Nassim Odin

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BY Nassim Odin • POSTED ON Feb. 10, 2022

A dangerous conflict on an alien planet involves revenge plots and a wormhole-jumping orb in this final installment of an SF trilogy.

Iraqi alchemist Al-Khidr once again leaves Earth. He uses a hand-held jump-sphere to return to planet Lyra, unaware his enemy Hatathor, who followed him to Earth, has hitched a ride as well. The two are in for a shock: It’s not the same Lyra they left. Years have passed, and a new king has seized the throne while the former administration plans retribution. Al-Khidr keeps his head down until reuniting with his Lyrian lover, Nefertiti, a former police officer who opposes the king’s rule. The alchemist fights to protect the jump-sphere, an incredible device that houses the earthly cure for the alien disease Mutmut, which kills Lyrian males. Hatathor, like Al-Khidr, has trouble settling into Lyra’s new political climate. He also craves revenge against Al-Khidr, who he thinks is cursed with human diseases, as well as the woman who supposedly murdered Hatathor’s father. Meanwhile, a power struggle among Hatathor, the king, and a cult that may actually be running the kingdom threatens everyone on the planet. Odin imbues his trilogy’s third volume with a much faster pace than the earlier installments. Al-Khidr and Nefertiti, for example, dodge quadrotor drones and face off against men toting laser guns. Surprisingly, the villains provide the most narrative fun, as discord between them fuels various motivations and schemes from the beginning. This story almost becomes a violent soap opera. Hatathor stumbles into romance with the princess, whose father wants her to marry his commander in chief. The commander has ties to the cult and aims to kill Hatathor. The author rounds out his enjoyable tale with betrayals, unexpected deaths, and Earth itself in peril. Despite a thorough and convincing wrap-up, the ending hints at more stories featuring the compelling intergalactic cast.

This absorbing SF series concludes with a brisk, electrifying tale.

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2022

Page count: 323pp

Publisher: Odin Fantasy World

Review Posted Online: March 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2022



BY Nassim Odin • POSTED ON Oct. 13, 2021

Unaware that a vicious enemy pursues him, an alchemist scours Earth for the cure to a disease that afflicts aliens in this SF sequel.

In his last adventure, ninth-century alchemist Al-Khidr discovered an artifact in Egypt that took him to planet Lyra. There, an Earth disease called Mutmut had sparked a pandemic that attacked Lyra’s male population. Now, Al-Khidr, determined to find a cure, uses a jump-sphere to ride a wormhole back to Earth. He winds up in Giza, where his journey began, but some things have changed, from structures he’s never seen to strange currency. It turns out he’s nearly a millennium off—the tail end of the 1700s, after Napoleon led the French occupation of Egypt. Al-Khidr quickly befriends Estelle Molire, a French naturalist who studies plants and can help him find the specific herbs he’s looking for. He’ll just have to keep his sphere out of the hands of thieves. Meanwhile, Al-Khidr doesn’t know that Gen. Hatathor of Lyra has reached Earth with his own jump-sphere, though apparently by accident. He hunts for Al-Khidr right away, as Hatathor needs the alchemist’s sphere to get home, having lost his space-time device when he landed in the sea. Hatathor, like many Lyrians, abhors humans and Earth, the source of Mutmut. The general must track Al-Khidr using Lyrian tech; it’s not so easy, as Hatathor’s unchecked aggression makes traveling incognito a virtual impossibility. He races across the country, through Alexandria, Cairo, and farther south, to snatch the jump-sphere from his “filthy human” enemy by whatever means necessary.

