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The Alien Corps: Book 1 in the Prosperine Series

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"When the Son of God is slain on another world, look to the death of the Universe."—Ancient prophecy. Earth’s Intragalactic Agency is negotiating with the government of the planet Prosperine for exclusive mining rights to the rare metal Crynidium, needed to power their faster-than-light Surfboard® technology. Intelligence suggests a radical element is plotting to overthrow t "When the Son of God is slain on another world, look to the death of the Universe."—Ancient prophecy. Earth’s Intragalactic Agency is negotiating with the government of the planet Prosperine for exclusive mining rights to the rare metal Crynidium, needed to power their faster-than-light Surfboard® technology. Intelligence suggests a radical element is plotting to overthrow the government, while a mystic known as the Teacher has been seen performing miracles. They approach the Alien Corps to assist with their investigation. More is at stake than Earth’s trading supremacy. If this Teacher turns out to be the one the Alien Corps have been looking for so long, it could signal the end of all life in the galaxy. Commander Hickory Lace and her team are sent to investigate. If you enjoy tales of future dystopias packed with action and adventure, you'll love The Alien Corps. Mystery, adventure, psi abilities, an alien who could be the incarnation of Jesus, and a classic writing style that evokes Simak, Heinlein, and Anderson. ® Registered Trade Mark of the Intragalactic Agency


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"When the Son of God is slain on another world, look to the death of the Universe."—Ancient prophecy. Earth’s Intragalactic Agency is negotiating with the government of the planet Prosperine for exclusive mining rights to the rare metal Crynidium, needed to power their faster-than-light Surfboard® technology. Intelligence suggests a radical element is plotting to overthrow t "When the Son of God is slain on another world, look to the death of the Universe."—Ancient prophecy. Earth’s Intragalactic Agency is negotiating with the government of the planet Prosperine for exclusive mining rights to the rare metal Crynidium, needed to power their faster-than-light Surfboard® technology. Intelligence suggests a radical element is plotting to overthrow the government, while a mystic known as the Teacher has been seen performing miracles. They approach the Alien Corps to assist with their investigation. More is at stake than Earth’s trading supremacy. If this Teacher turns out to be the one the Alien Corps have been looking for so long, it could signal the end of all life in the galaxy. Commander Hickory Lace and her team are sent to investigate. If you enjoy tales of future dystopias packed with action and adventure, you'll love The Alien Corps. Mystery, adventure, psi abilities, an alien who could be the incarnation of Jesus, and a classic writing style that evokes Simak, Heinlein, and Anderson. ® Registered Trade Mark of the Intragalactic Agency

30 review for The Alien Corps: Book 1 in the Prosperine Series

  1. 4 out of 5

    D.C. Wolf

    Avanaux: A Hickory Lace Adventure is a vivid, fast-paced sci-fi adventure by PJ McDermott who is gifted with an incredible writing style. (The description of the story is well-defined by the author in his own words, so I did not feel it necessary to repeat them here in this review.) Reading Avanaux was a pleasure, feeling as if your own two feet were planted on the ground of the wonderful world that McDermott depicts. You were immersed with the team as they traveled from Earth, through space, to Avanaux: A Hickory Lace Adventure is a vivid, fast-paced sci-fi adventure by PJ McDermott who is gifted with an incredible writing style. (The description of the story is well-defined by the author in his own words, so I did not feel it necessary to repeat them here in this review.) Reading Avanaux was a pleasure, feeling as if your own two feet were planted on the ground of the wonderful world that McDermott depicts. You were immersed with the team as they traveled from Earth, through space, to Prosperine. The story reminded me a beautiful painting, where its surface of vibrant colors or subject matter, simply and elegantly drawn, reel you in, and then upon deeper reflection, it’s the details, the brushstrokes (like the insertion of technologies), the hidden or obscured “imagery” (for example, the torment Hickory endures that weaves in and out of the story) that makes the composition work and stay with you. McDermott’s prose is descriptive, yet efficient. It’s an easy and comfortable read with clear, focused, and bold concepts. I found Prosperine and the aliens in Avanaux believable and interesting. And, the theological facet was cleverly done; a new approach to an age-old question. I do wish the heroine (Hickory Lace) had a bit more depth. I did not feel any particular attachment to her as compared to the others on her team. She just didn’t stand out for me. Also, I would have liked to see her “gifts” used sooner in the novel, and more cleverly. One gift in particular was fuzzy, with no clear explanation (I do not want to give away any spoilers.) The two very distinctive parallel plots kept me wondering if they would eventually collide or merge into one. And, whereas one plot line was clear and familiar, the other, the hint of a coming apocalypse left no trail of breadcrumbs. The focus was on the Teacher, but not enough “events” to carry you along with the premise. While the world building was spectacular in detail, some of the action scenes, or the demise of some of the characters were hurried, or too quickly resolved (i.e. suspense). The human/alien relationships were well thought out. And, the contrast between two societies in their current stages of technological advancements was also very clever and interesting. All in all, I would highly recommend Avanaux. There is a descriptive purity that you rarely see in a writer. That alone is reason to read this novel. It’s refreshing and engaging, almost musical. I couldn’t put it down (I read it in one day), but, in the end I was left with wanting a bit more.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rafael

