- File Size: 466 KB
- Print Length: 75 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Lost In New World Publishing (January 1, 2016)
- Publication Date: January 1, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0195YIS9Q
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,507,967 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Beyond Terra: A novella in 'The Flow of Power' fantasy series Kindle Edition
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I believe Beyond Terra continues the adventures of Trenton after the first novel (and maybe the second). It is a fascinating stand-alone novel on its own if you don't mind that there is no conclusion. There are still characters whose fates I will wonder about. I don't have a problem with that; if you are a reader for which this is a problem you might want to avoid this. Also, this is not a genre I usually read despite wanting to read novels that are of interest to my son. I usually find it too much work.
This novella is not too much work. I found it fast paced enough that I read it in one sitting during a morning before I went to work. It was a pleasant start to the day. The imagery stayed with me throughout the day. There is a lot of high-tech stuff for which the author needs new vocabulary. In one section we have ““It’s a variation of plasicrete, not a bio-structure.” (loc 297-298) The author does not tell us about plasicrete or what bio-structure might be. He lets his characters do that. In other words, the author showed, not told, a story.
The novella is not without reader demands. There is sometimes switching between characters just when I was getting interested in their story. But I read on thinking that when I met the character again, I would find out more. I didn't completely succeed in the novella; I am looking forward to the longer works to do that.
Trenton is a former denizen of something called the lower realm. Physical damage to his legs have limited his future. An entity called Palltech had helped him medically and given him training in using some high-tech equipment such as an encapsulating body suit that almost turned him into a super-hero. As long as the power held out. The help from Palltech came at a price, Trenton needed to complete a mission for the company. He wasn't sure quite what the mission was or what final goal was to be reached but that was not important. He was to be guided every step of the way by Katy, a faceless but undoubtedly attractive dispatcher. She would answer all questions and be an over watch for him on his mission.
The mission involved climbing a mountain, defeating any defender attempts to hinder his climb, and covertly enter the headquarters of the high Realm. Katy would inform him of what was to come next. Things almost worked out. Somewhere on the journey he acquired a valuable artifact, purpose unknown, but it propelled him into an alternate world. There Mother Lore, The First Light, Khiminnay, and Daramay would all attempt to steal the artifact that propelled him there. They all have different motives; some are good for Trenton, some not. Trenton gets out of this world to yet another one (although not his original one as he wanted). There he meets Crystalyn and Sabella, among others, and must adjust to life here before he can attempt to get home. The novella ends with Trenton arriving at a gate which we believe might take him home. I am not sure I would look forward to going to a home where I had to continue my attack on a central headquarters of the Higher Realm sequestered in a Dome, but that's why this is fantasy.
The only part of the novella for which I had no feeling was the romantic life of Trenton. The guy falls for Daramay despite some disturbing information he finds. He falls for Khimimay, who doesn't like Daramay. He falls for Crystalyn. He falls for Sabella, the wife of an innkeeper and there is some mystifying ritual of bell ringing. Of course he is in love with Katy the dispatcher, despite her young age. But the amazing thing is that they all fall for him. I can empathize; I have led a similar life.
This novella is escapist fantasy. I will read more of Johnson's work. Maybe it is good to escape my favorite genre from time to time.
The second third is the discovery of this second and new world. The characters finally become somewhat human in appearance but they are all vicious, cynical, untrustworthy, felonious, treacherous, and many other negative characteristics of this general sort: obnoxious and hostile, and I have like the inclination to say, particularly women. But it is true men are not better though maybe less numerous. And you can be sure that if a woman seems to be helpful she is going to stash a dagger in your back or cut your throat, and if she revives you it will only be to steal something from you before dispatching you on the road to hell.
He will manage to get beyond this second world that will turn up into an extension of it and he will reach some gate that should take him back to Terra, his original Mountain. What a feast!
It is interesting to get along in this world and since it is a novella you do not have the long descriptions that would make the reading slow, nor the tenuous mental and unspiritual descriptions of the psyche of these virtual reality characters which would be absolutely unhelpful since the logic is not humane nor humanly sympathetic to the lot of any of these characters, even the main one. And that’s why the novella works in its own way, why we follow the story and do not skip paragraphs. In other words, it is just what it has to be to satisfy the curiosity of an averagely curious reader, a young man around 16, and it has to be a young man since the main character is a man to whom women cannot identify, and since women are either purely physically appealing on the surface and treacherous one layer deeper, or openly viciously hostile, I don’t see how women could project themselves into the story. But that is very standard with a majority of video games.
The philosophical – or maybe simply existential – vision of this universe is cataclysmic: a world of strict hierarchical social architecture with highly social exploitation of the lower levels by the top ones seen as a monarchy, though it might be what some leftist politicians in some countries call a monarchical republic, or a presidential monarchy. The magic is the simple magic or press a button or a symbol in the top left corner or half way on the left side and the world A dying under a terroristic nuclearized apocalyptic tyranny will instantly shift to world B which is not better since it is the same kind of tyranny with a supreme council that can be hijacked by its own president, or first councilor, and with a constant and oppressive presence of military personnel. We are living in a world that has to be either cathartic for the players who are not too evil (they will be able to be bad in the game in order to remain good in real life) or both traumatic and vindictive-making for the players who do not control their death instinct or who enjoy their death instinct when directed at other people, players who enjoy making other suffer or dying slowly, and some will eventually do it in real life for the entertainment of security forces and populist politicians.
Some will tell me that’s the rule of fantasy. But that’s not really the case in Tolkien who spent a lot of imagination and energy to build the psychology of the main characters shown as humane and human-oriented in empathy and sympathy, even when dealing with the evil forces they had to defeat. Trenton Bonner is more naïve and easily fooled by evil people and apparently he is the only one who maybe has some humanity in him. The Hobbit is human and humane because he is in a band of similar people, though all rich in psychological, psychic and supernatural diversity.
Enjoy the adventure, well the first episode of the adventure.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU
No spoilers. ..I won't say what happens to Trenton in his journey.
I will say that R.V. Johnson has superb world building skills...colorful, vivid, and detail-oriented.
Trenton is a new character to the up and coming series. He is ultimately joined by characters we have already met and have grown to either love or hate.
This story does end in a bit of a cliffhanger but I believe it's a gateway from "Beyond the Sapphire Gate " to the next chapter in this epic adventure!
I can't wait to see what happens next. ....