3 out of 4 stars
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Rohini Haakonsen, an Indian-American teenager, who attends a UN Youth Assembly in New York City on climate change and is visited by aliens offering to help humanity respond to the climate crisis. They insist on being called “The Elders,” and they request that some young people need to be sent to their world to learn and study their ways of living. The appearance of the Elders at the UN is very shocking, so some people do not trust them.
Even though Rohini has her own suspicions, she decides to go as an ambassador with the approval of the president of the United States. An agent called Sinead McGowan alias “Jane Smith” trains her, so she is prepared when she arrives to the planet and can sort any confrontation that she may have. When a masked gunmen attempt to kidnap her, the young people on Earth do not want to tag along with the elders’ plans. Along with Agent Jane Smith, Rohini is forced to flee to China where she learns about Daoist secret society and how it is related to Elders. Before she can make it to the Elders’ world, she must learn how to survive on her own.
Voice of Elders gives an important message: global warming is getting worse, and people are opposing to that climate change because of greed. The main antagonist is a one-dimensional caricature of a wealthy fossil fuels tycoon who is willing to do anything to maintain his wealth and power at the expense of humanity taking action on climate change. There is a lot of research in this book, and it introduces many historical references, as well as touching on some of the principles of Taoism, mediation, and philosophy.
The idea of Daoist aliens is very interesting, and I like the role that they play in the story. It draws my attention and capture my interest on how Daoist theme, the climate theme, and the alien theme all came together in a single plot.
One thing that I do not like about this book is that there isn’t a lot of discussions on climate change and its solutions. Moreover, the villain is so simple, and I prefer more three- dimensional or two-dimensional characters.
I rate Voice of Elders with 3 out of 4 stars because the author does not a great job on executing their ideas especially at the beginning of the story. The author should reveal the information more organically.
Voice of the Elders
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