    Avanaux (A Hickory Lace scifi-fantasy adventure) lives up to its subtitle. It is a rock em/sock em, roll up your sleeves, put on your sneakers adventure filled with intrigue, mystery, good guys, bad guys, demoralizing captures, narrow escapes, tense fights, and epic battles. Avanaux is the northern continent on the planet Prosperine where galactic forces have cast malevolent eyes on its crynidium deposits, needed for ftl travel. Hickory Lace and her two teammates, Gareth and Jess, drop into this Avanaux (A Hickory Lace scifi-fantasy adventure) lives up to its subtitle. It is a rock em/sock em, roll up your sleeves, put on your sneakers adventure filled with intrigue, mystery, good guys, bad guys, demoralizing captures, narrow escapes, tense fights, and epic battles. Avanaux is the northern continent on the planet Prosperine where galactic forces have cast malevolent eyes on its crynidium deposits, needed for ftl travel. Hickory Lace and her two teammates, Gareth and Jess, drop into this cauldron to determine if a mystical figure's presence, who may or may not be the predicted Messiah, might stir unrest, foment rebellion, and threaten who controls crynidium mining. Stage set, the curtain rises, and the adventure begins. While the plot and characters break no new ground, you'll find yourself shaking a fist at their ill-advised risks, groaning at the contrivances needed to pull them out, rolling your eyes when they stumble into traps, then urge them to run faster when pursuers close the distance. Whatever the plot's weaknesses, the emotional involvement of a reader is the hallmark of a good storyteller. Finally, I commend the author for his courageous stance in including a character who Hickory, without ever becoming didactic or preachy, thinks might be a returned Jesus Christ. Too many writers play it safe, unwilling to compromise potential sales or step onto treacherous ground. Fiction is at its best when a novelist does not flinch at being provocative. With summer looming, Avanaux is a fun read perfect for the backyard hammock or a comfortable beach chair while on holiday.

  3. 4 out of 5

    E.G. Manetti

    Initially, I was not sure I was going to enjoy Avanaux. The initial high-tech bike race left me confused rather than curious. By the third chapter, I was totally hooked. This intriguing story takes place roughly 160 years in the future where faster-than-light-speed is only one of a number of extraordinary technologies, and earth is part of a confederation of aligned planets. If I have a quibble with Avanaux, it is that 160 years feels a little to ‘near future’ given the technology and breadth of Initially, I was not sure I was going to enjoy Avanaux. The initial high-tech bike race left me confused rather than curious. By the third chapter, I was totally hooked. This intriguing story takes place roughly 160 years in the future where faster-than-light-speed is only one of a number of extraordinary technologies, and earth is part of a confederation of aligned planets. If I have a quibble with Avanaux, it is that 160 years feels a little to ‘near future’ given the technology and breadth of interstellar exploration. In this future, a special branch of space-explorers is dedicated to discovering if an ancient (currently unknown) text by Saint Phillip could be true – that the second coming of Christ would be on a distant planet. Hickory Lace is member of this unique group and wonderful addition to the Action Heroine pantheon with her combination of intelligence, empathy, and combat skills. As in all true action adventure (science fiction or otherwise), nothing goes according to plan. Enemies appear from nowhere and betrayal comes from unexpected sources. Rounding out an excellent read is McDermott’s brilliantly creative depictions of distant worlds and humanoid species that evolved along avian and other lines.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John

    2019 grade C+ = Optional plus read. This was just the sample sent by Amazon but I do not know how to enter that in Goodreads. Anyway my notes say it is a SciFi Messiah Search. Interesting but not enough to make me buy the book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kayne Milhomme

