In the 25th century a mysterious group of humanist philosophers rose from among the ranks of those Underground Archivists. They came to be known by the collective name “Mythmakers.” They composed works of rare beauty and symbolic power from which emerged a new behavioral code, a new system of morality based not on arbitrary prescriptions of religious dogma but on the humanist tenets of respect for life, the unity of humankind, and personal responsibility. [from The Termite Queen]
beginning of the second book in the series, we find our hero, Captain Robbin
Nikalishin regaining consciousness aboard the rescue ship Reliable. The untold
horrors of the space disaster have left the captain suffering from PTSD, along
with an all-encompassing guilt for the death of his best friend, Kolm
Robbie is in a bad place. Kolm’s death haunts him day andnight. At times, the
pain is so great he doesn’t feel he can go on. The physical damage of the crash
has also taken its toll. The captain’s appearance has suffered from the effects
of radiation poisoning, along with various bumps and bruises. These physical
signs of trauma eventually abate, leaving behind the deep scars of emotional
pain that Robbie must learn to embrace.
Nikalishin discovers he has a long road ahead of him when it comes to healing
from these psychological wounds. With the help of Dr. Souray, who becomes a
surrogate mother to him, there is gradual improvement. The primary issue is
that certain things set the captain off and he reverts back to relive the horror
in a series of flashbacks. With the upcoming investigation into the crash,
Robbie must be able to testify at a hearing and a trial.
is undergoing extensive treatment, the issue of Prf. Karlis Eiginsh’s actions
come to the forefront of the investigation. Why did he falsify equations to
make the jump look safe when in reality it wasn’t? There is an interesting
twist to this part of the story when the truth finally comes out that gives the
reader a sneak peek into the man the captain is to become. I have to say, I
thought it was great storytelling.
The book is
long, but such is Robbie’s journey to reconcile who he is and who he has
become. The mental trauma he suffered even caused him to question his desire to
fly amongst the stars, and whether he could ever cope with the stressors of
being a space captain again. Then, there are the unresolved issues Robbie has
with his mother. The signs of that first mental damage from long ago always
seem to resurface when he tries to have a relationship with a woman. Robbie’s
wounds run deep, and to actually heal, he must come to grips with his demons.
I love this
series. The writing is clear and concise and draws you into the
character-driven plot. Yet, just like in the first book, I still find something
poignant and raw about Robbie Nikalishin that makes me want to know more of his
story. His character is imperfect, to say the least. I don’t know if he appeals
to the mother in me or if I just want him to find peace and love.
the author has spun a tale filled with high drama and intrigue, healing and
pain. I can’t wait to discover what happens next in book three coming soon!
Make sure to take a look at the book’s cover art. Lorinda draws and creates her
own cover art.