If you haven't read The Gathering, the first volume in the A DISTANT SOIL saga, please stop reading this review. Not another word. None of this will make any sense, and I'm not gifted enough to introduce nearly two dozens characters in a few sentences. But I can tell you that it's here in THE ASCENDANT that the various science fiction and fantasy elements that Colleen Doran introduced in the first book really start to gel.
With the human rebels successfully smuggled aboard the Siovansin world ship, Doran is able to focus the narrative on the curiosities of the alien Ovanan culture itself. It's here that we learn more about their caste system, their erotic proclivities, and their ever-intriguing political dynamics. Amid this backdrop, can the Avatar pull-off his charade of being both the Ovanan's supreme ruler and the leader of the rebellion against them? And, will he be able to maintain the trust of the young Liana, who has the power to replace him as the Avatar?
And, more importantly, is Sere a bitch or what?
Oh, and if for some reason this is your first exposure to A DISTANT SOIL, Doran provides a wonderful three-page introduction that'll bring you up to speed. Although, I bet she could do it in a few sentences just to show me how it's done.
Peter Aaron Rose is a writer, producer and technologist who lives and works in San Francisco, CA. Under the pseudonym "Peter Siegel", he recently authored Killing Demons, a graphic novel available from Engine Press and Platinum Studios.