The hero of Odin’s trilogy is immensely likable in this outing. His entire quest is to help a race that’s not his own. Still, Al-Khidr faces minimal conflict. He has to recover his sphere from a thieving monkey and resist his immediate attraction to Estelle, especially with police officer and fiancee Nefertiti waiting for him on Lyra. In addition, for much of the story, he’s oblivious to Hatathor at his heels. Interestingly, it’s the antagonist who endures the most obstacles. Unlike Al-Khidr, Hatathor isn’t on his home turf; he relies on tech and his sleeve-device (a weapon and language translator) that uses a solar charge that’s much slower on Earth than Lyra. In a clever turn, Hatathor’s alien “reddish skin” stands out in Egypt only because he, at one point, dons a White French soldier’s pilfered uniform. Despite following a series launch set on another planet, this sequel forgoes much of the SF in favor of late-18th-century historical fiction. Odin deftly fuses Al-Khidr’s and Hatathor’s stories with real-world events, like the ongoing French Revolutionary Wars, and historical figures. French Gen. Louis Desaix and Egyptian ruler Murand Bey both make appearances. The narrative and dialogue are occasionally too contemporary; for example, Al-Khidr feels “low-key proud” of Estelle. Nevertheless, descriptions can be memorable. Alexandria’s vibrant streets at night are lit with flame torches and candles while people “with different skin tones, a variety of dialects, and languages” mingle. An exhilarating cliffhanger sets the stage for the series conclusion.

An engaging mix of historical fiction and SF.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-954313-12-5

Page count: 414pp

Publisher: Odin Fantasy World

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2022



BY Nassim Odin • POSTED ON Sept. 17, 2021

In this debut SF novel, an Egyptian artifact propels a ninth-century alchemist to a strange, futuristic planet.

In 832, Al-Khidr guides an exploration team through a pyramid in Giza, Egypt. The Iraqi alchemist leads the visitors to valuables that they collect for an Islamic ruler. But Al-Khidr is more interested in such discoveries as oddly malleable glass and metals that have apparently never rusted. While trying to identify a metal orb and a glass shard, he joins the artifacts together, resulting in a glowing, surprisingly mobile sphere that knocks him unconscious. He awakens in another place, one with unknown, sophisticated technology, that he soon learns isn’t even on Earth. The glowing sphere transported him to a kingdom on planet Lyra. As far as the Lyrians are concerned, Al-Khidr’s home world is cursed. A space mission there millennia ago brought back the deadly disease Mutmut, which kills nearly every male Lyrian it infects. There’s still no cure, but Al-Khidr promises benevolent Queen Hathor that he’ll find one if he returns to Earth. Unfortunately, a growing uprising against the queen, along with the Lyrians’ fear of the “alien-human” from that wretched planet, threatens everyone. Odin’s deliberately paced tale delivers tense set pieces; even before Mutmut-phobic Lyrians prove dangerous, Al-Khidr faces off against thieving bandits in Giza. Moreover, the narrative spotlight illuminates the entire cast and includes a lengthy backstory about the largely secret Earth mission, which involved betrayal and murder. The author’s straightforward prose weaves real-life history into the narrative with panache. The story features delightful references to the origins of Egypt’s pyramids as well as Lyrians sharing names with historical figures. As this is Book 1 of a trilogy, Odin leaves some things unresolved, like Al-Khidr’s potential adversary back on Earth and Lyra’s troublesome pirates and bounty hunters, whom readers never see. Still, the frenzied ending makes tracking down Book 2 a virtual necessity.

Sharp characterization boosts this leisurely paced but engrossing SF series opener.

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-954313-06-4

Page count: 409pp

Publisher: Odin Fantasy World

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

The Sphere Trilogy


The Cure for Stars

One man. Two worlds. A million reasons to say no… but at what cost? Al-Khidr was inside the Hall of Stars, and now he was moving inside a wormhole—a cosmic tunnel that opened up right above the Hall of Stars was spiraling down through galaxies like a coiled serpent from planet Lyra towards Earth. He was unaware of the alien major General Hatathor who was also sucked into the wormhole due to his own act of charging sequence disruption. Where the wormhole was leading? None of them knew. But the one thing sure to the aliens was that the jump was going to happen both in time and space.

The Revenge of Hatathor

Challenged by Destiny. Driven by Duty. Desperate to Survive. Al-Khidr’s destiny has returned him to the alien planet Lyra, which was as beautiful and majestic as it was before, but there was something odd about it. Al-Khidr must know why before it’s too late. His heart was pounding as he starting looking for the clues and the loved ones. On the other hand Hatathor has to execute his unfinished revenge. Will Al-Khidr be able to stop him?