3 out of 4 stars
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Return Of The Kachinas, by Margaret Vivienne Currie, is a piece of science fiction that follows the story of Abigail, who is approached by Hordea and given two choices when she is made known of a devastating event that is to take place which will wipe out most living things on Earth. The author describes the story as seen from Abigail’s eyes. She can choose to go with them on their alien ship through different planets, gaining knowledge that will be beneficial to earth’s survivors. She can also stay behind, saving herself from what is to come.
The story comes to life as Abigail chooses the former, but worries about her family’s chances of survival. She shares the information with her family and informs them of her decision while trying to convince them to abandon their life in Auckland to move to the mountains with their children, where it is safe. When the time comes for her departure, she notices that all her children but Charmaine are there with their families to wave her goodbye. The mother of three boards the ship nonetheless and leaves Earth. But, who is Hordea? What does Charmaine’s absence mean? Why has Abigail been chosen? Was she the only one chosen from Earth? Will her family survive the storm? When will she return?
Firstly, I must commend the author for good character development. With the number of characters the book had, one could be forgiven for not developing all of them effectively, but that was not the case for this author. Margaret occasionally employed dialogue between the characters, which gave the story a sense of immediacy and helped me understand the personalities of the main characters. The author was not only spot-on with character development but also the way she described the events and places. As a result of this, I was familiar with most of the characters, and I was not confused at the mention of any character’s name. Also, the descriptive prowess of the author made me have a clear mental picture of what she tried to describe at every point. It was almost like I was there in person.
My favorite part of this book was when Abigail showed how innovative she was in the ship while the ship spun out of Earth’s orbit, and with her help, they were able to steer the ship back on course. I was also pleased to see how the relationship between Abigail and Hordea grew with time. Another great attribute of this book is that the author used clear and coherent English to tell the story, which makes it easy to read even for a non-native English speaker. The text also seems to be professionally edited, as I found absolutely no errors within its pages.
Despite the positives, I felt that the plot in the second part of the story was seriously lacking. The second part of the story covered the events that took place after they returned to Earth. Although I enjoyed the first part of the story, the second part lacked real conflict. It was mostly a story of the people that survived, and how they rebuilt with the help of the returnees. They didn’t have any real challenges or opposition to their plans, and as a result, there was no room for any plot resolution. I had expected them to confront fresh and stern challenges upon their return to the planet, but I was disappointed.
Although I expected more from this book, it was a good read. With the pros and cons in mind, I have decided to remove one star to rate Return Of The Kachinas 3 out of 4 stars. This novel will certainly appeal to readers who are interested in science fiction and fantasy stories.
Return Of The Kachinas
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