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Under the Thelian Sky Paperback – November 21, 2013
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Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
Oct 05, 2012 Sabrina Ricci rated it 4 of 5 stars
What was most interesting to me was how each character's faith was portrayed. Life on Sol Four was very corrupt, with a restrictive government that refused to give its people a chance to live when they found out their world was so polluted it would no longer be habitable. This corruption led to one of the main characters, the leader of the Underground movement that helped some people get to Earth, Dæbéüra, to turn to a life of killing at a young age to support...
About the Author
After struggling for decades with faith and manic depression, Frank Olvera (aka "The Christian Noob") finally decided to work on stories that remained dormant in various notebooks and disks - now releasing his debut, Under the Thelian Sky.
He holds a degree in audio engineering and another in computer science. He has also been involved in other fields such as education and journalism. He has published and managed several websites with information ranging from music to technologies to wrestling to religion, for which he received several awards and recognition from several entities in each of the different fields. He has also received several awards for poetry.
As a science fiction writer and as a geek, I am heavily influenced by programs and films like Doctor Who (BBC, 1963-1989, 1996, 2005-present), James Bond (MGM, 1962-present), Star Wars Episode IV (20th Century Fox, 1977) and V (1980) and Star Trek (CBS Studios, 1966-1969) and TNG (1987-1994) - to name a few.
Growing up Catholic, he found many aspects that he did not understand or care for in Catholicism. Hence he strayed for about thirteen years. He finally returned to the Church in the fall of 2008 choosing a Presbyterian church where has been involved in various ministries. He also became an ordained minister by the Universal Life Church in 2010 - as a means to study the Word of God in more detail and servitude. Nowadays he neither considers himself Catholic anymore nor Presbyterian for that matter - just Christian.
He lives in New York with his wife and children where he has been an advocate for the mentally disabled.
Top customer reviews
I'd characterize the writing style of the story to be experimental, since it's written as a report. At times, this can be dry, but overall it tells multiple storylines of what happened to people during the final days they lived on Mars before some of them escaped to Earth.
What was most interesting to me was how each character's faith was portrayed. Life on Sol Four was very corrupt, with a restrictive government that refused to give its people a chance to live when they found out their world was so polluted it would no longer be habitable. This corruption led to one of the main characters, the leader of the Underground movement that helped some people get to Earth, Dæbéüra (a.k.a. Dæbs), to turn to a life of killing at a young age to support her brother and two sisters. Her parents died when she was young, and she and her family ended up living with a priest. However, this did not stop Dæbs from becoming a cleaner and being paid to kill criminals.
Since the story is a report meant to cover multiple people's backgrounds, at times I was a little disappointed that certain storylines were cut short or summarized. For example, when I read about Dæbs' past life and what happened when she initially tried to retire as a cleaner, I felt that her whole backstory could have easily been turned into its own book. I was engrossed, and frustrated I could not read more details.
However, I think Under the Thelian Sky does a great job of showing different sides of humanity and exploring how people react to big events. There's a lot of redemption and sacrifice, though as someone who is not particularly religious, every once in a while it felt a little preachy.
SPOLIER ALERT: There's a nice twist at the end where we find out that the report also documents mankind's time on Earth (Sol Three), and we learn that the Earth has since been destroyed and humans have successfully fled to a new world, known as Terra. In that sense this story is sort of a cautionary tale of what may happen to us if we keep taking our resources for granted; it also outlines how mankind's faith may change as our surroundings change.
Under the Thelian Sky is a good eye-opener that creatively explores how humanity is shaped. If you're looking for something unique, then I recommend reading this book.