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Jaxxa Rakala: The Search (Volume 1) Paperback – June 10, 2013
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Jaxxa Rakala is a scifi tale following Ken Brody, a man who lost his wife Stacey to an alien abduction and is left to raise his two daughters alone. Ken is consumed with finding her and works diligently on a secret project to do just that.
His daughters Jacquline and Tracey grow increasingly distant from their absent father creating a tension felt throughout much of the book. Jacquline is a typical moody teenager angry with her father while Tracey is much younger and realizes she’s more than a normal girl.
Ken himself is a man you both love and hate, a trait Bryan Caron does well in this and “Year of the Songbird,” the other book if his I’ve read. He has a knack for making the hero human, including all their flaws. He doesn’t make his protagonists vanilla “good-guys,” but makes sure we understand they have warts. It’s because of those warts we can relate to the characters so much better.
Ken and his assistant Lark blast off in their secret ship, built to withstand the speed of light, on a maiden voyage testing the limits of their construction. As they race toward an unknown destination, the ship begins to falter and Ken and Lark struggle to maintain its integrity. Little do they know, stowaways were onboard and soon Ken’s anger grows at the unwelcome visitors.
The story escalates from there, and the legend of Jaxxa Rakala is explained. The legend states Jaxxa Rakala was the strongest being in the universe, and to prevent her from taking over, a gem was created out of her blood to neutralize her power. The gem is useless to anyone but those with her blood running in them.
It’s an excellent backstory for the rest of the quest and one that frames the action moving forward.
Themes of family and emotion and what exactly it means to be human dominate the narrative of Jaxxa Rakala. Families aren’t perfect and humans are flawed, something we’d all do well to remember.
Bryan Caron is an author I’d read over and over again. His style is so fluid and he knows how to weave a tale. Though this book is a few years old, it’s well worth your time checking out. The action is gripping and the characters are believable. If you’re looking for a well written, well told story set in the far reaches of space with a flawed human family, you need to try Jaxxa Rakala.
Relentless in his focus to find Stacey and to fix his broken family, Ken neglected his daughters -a rebellious older daughter Jacquline “Jacks” and a reserved 8-year old Tracey “Squint” -leaving them to bond more deeply with each other.
But left to their own devices each gets into trouble. Jacquline, with the help of Harlet and Jay, break into homes and gets arrested. Tracey, cruelly taunted by a group of ten kids at school, fights back and gets into trouble.
As Ken and Lark Steines rushes to the spaceship and takes off to search for Stacey, the two girls were onboard as stowaways. In their journey they encounter troubles and near death before being rescued on board the Equinox. The cast of characters on that ship include Qah-Shekel, who finds the crystal he was assigned to retrieve, the gem of Jaxxa Rakala...the key to all powers in the universe, for a smuggler that lives on Hasten-Jackai, a trading post; Kahli, the android “Rega”; DovenJadden, the cat and the tactical technician, Sentilla, the pilot, and Massanah and Naja-Leku who later died in the battle.
In the fight for the gem of Jaxxa Rakalaa, in Xyneris, the second moon of Gerinhale to retrieve the gem and the child of the one with the blood of Jaxxa Rakala, the one who bears the mark, they battle with the Eyrixano and the alien vermons.
Bryan Caron spins a thrilling tale with action and suspense that’ll have you holding on and turning the pages in this sci-fi adventure.