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Aurora Rising Paperback – January 26, 2010
About the Author
Toni Seger has been a professional writer for over 40 years. Her many interests are evident in her fiction, theater, film work and other writing. Toni Seger has been a professional writer more than 40 years. Her many interests are evident in her novels, plays, film work and other writing. Her plays receive raves whenever they’re performed and have been staged in Portland, Maine, New York City, London and cable television. For the last decade, Seger has been a multi-media artist recording professional interpretations of poetry by Timothy Victor Richardson and interpreted by Jeff Flint as well as producing films on DVD inspired by Richardson’s work. An award winning film maker, her film ‘The Force of Poetry’, is a reading and lecture on the meaning, mechanics and significance of poetry. In its endorsement, Maine Public Broadcasting wrote: “The effect is to inject life and heartbeat into what is often thought of as an inert, hard-to-read art form, and the result is educational and entertaining.” A former art dealer and proponent of the arts in all forms, Seger is the founder of the Western Maine Cultural Alliance using her extensive background in cultural marketing to open opportunities for artists in the rural scenic landscape she loves. Aurora Rising is the second in a series of three novels satirizing the pros and cons of our modern mechanized world. People’s numerical identification defines their capability, gene pools determine career placement, research laboratories offer the most prestigious professions and with ubiquitous spy technology, privacy is virtually non-existent. The consequences of creating a modern Frankenstein in the first book, The Telefax Box, ripple throughout the last two books of the trilogy.
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In The Telefax Box, I was drawn to the technology depictions of different life forms all brought together in a planetary "United Nations" of sorts. Aurora Rising builds on that and goes more into subjects like diplomacy, societal norms and acceptance, and governmental hypocrisy. I probably would have been more in tune with everything going on had there been less time between my reading of The Telefax Box and this book. As such, my mind tended to wander a bit at times. In addition, Aurora Rising doesn't stand very well on its own. You really need to read The Telefax Box first, and there needs to be a third book in order to wrap things up. Given those "keep this in mind" caveats, Aurora Rising gives the reader a number of things to chew on while they wait for the final installment.
Obtained From: Author
Aurora Rising had me engrossed. I rooted for Aurora and stood by her side. She's an intelligent misfit and deserves her place in society. The character's are alive and work well into the story. It was cleverly written to encompass life's most burdensome problems. I could see this becoming a movie or series on TV.
In "The Telfax Box", I felt the focus was much more on social aspects of our society, such as disabilities and social status, e.g. aquatics forced to use uncomfortable troughs to interact with other species, but in this book my focus was drawn more to technology and the varying degrees which different cultures rely on it. At the same time, while the line between being and machine is a key in both books, the theme is much more front and center in this novel, as the universe is forced to deal with half-beings (i.e. half-machines, half-beings); the idea of which is abhorred by almost everyone, yet at the same time is actively pursued by their scientists.
This story focuses on beings which don't completely fit into any society. We have two key characters which have in the part of two very different societies. There is Yon, a half-Samerac, half-Zanton, who doesn't fit in either the technological universe dominated by the Zantons, nor with the anti-machine Samerac society. And there is Aurora, a half-machine, half-Samerac who is also balanced between two opposed forces. Aurora is actually three times an exile, she is part machine which excludes her from those who are beings, she is a Samerac who are exiles from the Federation, and she is with the Dodis, who are exiled from the rest of Samara for their near-worship of machines.
I found the story to be much more complex than that in "The Telefax Box". There are some wonderful moments, such as the treatment of a book as being an exotic item, and valued for being more convenient than a reading-spool. It relates well to the current technology war over e-Readers, i.e. Kindle, iPad, and Nook. Equally good is the satire of environmentalism, or lack thereof with Central Command on the verge of self-destruction through expansion and the dealings with the Dodis in a push to gain control of resources on Samera. Politics also plays a much bigger role in this book, which again adds to the overall complexity of the story.
This is a good second book to the series, but not quite as good as the first book. While the satire is still very good, I felt as if I read a complete story with "The Telefax Box", and it left me wanting to read what happened next. With "Aurora Rising" I feel as if I have only read part of a story. Thus this one is about 3½ stars for me, but I am rounding up because I like the satire and it is not the usual fare.