FIVE STARS for ‘The Elemental,’ by Joseph Lombardo
This is a nicely-written, fast-paced tale of interdimensional beings coming into contact with humans in an effort to retrieve a damaged ship. It’s thought-provoking and entertaining in equal measures, with the pace nearly feverish near the end.
With the Elemental, the author, Joe Lombardo, accomplished two things I found extremely noteworthy.
He painted a captivating story, (the broad strokes) and infused it with sensitivity and some rather creative character development. (the finer strokes)
The Saq Muyale, (The interdimensional beings) are imaginatively depicted, and there are several nicely written, philosophical exchanges between the Saq master, Kin’ich, and Navarre, (the human main character) who essentially exists between worlds, but for undisclosed reasons resides within the world of the Saq. (There’s a shrewd mystery here about Navarre and his parents, and how Navarre found his way into the ‘employ’ of the Saq Muyalle, with the author offering mere morsels of the explanation along the way. Frustrating, but also compelling.)
Kin’ich, with his elegant, stoic, somewhat terse, but deeply philosophical nature was by far my favourite character. His lines were skilfully crafted and delivered a fascinating view of the Saq race.
This was an enjoyable read, which, by the time I reached the end, had completely extinguished my earlier theories of where the plot was going.
If you have even the slightest taste for the Alien Encounter genre of Science Fiction, I can guarantee you’ll like The Elemental.
T.E. Mark – Author – Language Teacher