    “Avanaux: A Hickory Lace Adventure” was an enjoyable read. The ‘world building’ was one of the most fascinating aspects of the novel, with the depth and breadth of the setting creating an immersive experience for the reader. Not only are the various races, planetary sceneries, and governing galactic organizations both interesting and well-formed, but the details of the technology employed throughout the novel is artistically defined without being overly complicated. Therefore the technology does “Avanaux: A Hickory Lace Adventure” was an enjoyable read. The ‘world building’ was one of the most fascinating aspects of the novel, with the depth and breadth of the setting creating an immersive experience for the reader. Not only are the various races, planetary sceneries, and governing galactic organizations both interesting and well-formed, but the details of the technology employed throughout the novel is artistically defined without being overly complicated. Therefore the technology does not intrude on the story, but complements it. Within the colorful setting there are of course the characters and plot. The characters are compelling, especially the protagonist Hickory Lace, who is ornamented with imperfections and bears the burden of a broken relationship with her father. This theme ebbs and flows throughout the novel, yet is always looming like an approaching thunderstorm, ready to release its torrent. In this regard, the protagonist and her team—though they are high-performing professionals—bring their own shortcomings to the table that adds a compelling dynamic to their encounters and interactions. Additionally, there is a realistic grit to the challenges they face, which provides severity to the situation and ‘ups the ante’ for the reader. Science fiction has covered a lot of ground, but this plot has a unique quality to it and stands out as such, primarily the theme of the team trying to discover if Christ has appeared (in relevant physical forms) on other inhabited planets. This particular theme is indicative of the originality displayed in Avanaux. There some touching moments, and some darker ones, ensuring that the reader will be pulled along the roiling current without being able to predict the outcome. The writing style, while not elaborate or overly descriptive, is rhythmic and vivid, with good pacing, and fits the style of the novel well all the way to the final climactic scenes.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Robert Grey

    Wow. Just wow. The premise is fascinating: A newly discovered religious text convinces the Vatican to scour the Universe looking for the Son of God. Fifty years on they are starting to lose hope... Enter Hickory, an empath with serious daddy-issues. Chosen to lead a team of specialists to investigate a religious prophet on a distant world. And then the subplots kick in: a murder, FTL-fuel smugglers, betrayals galore, assassination plots, a violent coup, and my favorite; a really cool alien race (th Wow. Just wow. The premise is fascinating: A newly discovered religious text convinces the Vatican to scour the Universe looking for the Son of God. Fifty years on they are starting to lose hope... Enter Hickory, an empath with serious daddy-issues. Chosen to lead a team of specialists to investigate a religious prophet on a distant world. And then the subplots kick in: a murder, FTL-fuel smugglers, betrayals galore, assassination plots, a violent coup, and my favorite; a really cool alien race (the Bikashi). Twists abound as the story unfolds. It's an excellent premise, executed well and the ending is satisfying. All of the threads are resolved with plenty of setup for the coming sequel. I was thoroughly impressed and would enjoy reading future books from this author. Happily recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    R.A.

    Visit a Strange New World I was really impressed with this book from start to finish. The author's crisp, clear writing style was truly a pleasure to read. The adventure never let up. The characters were interesting and relatable. And the world! The author really lets you see the world of Avanaux, from the strange looking people, to the odd and sometimes terrifying beasts. The science is all believable and there's enough without it being too much. The book has a satisfying conclusion, while at th Visit a Strange New World I was really impressed with this book from start to finish. The author's crisp, clear writing style was truly a pleasure to read. The adventure never let up. The characters were interesting and relatable. And the world! The author really lets you see the world of Avanaux, from the strange looking people, to the odd and sometimes terrifying beasts. The science is all believable and there's enough without it being too much. The book has a satisfying conclusion, while at the same time leaving you ready for the next adventure. I can't wait to read book 2. If you like sci fi adventure with strange alien races, political intrigue, and a guy who may or may not be the messiah thrown into this fascinating mix, then you're going to really like Avanaux and you should get it today!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Scott

