4 out of 4 stars
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Anthros Galactica - Higher Worlds: Episode 2 by Erik P. Antoni is a fascinating work of science fiction. It is the second book in a series; however, I was able to fully immerse myself in the story without having read the first book in the series. The book has a dramatic beginning that draws the reader into the story immediately. An anomaly is discovered on the planet Artep. As a result, King Sah of the Orion Empire has sent an Imperial shuttle to locate Dr. Elden Crane and bring him to the location of the anomaly. Dr. Crane is described as an anthropologist and expert on the Anthro-Orionis Primordial Descender Race. The Anthro-Orionis Primordial Descender Race is comprised of godlike hyperdimensional beings. According to Orion legend, the descender race can move in and out of the physical universe. Could the anomaly discovered by the Orion Empire be related in some way?
As the Orion’s Imperial shuttle is attempting to locate Dr. Crane, members of the Orion Empire are engaged in a battle with the Omicron Order of the Scorpius Republic. They are battling over the mining system on M-Trex 3, a mining planet under the control of the Orion Empire. Its mines produce valuable metals that are used in gravity propulsion. The Castors and the Dura are the two competing groups battling for access to the valuable minerals. Zeina is the officer responsible for the Orion military forces sent to restore order on M-Trex 3. She is described as an accomplished warrior and leader.
Although I do not typically enjoy reading science fiction novels, I was mesmerized by this novel. I have found that some science fiction novels get encumbered by complicated world-building to the detriment of the story. That was not the case with this book. Although the descriptions were detailed, I never felt overwhelmed by the various planets, species, or characters. Antoni effortlessly moved from scene to scene describing the setting and characters without losing sight of the story. For example, the descriptions of planets included color, temperature, and vegetation. With such detailed descriptions, it was easy to imagine the various settings. The author has also included a reference guide to assist readers in identifying extraterrestrial humanities mentioned in the book.
What I liked most about the book was the diversity of leadership and crews on the various ships. There were entities from different planets, genders, and artificial humanoids working together. I especially liked the character of Zeina. She is a strong female character. She is intelligent and respected as a valuable member of the Orion Empire. I also liked the scientific aspects of the story. Scientists are consulted and theories are discussed at a high level throughout the book. There is a supernatural aspect to the story that adds another dimension to the complex storyline. There was nothing that I disliked about this book.
I recommend this book to readers who enjoy science fiction novels with complex stories and characters. Readers who enjoy science fiction novels can enjoy this book alone or as part of the series. I only saw one minor error in the book, so I believe it was professionally edited. I give this book a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. The end of the book also references a third installment in the series. I look forward to reading it.
Anthros Galactica - Higher Worlds
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