3 out of 4 stars
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Adam Exitus is a Sci-Fi/Fantasy novella written by Nicholas Abdilla. Adam Exitus is Abdilla's first novel. He predominantly commits to drawing comics, but has other written works under his belt. However, Adam X, the comic predecessor to Adam Exitus, is his most popular series. The comic even earned a spot in an issue of the magazine, Game Informer. Adam Exitus is book one of an ongoing series.
The book focuses on homo sapien Adam's attempt to return to Earth from an alien ship that can only be described as a complex, circular maze that was built by the mysterious Preservers. Anne, the android that is designed to care for Adam, agrees to help him escape. The two encounter numerous obstacles and even form alliances with different beings along the way.
My complete understanding of the Sci-Fi genre is a little rusty, especially given that I usually read and/or review genres of fiction that lean more in the direction of Fantasy first. This book caught my eye because the idea of returning to the world of complex life forms, including aliens, androids, and the occasional dragon, greatly appealed to me. Despite a lack of experience with the genre, I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
From the Prologue, I could glean from the perspective that there would be some despair from at least one of the main characters. My first impression of the book was that it may be a bit dull, especially when the plot seemed to rely on only two characters throughout most of it. Fortunately, I was wrong, because not only does Adam grow as a character from his conflicts around the space ship, but Anne manages to act as his foil in every way (including a few funny moments in which Anne doesn't realize that Adam is being sarcastic due to a lack of emotions.
The introduction of the incredibly loyal Zanatos and Spock (no, not from Star Trek) was a great choice on the part of the author. Zanatos is a Kreken, a race of aliens that pride themselves in battle and strength that can boast a bulky frame and the inability to contemplate suicide as humans are wont to do. Spock is a small and silent ex-slave from the planet Flora who resembles a human teenage girl in every way but her elf-like, pointed ears (hence the name, which Adam names her in reaction to her silence). Both secondary characters don't change at all throughout the book and have very little to do with the majority of the action, but their existence allows the author to demonstrate one of Adam's good traits: he is protective of pretty much anyone who is in trouble.
As the main focus of the story, both in perspective and action, Adam can best be described as just a normal human male who would like to return to his once normal life as a police officer on Earth. His one notable flaw in this story is that he is so hell-bent on rescuing every life form he encounters that he nearly ends up in an incredibly dangerous situation with the Preservers. Overall, I rate Adam Exitus a 3 out of 4 due to the great quality of the writing that pushes it past a 2, but the few grammatical errors keep it from being a 4. As a person returning to reading Science Fiction, I would recommend this short novel to anyone who is doing the same, since its lore was not at all overly complex. I look forward to future books chronicling Adam and his adventures.
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