    “Alien Corps” is the first book in the “Prosperine” series which I would classify as a spiritual contemporary science fiction story; written by PJ McDermott. The audiobook was well narrated by Lisa Michelle Negron who has a few Audible titles under her belt at the time of this review. As a side note, the author has also available a prequel to this story called “Born of Fire”. The book’s main character (Hickory) is sent to a newly discovered planet so she can report back on its political associat “Alien Corps” is the first book in the “Prosperine” series which I would classify as a spiritual contemporary science fiction story; written by PJ McDermott. The audiobook was well narrated by Lisa Michelle Negron who has a few Audible titles under her belt at the time of this review. As a side note, the author has also available a prequel to this story called “Born of Fire”. The book’s main character (Hickory) is sent to a newly discovered planet so she can report back on its political association along with the availability of a precious element needed by Earth’s ships to achieve faster than light space travel. Additionally, she is assigned the role of seeking out and communicate with a spiritualist called “The Teacher” relating to a prophesy discovered long ago. Not only these, but our main character is also known for her blemished past from a previous assignment, which could affect her new assignment. If you enjoy more young adult science fiction writing style and a bit of spirituality woven in, you might find this book appealing. For me, the book was a bit fractured and flat compared to others in the genre. I’m not to say it is a bad book, but I found that it was quite different than what I had expected from its description. It was neither an amazing science fiction story nor a complete disaster. I found the story, its characters and its narration somewhat mediocre based on the number of book I have listened too. However, I would say if you enjoy YA writing style and science fiction, you might find this book appealing. From the book’s summary description, I did not expect it to be written in a YA-style. The conversations and sentence structure were often quite simplistic and lacked a sense of depth. With the detailed world building, I felt like I was dropped into an original Star Trek series episode and I sat back to watch it unfold. However, I was hoping both the characters and story would align to take full advantage of this great world, but I did not feel they did. Many of the characters felt non-dimensional and I could not find a character that I really related too or cared for deeply. Again, this may be based on the book’s writing and story focus. I found the religious or spiritual aspects of the book an odd addition along with some questionable theological components. While I understand this is a piece of science fiction, I think the book could have done without the spiritual underpinnings and still been a good story. I did enjoy the continued search and negotiation for this precious element as the story progressed. You can see the struggle between the relations to the planet’s inhabitants and was it more important than the resources necessary for space travel? Yet, at times there were technologies included on this distant and foreign world that are a part of our world that felt wrong to be elsewhere. For example, the GPS (global positioning system) reference that was used to track people on the planet, I felt it should have been called something else or referred to as something like our GPS. Although I will admit this was a small thing, I do remember clearly when it was used and how it pulled me from the story. There is a need for one to suspend belief while reading this story, and if you can get past that it is well laid out. I did like the superstitions of the tribal people when they met more modern-day weapons or objects and how they tried to explain them to one another. The book’s narration by Lisa Michelle Negron was good. She was able to easily voice the multiple characters along with a few accents giving characters their own unique personalities. Some of the narration was a bit monotone or lacking inflection which the story required. The audio itself was clean and free of any artifacts I recall. The narrator’s voice was easy to understand, and the reading was at a good pace. For parents and younger readers, take note that this book does contain vulgar language, alcohol use, some rather graphic depictions of torture, and some sexual subject matter (prostitution and innuendos) which may not be appropriate for all audiences. In summary, although I did not find the book overly enjoyable, it was entertaining, and the world was well crafted. Most of the story lines are closed in this book, yet it is clear that there are going to be additional books in the series released. I would have liked for the author to have carry over the complexity of the world to the characters and the story itself as I believe this would have made it much more likeable. Maybe future books in the series will give us the depth and escape many of us enjoy when listening to audiobooks.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael Eging

    Interstellar Search for Truth. Okay, who can not be interested in a hero named Hickory? The Alien Corps is the beginning of a series that explores an alien world for clues to the nature of God and His relationship with all creation, across the stars. While I enjoyed the book overall, it was a slow start. There is a lot of background about the characters, the situation they and the civil authorities find themselves in, as well as the Alien Corps which is not a civil organization. Rather, it is Interstellar Search for Truth. Okay, who can not be interested in a hero named Hickory? The Alien Corps is the beginning of a series that explores an alien world for clues to the nature of God and His relationship with all creation, across the stars. While I enjoyed the book overall, it was a slow start. There is a lot of background about the characters, the situation they and the civil authorities find themselves in, as well as the Alien Corps which is not a civil organization. Rather, it is an elite group of Vatican explorers who are tasked with sifting through other cultures for spiritual truth. This is an interesting premise. As the story evolves, you see the complexities this causes with the Earth authorities when an Alien Corps team gets caught in the crossfire. I enjoyed being dropped into an alien culture, that didn’t appear or act as humans. The world of Prosperine is one that definitely would make for epic world building. However, if there is one fault, the search for ties with alien worlds as well as the dialogue are too on the nose. You kinda know that they find what they’ve looked for for decades soon after they land. However, it was an interesting read.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie Dale Keck

