July 30, 2012)
- Publication Date: July 30, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008RADGYC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #814,147 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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ARIA: Left Luggage: Book One of The ARIA Trilogy - the Human Race is Dying to Remember Kindle Edition
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|Length: 286 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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It’s also interesting to watch a society slowly crumble. Most post-apocalyptic stories begin long after the instigating incident when the world is already a shambles. There are intriguing elements to a story like that too, but I’ve always enjoyed watching the initial moments as countries collapse and people scramble to deal with the affliction.
I love the mystery surrounding the alien artifact behind this illness. The novel is littered with hypotheses regarding its intent, and the reader is left to wonder what purpose it holds. Some readers might be frustrated with a lack of answers, but I personally enjoyed guessing throughout the novel. Is it a biological weapon meant to cripple our species or an attempt at communication that went horribly wrong? The strain that infects humanity may simply be part of the aliens’ biology that had an adverse reaction with our own. It could be the first phase of an interstellar war or a peaceful effort for a lonely species to connect with another. There are some interesting conversations when proponents of opposing theories discuss their views.
Too often self-published novels have atrocious spelling and grammar, to the point of making me cringe at the lack of care. I’m thankful to say “ARIA” isn’t one of those novels. No story is without a single mistake, but the ones in “ARIA” are so minimal that it’s obvious the author invested considerable time into his work. I only wish more self-published authors would commit an equal amount of time to making their work presentable. “ARIA” was a refreshing change of pace in this regard.
Despite this there are aspects that needed further research. For the most part this novel is well researched in terms of major areas, but it’s the little details that bring readers into a story. The distance between Lake Louise and Vancouver is described as 300 miles, when it’s actually a few miles shy of 500. A character in Canada refers to a group of soldiers as National Guard, but Canada doesn’t have an organization like that. The closest comparison is either the Canadian Forces Reserves or maybe the Canadian Rangers. An American character also uses a torch at one point, but in North America the correct term is a flashlight. No American would ever call one a torch (though later on he does use the proper term). This same American character also calls a truck a lorry, which is again only a British term. Late in the novel terabyte is incorrectly referred to as a tetrabyte, which is not even a proper word. This happens twice, suggesting the first incident wasn’t a simple spelling error. These all might seem minor, but incorrect smaller details detract from an otherwise well-written story.
Unfortunately some professionals also act like idiots to progress the story. When an unknown alien artifact is brought to earth, a technician actually chooses to remove his gloves and handle this potentially dangerous object with bare hands. It’s a little unbelievable that the most brilliant minds in one of the most advanced facilities on the planet would touch an alien device without protection. The excuse is that they already ran tests on it, but that still wouldn’t cause such an idiotic lapse in safety procedures. He was also paid by an outside agency to hurry the process along. This might explain his cavalier attitude, but there’s not a chance all the other technicians in the facility would merrily watch him spend several minutes poking and prodding with his bare fingers.
The author should state this is the beginning of a series. Many people will buy this expecting to have a full story, but that’s not the case. He does a disservice to potential customers by not stating it’s book one in a series. Readers looking for a complete story will be disappointed, because there’s no resolution to be found here. Fortunately the second book clearly states it’s part of a trilogy, though not the first. Overall this was an enjoyable concept with only a few minor flaws.
The story is simple. Some extraterrestrials decide to take over the earth. So they deposit a suitcase on the International Space Station. The suitcase is taken down to earth, then opened by some reckless cat who will not even be killed by his curiosity. That spread a virus on the planet at the speed of light. This virus destroys the memory of people backward, so that they lose their memory from right now back on, one year in just a few days. And they reach twenty or more years in a few months. It creates an artificial Alzheimer and the consequences should be the extinction of the human race when the loss of memory reaches birth since then they will lose the memory of their basic needs like hunger and thirst, though the book pretends they will keep the memory of reproduction, at least the need of that type of physical contact, producing babies that would be forgotten as soon as being born. Destruction all around.
But later on, the extraterrestrials deposit a second suitcase on the ISS. The team decides to take it down themselves with their shuttle and they select a base in Wales that is entirely cut off from the rest of the world and where a band of uninfected scientists have taken refuge incognito of anyone. The second suitcase is then opened and it reveals it propagates a second virus that amplifies the memory of people to the very simultaneous remembering of absolutely everything down to the last detail since even before birth. This mental cramming causes serious mental disruption and at least people simply get psychotic with headaches to accompany the disruption. And from psychotic to psychopath there is only one step and the victim of this second disruption starts killing or trying to kill. But he is also endowed with enhanced humanity and life and he can even survive mortal wounds, hence death itself.
Then the conclusion is simple “Where’s there’s life, there’s hope.” It sounds like Obama and these uninfected scientists manage to travel all around the globe to another isolated area where some scientists have taken refuge in the south Pacific. Yes, definitely, they can.
The best part is for me the emergence of the first virus in a Boeing Dreamliner flying from New York to London. It is hilarious to see how the people who are losing their memory are also losing their consciousness of why they were travelling to London and so they hi-jack the plane to go back to New York, and the book reveals that this hi-jacking is impossible today because any plane can be taken under control directly from some air-traffic controlling center and then no one can pilot the plane from the cockpit and the plane can be taken anywhere the technicians in the air-traffic controlling center decide. The bully passengers who have taken over the plane thus find out the plane is directed onto a disaffected airstrip where it will be quarantined for as long as they will remember, and remember is interesting since they are losing their memory. Quarantine forever.
There are dozens of situations of that type that are dramatically humorous. And the escape of the English scientists and the ISS team from Wales to move to the South Pacific is just both incredible and funnily absurd, not funny ah ah but funny strange of course, like the famous joke of old about French cows who have five legs and not four like all self-respecting English cows.
But the author is titillating us with an important question: what is the role of memory in life? It is crucial since the loss of memory is the surest way to die, and at the same time, the preservation of memory will provide every living person with the consciousness that life is lethal since it leads to death anyway and at all times. You must admit it is crucial, isn’t it? Unconscious death as opposed to conscious death. The choice of the century.
And excessive memory leads to psychosis. Luckily the author avoided the now un-trendy if not politically incorrect term of schizophrenia. Psychosis means killing to survive, though survival is short lived in a way. But it also leads to self-preservation on the side of “normal” people who kill the deranged people with no pangs of conscience at all. Memory is the core capability of our brain and central nervous system that enables all other mental capabilities starting with sensing, perceiving, identifying or recognizing (naming), experimenting, speculating and conceptualizing without which no language is possible, no abstract thinking is possible, no human species is possible. Our memory associated to the mutations brought to us by the emergence of the bipedal long distance fast runner that Homo Sapiens was some 300,000 years ago gave Homo Sapiens the tools he needed to invent and develop our human articulated languages. No memory then no language, not even the simple set of eight or nine calls a standard monkey species have at their disposal.
Yet I think the description of this loss of memory is rather tamed by the fact it is seen essentially through people who do not lose their memory. When someone is severely hit by Alzheimer they may well lose the ability to eat and drink and only very basic physical functions will survive for a while, like breathing and rejecting waste. That leads some older people to the simple situation when they have to be fed otherwise they won’t do it on their own, and they won’t communicate anymore. They are not reduced to a vegetal state because a plant does not forget to breathe and their roots do not forget to work and the plant’s nourishment comes from the roots and the breathing of the leaves.
Highly entertaining though totally foolish crazy mad science-fiction directly out of Mad Magazine and their Alfred E. Newman. In a way, it is refreshing to know that on this planet some people might be slightly saner than most others, especially politicians.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU