Jo Robinson is a South African writer who has recently returned home from spending 18 years in rural Zimbabwe. She has written several short stories and a novel about human frailties in addition to this science fiction book which is the first of a series. I received a free copy of this ebook in an online give-away.
In Shadow People, Natalie (who is extremely wealthy and runs her own deli business) and her husband Gabe (who is also extremely wealthy and loves anything that smacks of paranormal) have bought a new house. Aw, heck, it’s a mansion. While puttering around in the basement home theatre, Gabe discovers a hidden room full of weird technology equipment and decides to break down the wall behind to see what strange activities the former owner, Lauder Shelty, got up to. He discovers a labyrinth of caves and caverns he believes to be a movie set, but will soon be revealed to be a kind of wormhole to a parallel universe.
Gabe hires an electrician, Adam, to string lights so they can find their way around the labyrinth, and while the men are working down below, Natalie researches Shelty, and discovers his journal where he describes a creature exactly like the one she dreamt about — a demon that was begging her to let him in! As she rushes to show Gabe and Brian what she has found, the house shakes with the most incredible power surge, with flashing lights, quaking, a wild wind, followed by “an almighty crash, and she felt as if she were being thrown around like a doll in a tumble dryer”. And before you know it, Natalie, Gabe, and Adam are transported into space.
They find themselves in a spacecraft on an alien planet, Lapillus, “in the middle of space in some far off galaxy” where they encounter a variety of creatures, some benign, gigantic, winged dragons, some arrogant, chicken-like beings, and, at night, demonic, wraith-like dark beasts emerge that, according to carvings the humans have found in one of the great buildings on the planet, would like nothing more than to submit them to unspeakable torture which would ultimately end in grateful death.
In a tale full of powerful crystals, the art of invisibility, reincarnation on “the wheel”, and the end times struggle for souls between good and evil from many cultures and universes, one of the humans will have a role to carry that is both daunting and essential if Earth and the planet Lapillus are to survive.
This is my first venture into science fiction, and while I sometimes struggle with trying to pronounce made-up names as I go along, I found this story drew me in quickly and kept me reading right to the end. The humans were believable, and the telepathic technology, intriguing. Robinson brings the religious and mythical end-times stories together in an interesting way, and I’ll definitely be waiting for the 2nd book in this series.
Jo’s ebook is available at Amazon CA and other digital distributors.
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