    Kindle Unlimited {sometimes here and there one may be through freebie day from some site} Hickory Lace is sent to the newly-discovered planet, Prosperine, with two objectives: to assess its political stability and to report back to Earth on the activities of an alien miracle worker during the increased tension between the planetary government and a group of religious zealots is putting Earth’s stake in Prosperine’s ultra-rare crynidium deposits at risk and Hickory has to decide whether the Teache Kindle Unlimited {sometimes here and there one may be through freebie day from some site} Hickory Lace is sent to the newly-discovered planet, Prosperine, with two objectives: to assess its political stability and to report back to Earth on the activities of an alien miracle worker during the increased tension between the planetary government and a group of religious zealots is putting Earth’s stake in Prosperine’s ultra-rare crynidium deposits at risk and Hickory has to decide whether the Teacher is the one foretold in an ancient prophecy—as her superiors believe—or an anarchist responsible for the recent unrest on the planet. Other more sinster galactic forces have their eyes set on Prosperine and plan to take advantage of the chaos to seize control to get at Earth's stocks of crynidium, the liquid metal essential for interstellar travel, and plans for a galaxy-wide defense network will be in disarray. Dust And Ashes {Prosperine Trilogy 0.5} revised/extended of previously published The Second Coming Avanaux (Prosperine Trilogy #1) Rise of the Erlachi (Prosperine Trilogy #2) The Scarf: A Scifi-Fantasy Adventure (The Prosperine Trilogy Book 3) Prosperine: The Adventures of the Space Heroine Hickory Lace: (Box Set)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Melanie S

    The Alien Corps plays a circle game I spent three days slogging through a fairly dull ARC of The Alien Corps, and what follows is an independent and voluntary review - mainly to spare others the pain of that same experience. I am still trying to figure out what this book is really about. Is it about a quasi-governmental agent who can communicate empathically with animals? Is it about a religious conflict turned civil war on a strategically important planet? Is it a spy vs spy political thriller? The Alien Corps plays a circle game I spent three days slogging through a fairly dull ARC of The Alien Corps, and what follows is an independent and voluntary review - mainly to spare others the pain of that same experience. I am still trying to figure out what this book is really about. Is it about a quasi-governmental agent who can communicate empathically with animals? Is it about a religious conflict turned civil war on a strategically important planet? Is it a spy vs spy political thriller? An action-adventure wartime story? A search for supposedly hidden Jesus-avatars from other planets? It has lots of bloody gore, backstabbing, improbably heroic fights, and repeated 'get-kidnapped-get-tortured-get-rescued' scenarios. There's a smattering of clean romance and a sidebar of dealing with daddy issues. In the end, it's all useless - the author's 'resolution' brings everything back to status quo ante. Skip this book in favor of one with more heart, a better organized plot, and more lively writing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elissa

    Not the Sun, but the Son! In the 20th and 21st centuries, control of oil is paramount, a cause for global manipulation and conflict. In author PJ McDermott's future, not anti-matter but a rare metal called crynidium is the ultimate power source. But the planet on which a large supply has been located remains too primitive for full contact with the allied species of space so negotiations are delicate. Meanwhile, the non-aligned species have fewer qualms about interfering with such a large prize i Not the Sun, but the Son! In the 20th and 21st centuries, control of oil is paramount, a cause for global manipulation and conflict. In author PJ McDermott's future, not anti-matter but a rare metal called crynidium is the ultimate power source. But the planet on which a large supply has been located remains too primitive for full contact with the allied species of space so negotiations are delicate. Meanwhile, the non-aligned species have fewer qualms about interfering with such a large prize in the offing; there is unrest within the planetary government; and religious "enlightenment" is in conflict with the established worship. Might this be a parallel to the Christian movement on earth? Hickory Lace, sent to investigate, has to balance all these facts and factions while remaining anonymous. Narration by Lia Michelle Negron helps bring to life the action, adventure and suspense although I fear for the main characters' future brains based on the number of disabling head blows received. Several intriguing aspects of species development are explored.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Akhil Sharma

