Thursday, March 5, 2009

Review - Arrival by Christopher Hoare

Written by: Christopher Hoare
Science fiction / Fiction / Time travel
Rated: Very Good (****)
Review by: Lisa Haselton

Gisel Matah is sixteen. She’s on a starship with her father, brother, and a small entourage of explorers no longer able to get back to their home world. Being female and the youngest on board are not complimentary attributes for this spitfire, but she has skills that no other crew member has and her importance becomes apparent to everyone.

Being on board the Iskander with supersmart engineers and scientists, Gisel is challenged to be a ‘typical teenager.’ She was brought on board as personal trainer because her father, the engineering chief, pulled strings and having high-level connections doesn’t win her any friends. She’s headstrong and persistent, and, of course, knows everything.

She finds a way to be a part of the first landing party to the planet passing below the starship, and although most of her adventure doesn’t go smoothly, the crew discovers that she is the only person able to communicate with the natives they have run into.

Iskander technology is years ahead of the planet they must rely on for survival. The crew quickly learns that no matter how advanced you are, when you only have the basics to deal with, you have to adapt or perish. Creating alliances when you don’t know if the people can be an asset to you or not is a tough political position to be in. Gisel finds herself front and center while the General of the Iskander works to create relationships with the people on the planet, and she enjoys it.

She may only be a teenager, but Gisel has an inner strength, the intelligence, and the youthful wit to survive in just about any situation she finds herself in. Sometimes survival turns out to be luck, but in a brand new world, as long as you can keep your wits about you, you have a great chance to succeed.

Arrival is fun to read. It’s interesting to see how Gisel’s start within the Iskander crew relates to the first two novels. Her energy is contagious and comes through the pages. The reader, at times, wants to reach out to protect the young girl from danger, but Gisel quickly figures out a solution so the reader can breathe a sigh of relief and continue reading.

Christopher Hoare’s third novel, Arrival, brings the reader into the past. It fills in the details of the time before Deadly Enterprise, the first book in the series featuring Gisel Matah. The story continues in The Wildcat’s Victory and now the reader can see how Gisel became a young military leader at such a young age.

I recommend reading Arrival to anyone who enjoys exploring old worlds through time travel, politics behind creating alliances, battles, strategy, survival, and a small dash of romance. Arrival is a great story that gives the reader the scoop behind Gisel’s life.

I’ve enjoyed all three novels in this series and look forward to more novels from this writer. I think any of the three novels would be great on the big screen.

Title: Arrival
Author: Christopher Hoare
Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-55404-620-1
Pages: 354
Price: $16.99