4 out of 4 stars
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To Own Two Suns, by F. E. Tabor, is a science fiction novel about a crew of scientists who are exploring our solar system when they encounter an alien spacecraft.
The plot focuses on two main characters: Captain Jerry Jerrison and Muni of the Green Hill Clan from the Morgi planet. Jerry Jerrison is the captain of a Solar Missions Ship (SMS) from Earth. His dream since childhood has been to encounter extraterrestrial life. When the Morgi spacecraft decelerates and is detected by Jerrison’s ship, Jerrison and his crew make a daring decision to act before command back on earth can tell them to avoid contact. Two of the crew set off to explore the craft and find out what life, if any, is occupying such a superior vessel. Meanwhile, Muni, the sole occupant of the craft, is in a state of deep sleep. The ship’s Artificial Intelligence must decide what to do about the humans and their failing spaceship without Muni’s guidance.
Muni’s mission is to find a way to claim the earth’s solar system for his clan. If he fails, his entire family will be killed. He is his family’s last hope. As the novel progresses, Muni and the humans must find a way to communicate, to understand each other, and to form a compatible relationship that will hopefully not result in the extermination of either or both groups.
What I enjoyed most about this novel was the unique plot. The characters, including extraterrestrial ones, are relatable and complex. Readers are drawn into the plot of Muni and root for his success even if it may have detrimental outcomes for humans. I also appreciated the author’s detailed and plausible explanations of the biological differences of the species, for example, the difference in speed of thought, the way the Morgi mate, and how their young are raised. While some of the cultural misunderstandings result in what readers may view as horrific, the author expertly explains these experiences through the eyes of Muni so that readers gain empathy as both cultures try to adjust to each other. Similarly, another appealing aspect of the novel is the humor the author uses when human cultural norms are viewed through the perspective of Morgi values.
The only thing I would change about the novel is that I would have liked to see a bit more development of the final scene of action. The author certainly does a satisfactory job of concluding the novel and doesn’t leave any unresolved conflicts or questions, but I thought the final scene of action could have been extended to show more of the immediate results. This is not a strong enough negative for me to consider it a flaw because it did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel. It is simply the artistic choice of a skilled author that I did not agree with.
The novel was mostly free of grammatical errors and typos, so I appreciate that it seems to be professionally edited. The author’s writing style is engaging, the plot moves at an exciting pace, and the curiosities of the challenges the characters face are entertaining and thought-provoking.
I rate this novel 4 out of 4 stars.. I enjoyed this novel and thought the creativity the author demonstrated was refreshing. I laughed many times at the author’s clever humor and thought the plot was exciting. I will be looking for more books from this talented author.
I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys science fiction. I would also recommend it to anyone who wonders what might happen if humans encounter an alien species.
To Own Two Suns
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