    Initially you would find it hard to get into the story but gradually you would find yourself totally hooked to it and unable to get out easily unless you finish it. We all are curious about religion, politics and future and the author has blended all the elements successfully together resulting in a good thriller, suspense, twist and turns making it hard to put it down once you have started it. Weaving words for the possible future and including religion and politics into it, is itself a tough j Initially you would find it hard to get into the story but gradually you would find yourself totally hooked to it and unable to get out easily unless you finish it. We all are curious about religion, politics and future and the author has blended all the elements successfully together resulting in a good thriller, suspense, twist and turns making it hard to put it down once you have started it. Weaving words for the possible future and including religion and politics into it, is itself a tough job and I think author had done a good job in taking this challenge and making it fun to read for his readers. Though at times there were slight deviation from the expectation and the flow of events and characters but overall a good read and definitely a must if you are a Sci-Fi fan.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    WOW, did book one have me rapidly reading as I couldn't get enough! I liked the feisty Commander Hickory Lace from the start. She is one of the Alien Corps members and was assigned a task to go to Prosperine, a primitive planet that held the key to interstellar travel and a rare ore her father needs. Once there the team is made to look like the inhabitance's in order blend in. After arrival they uncover a terrorist plot. With a no interference with political going on, Hickory must choose sides.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Laure

    Hickory Lace was stripped of her command position, but after many years is given a chance to redeem herself. With her friends, Jess and Gareth, she is sent to Prosperine to investigate an alien known as the Teacher. Wow, I wasn't sure about this book at first, but once I started reading I couldn't put it down. Action packed, and alien political intrigue. Fascinating read with unique and well written characters. I am voluntarily leaving an honest and non-incentivized review of this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Hoffstaetter

    This is a interesting SciFi/Religious book to read. It is about a empath (Hickory) chosen to lead a team on a distant world and the trials & tribulations, they all go through. What you will find in this book is: aliens, drama, intrigue, suspense, mystery, adventure, action, political intrigue, twists & turns, murder, violence, fuel smugglers and betrayal. The story-line and plot is well-thought out and is exceptionally well-written. The characters are well developed with personalities. This is a interesting SciFi/Religious book to read. It is about a empath (Hickory) chosen to lead a team on a distant world and the trials & tribulations, they all go through. What you will find in this book is: aliens, drama, intrigue, suspense, mystery, adventure, action, political intrigue, twists & turns, murder, violence, fuel smugglers and betrayal. The story-line and plot is well-thought out and is exceptionally well-written. The characters are well developed with personalities.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Don Oberg-Hauser

    The take on this story is a group of religious based space-farers searching out potential Messiahs based on a prophecy. An alien "Jesus" being tested to see if the person stands up to the prophecy or falls short in some way. A surprising amount of sensitivity by the author and characters to religious tradition, while still providing lots of intrigue and science. While the story and idea is interesting, I didn't find the characters engaging enough to care to read any of the sequels.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steve Horowitz

    Enjoyable alien contact I enjoyed the book and the characters. Is the Teacher really the son of God? There were lots of twists and turns, which made the story more interesting. I wondered why Hickory didn't use her powers on the aliens when she was in danger. Perhaps that will be explained In another book in the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    MGB

    A very enjoyable read. Our heroine has a difficult past due mostly to circumstances beyond her control. She is sent to investigate an alien world with a very Christ-like character. There are some true miracles which occur, giving more credence to his aura. There is a major battle between good and evil. So intrigue, action and an interesting collection of characters.

  20. 5 out of 5

    K. Counihan

    Great Sy-Fy , Characters, and Action This is like a full blown outer space adventure. Well described characters and a nicely paced story that has a nice flow to it. I read it straight thru cover to cover.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    From start to finish, chock full of really interesting characters doing really dangerous stuff, this story was fabulous. The twists made it difficult to put down. Dinner time was an annoyance. Loved it!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ron Williams

    Tits front and centre Quite an unusual story with plot getting weirder as it progresses . It all comes together although takes a long time to reach a climax. Excellent story even if the whole plot only has big action at the end.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Karen J. Cebina

    It was an interesting SYFY. This is the first time in quite a while that have read one. I liked the development of the characters along with the storyline. I would recommend this book but I don’t know anyone who reads SYFY.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Myra Wray

    Once again I have found a good book in this story. I found it hard to put it down until the end.

  25. 4 out of 5

    David Pospisil

    Interesting characters and interesting alien critters. I would read the next one in the series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Fast paced scifi book that holds your attention throughout the entire story. Makes you feel as if you are part of the story. Appreciated the ARC to help review

