Friday, August 1, 2014

Zylan's Messengers

About the book:
Not your run-of-the-mill sci-fi novel.

Three civilizations separated by billions of years in time and millions of light years in distance, come to life as their disparate histories converge to help the human race survive in 2408, when all of their bad decisions come back to haunt them.

Ecological disasters, resource depletion and pollution have finally overcome technology’s ability to cope, as a last minute technological reprieve is offered from one of the alien races … but with a cost.

Zylan’s Messengers reveals how one alien race was the proximate cause of the most destructive event in recorded human history; one that has never been fully explained, and how it forever altered the course of human development.

Zylan’s Messengers is a story of the human condition, and humanity’s unique ability in the animal kingdom to make conscious choices that were bad for their own survival as a species.

Review:
I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

After trying a couple of "space" books and finding them fascinating, I jumped at the chance to read Sid Goodman's book, Zylan's Messengers. I was also interested to see how he would describe the various alien species and how the people of Earth would react.

Goodman takes readers billions of years into the past and thousands of years into the future. Trying to grasp this enormous span of time had me feeling small and insignificant. Hundreds and thousands of years are skipped at a time to propel the storyline. One character is alive more than 100,000 years before the Earth characters come into the storyline. If that doesn't make you seem small and insignificant, I don't know what would. 

Because of the vast timespan and the distance between the characters, the story is told through multiple points of view. Readers begin with the Zylan, Aaldn, then we get to see the story through Tydon from Pracma, then finally Jason of Earth.

I love the depiction of the various alien races. Although all are humanoid, each race has its own distinction about it. The Zylans are extremely different from humans. I love how their emotions are projected. The Pracmas are closer in appearance to humans than the Zylans are, but have the forehead dimple that the Zylans have too. I only wished the messengers would have picked up a few more alien races in the galaxy. It would have been interesting to see more aliens come out of Gooman's imagination!

By the end of the book, readers will be frustrated with how lazy and selfish the human race is. When conflict arises between the people of Earth and Pracma, you might just be pulling for the Pracmas to win. I know I was. Sadly, I could easily see this being a possible future--if humans were ever put in that situation with a peaceful alien race. The solution to Pracma's water dilemma was brilliant. I should have seen that coming!

After finishing the story, I noticed that the alien races never actually "meet". They easily communicated, and could see each other in their dream spaces, but they weren't ever in the same physical location. Yet, the bonds created between them were strong--thousands of years communicating can form that kind of bond. The ending resolves this situation, sort of, and lets you feel good about leaving the characters behind.

The big takeaway I received from this story is that the human life is over in a blink of an eye. Our decisions have major consequences down the line into our future. Don't be selfish. Put your own comforts aside for the benefit of others.

I'd recommend this book to older teens and adults. There is some mature content with murder, and a sex scene that's done tastefully. The mix of science and fantasy along with drama and just a smidge of romance creates an interesting story that both males and females can enjoy.

About author Sid Goodman:
Born in Cleveland, Ohio and graduated with a BS in Accounting from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  Became a CPA and converted to being an entrepreneur where I was awarded numerous patents and founded several companies.  Moved to San Diego, CA in 1986.  I am divorced with three great children and four great grandchildren.  In 2007 I moved to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico where I now live with my new husband (get it?).

This is my first novel. I’ve always been creative and have been fascinated with science ever since an early age.  I read about the Tunguska Event a few decades ago and was fascinated by it.  I began to write Zylan’s Messengers late in 2011,  When a similar but much smaller explosion occurred in Russia in 2013, the comparison to Tunguska was stark.  The 2013 incident left a trail of debris sixty miles long.  There has never been a speck of debris found from the Tunguska Event.  I felt compelled to incorporate that into the novel making it all the more relevant.

I am an activist for the conservation of Earth’s resources.  They are finite and we are in trouble. 
 
It began as a short story and then became a screenplay.  My hope was to get the movie made. Relatives in the movie industry told me that the only way to get recognition was to write the novel. Two years and 85,000 words later it was born.

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