  27. 4 out of 5

    Warren Dean

    Avanaux is a science fiction adventure set about a hundred and fifty years in the future. Earth has been through a New Dark Age after a catastrophic war, and has recovered under a United World Government based in New Rome. The city having been sacked during the war, Rome's famous landmarks have since been restored and are part of a futuristic cityscape of spiralling towers and domes, interlaced with multi-layered suspension roads. It isn't so easy to keep the Eternal City down, just ask the Goth Avanaux is a science fiction adventure set about a hundred and fifty years in the future. Earth has been through a New Dark Age after a catastrophic war, and has recovered under a United World Government based in New Rome. The city having been sacked during the war, Rome's famous landmarks have since been restored and are part of a futuristic cityscape of spiralling towers and domes, interlaced with multi-layered suspension roads. It isn't so easy to keep the Eternal City down, just ask the Goths and the Vandals. That isn't all that is new, however. Faster than light travel has been made possible by the discovery of an extremely rare liquid metal called crynidium, enabling humanity to find and interact with other sentient races on distant planets. This has led to the establishment of an Intragalactic Agency of aligned planets; a watchdog which attempts to balance and control the competing interests of advanced space-faring races, and less advanced ones like the dominant life form of Prosperine, a planet which is not deemed ready to be inducted into the alliance. Prosperine is a potential powder-keg, however, as it is possessed of significant reserves of crynidium which have drawn the attention, not only of the IA, but also of certain non-aligned planets. Hamstrung by its strict policy of non-interference in internal planetary matters, the IA chafes at not being able to send forces to the planet to secure the crynidium. But there is something else happening on Prosperine. A religious prophet has emerged among the people of Avanuax, the northern continent of the planet, an enigmatic individual who is preaching the word of a God named Balor, and performing miracles like healing the sick. Enter the Alien Corps, the operational arm of an academy set up by the Pope to search for and study Christian-like religions on other planets. Decades earlier, a manuscript containing an alternative gospel was discovered, foretelling that believers would be found on other worlds, and that they would be brought to Earth at the end of days. Deftly hurdling the improbability of the Catholic Church ever giving credence to such theology, this fascinating premise catapults Commander Hickory Lace of the Alien Corps (daughter of IA Admiral George Lace) and her friends into an action-packed adventure on Prosperine. In addition to her official assignment of assessing the prophet's potentially messianic qualities, her father also wants her to find out what the authorities on the planet intend doing with its crynidium. What happens is not my place to divulge, but what I will say is that there are many twists and turns, and I thoroughly enjoyed the book for its energetic pace, intrigue, and action sequences. If I had to explain why I have rated the book four stars and not five, I would say that, on occasion, plot information is presented without detail or explanation; for example, I finished the book wondering whether I had missed an exposition of how the prophet came to be recaptured. But all in all, this is an entertaining story with a well-imagined future Earth, a well-constructed alien civilisation, and enough substance to exercise the mind of the reader, as all good science fiction should. (I received a free copy of this story in exchange for a credible review.)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brian Manville

    As a Christian and a science fiction lover, the premise of this book is interesting. What if Jesus exists on other worlds, preaching the Gospel to non-humans. I will confess to performing this thought experiment in my head more than a few times. However, what I never came up with was this book. After reading the prequel - Dust and Ashes - I was not going to continue with this series. However, given that I had obtained a free copy somewhere, I elected to continue. Mind you, the prequel and the ser As a Christian and a science fiction lover, the premise of this book is interesting. What if Jesus exists on other worlds, preaching the Gospel to non-humans. I will confess to performing this thought experiment in my head more than a few times. However, what I never came up with was this book. After reading the prequel - Dust and Ashes - I was not going to continue with this series. However, given that I had obtained a free copy somewhere, I elected to continue. Mind you, the prequel and the series of no characters that overlap and as I mentioned in my review, the prequel could've been a stand-alone chapter before the novel itself. Our heroine is Hickory, a woman who works for Alien Corps - a group tasked with finding Jesus on other worlds. We are not introduced to Hickory in a meaningful way, but as someone who's gotten a third party Dear John letter telling her that the man she has been in a relationship with is a married man with kids. Oh, and we come to find out that old Hickory has "daddy issues". Beautiful. When in doubt, give the heroine daddy issues. She ended up botching the assignment that day and got reassigned to the University of Rome where Prefect Cortherien has her stashed away teaching...something. One day the prefect decides to tell her about Kar-ser-Sephiryth (The Teacher) on Prosperine and that he may be the alien Jesus they've been seeking for the last 80 years. So, Hickory is put back in Alien Corps and whisks off to investigate. The book holds no real surprises. Her refined telekinetic ability to allow her to call on the leather-winged birds of the planet easily fortells their use later in the book. The plot is pretty much your paint by the numbers quest with a nice battle sequence thrown in. Issues such as religious zealotry and technological advances are given short shrift. A novel like this could have explored these issues more in depth, but chose not to. The end of the book comes as a blessed relief, but not before your suspension of disbelief decides it needs to punch you in the face after the resolution of her daddy issues. It was cringe-worthy and I almost tossed my Nook into the backyard over it. Needless to say, Hickory and her friends can carry on without me. BOTTOM LINE: A book that proves bad sci-fi is worse than no sci-fi.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lex Allen

    After reading the prequel (‘The Second Coming’) to this first novel in the Prosperine Trilogy, I was shocked as I began to read ‘Avanaux’. Intrigued by the past, and the discovery of ancient documents showing Earth as only one of many places where Jesus lived and taught, I knocked off base by the jump to a time one-hundred-sixty years into the future. No matter, I recovered, maintained my high regard for the prequel and sunk myself into this well-written science fiction adventure, thriller. Mr. M After reading the prequel (‘The Second Coming’) to this first novel in the Prosperine Trilogy, I was shocked as I began to read ‘Avanaux’. Intrigued by the past, and the discovery of ancient documents showing Earth as only one of many places where Jesus lived and taught, I knocked off base by the jump to a time one-hundred-sixty years into the future. No matter, I recovered, maintained my high regard for the prequel and sunk myself into this well-written science fiction adventure, thriller. Mr. McDermott is a talented writer. He is adept at pacing, characterization, dialogue and, important to me, he ensures verisimilitude throughout. From characters to plots, subplots and fantasy world building, he leaves the reader with a real sense of reality. This talent, coupled with his breadth of historical facts and science technology all come to play in building the universe in which heroine Hickory Lace (what a cool name) and the entire supporting cast must live, work—survive or die. Like all great characters, Hickory presents unique talents, counter-balanced by a heavy load of personal and professional concerns that haunt her… often at the most inconvenient times. The supporting cast is equally ‘human’ (even the aliens) with their own burdens and aspirations. The primary plot is to find Kar-sѐr-Sephiryth and decide his congruence to the Biblical prophet and Son of God, Jesus. I had difficulty empathizing or otherwise connecting with this actor. Though enigmatic with some unusual and largely unseen super abilities, he proved no significant degree of divinity. He failed to impress as a prophet or Messiah. As the first book in the trilogy, I’m hopeful that this character will become more and more prevalent in later books of the series. Finally, Mr. McDermott does not take the reader in a nose dive off a steep cliff at the end. While leaving no doubt that the story isn’t over, he neatly ties off the issues and subplots that appeared in this novel. I recommend ‘Avanaux’ to all readers and fans of science fiction, alternative history, and suspense thrillers. I plan to read the entire series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Esther

    First off, I want to say I went into this book blind. I was 'assigned' this book in a group, and was a little taken aback by the religious aspect of it. However, I do have to say that it was a really good book! The premise states that an old scripture is found which states that the son of god will return on a different planet, so the government goes looking for him - and finds him. The scenery in this book is vivid, pleasant to read about and the adventure feels real. There is technology I would First off, I want to say I went into this book blind. I was 'assigned' this book in a group, and was a little taken aback by the religious aspect of it. However, I do have to say that it was a really good book! The premise states that an old scripture is found which states that the son of god will return on a different planet, so the government goes looking for him - and finds him. The scenery in this book is vivid, pleasant to read about and the adventure feels real. There is technology I would never even have thought to invent (implant technology? What's that? Pretty creative), to make the earthlings look more like the natives of other planets. There is a bit of technical jargon, but it was bearable for me (someone who has only read about 5 scifi books in my life!), which is saying a lot. The plot was strong and the story was definitely intriguing. This book went down easily, and was quite enjoyable. Now, to the negatives (not to worry, they are just as a side note). At times, the characters fell a little flat for me. They had feelings - lots of them! But I just didn't feel connected to them at times when I thought I should have. I'm really tempted to add a spoiler here, but I won't. Just sometimes I felt dislocated from their feelings, even though they were perfectly legit! Oh, I have a non-spoiler example: the relationship between Hickory and General Lace (her father). I was not feeling it when she was upset about how much he had neglected her - because I hadn't gotten the feeling that he had neglected her growing up, just that they weren't close, and had more of a professional relationship than a personal one. The second (and last) complaint I have, is that I didn't really feel like Hickory was the main character. I didn't feel like there was a main character. Each member of the team had an almost equal part to me. And I was constantly forgetting that Hickory had that power of hers. Every time it was mentioned I was like, wait, what? and then I was like ohhhh, right. So anyways. Definitely read this book (psst: it is available for free on Amazon Kindle)!! Four stars from me :)

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