"A growing group of Sophistan-humans begins to dominate many planets throughout the universe as its members learn to manage their new-found talents in a hypernatural existence... Along the way, author Biesele also provides substantive commentary on rationalism versus empathy, aggression versus passivity, and time paradoxes."– Kirkus Reviews
Biesele’s (The Saeshell Book of Time Part 4: The Ceremony of Life, 2014, etc.) latest Saeshell book is his most tangled tale to date.
The sci-fi/fantasy drama continues, opening with a familiar air of foreboding. Clarissa, the titular “Owl from Oblivion,” warns readers, in the disdainful manner of the series’ immortal characters, of the frailties and dangers posed by the human instincts of the central figures in the story. This fifth installment inhabits a world built on overlapping chronologies, with supernatural events and plot revelations featuring nearly all of its complicated characters. The stories feature Stefan, the most powerful alien/human/energy hybrid in existence; his mate, Tova2; his mother, a fairy queen named Anashivalia; Sophistan1, who has the memories of Stefan’s dead father; Stefan and Tova2’s son, Syon; Ty and his best friend, Tyco; the Pauls and Peters from the advanced civilization of Sophista; and many others. Paul25, in response to a major rip in time that Syon caused, transports Stefan, Syon, and others to a new timeline. When they arrive, they have different forms and diminished abilities; Stefan is only 7 years old, for example, and Syon is abused by a villainous adoptive father. They later connect their minds to their previous, supernatural selves and preserve their memories in a shared dream. The author splits the action of the book between the new chronology, in which the young children and a select few guardians advocate for their safety in a hostile world, and the fading dream of the supernatural timeline, riddled with evolving challenges of its own. As in previous books, Biesele uses humanity’s insecurities, lust, brutality, and, very occasionally, capacity for love, as recurring motifs. He also effectively includes revelations about the series’ multiple alien races, such as Sun Gods, Lizards, and Sophistans. However, although this book deepens the worldbuilding of the series, the erasure of the original timeline feels less like a plot advancement and more like a loss for the committed reader.
A choppy fifth installment featuring philosophical musings and a cheekily optimistic conclusion.
In the third installment of Biesele’s (The Saeshell Book of Time: Part 2: Rebirth of Innocents, 2013, etc.) sci-fi/fantasy series, two Earthlings embrace their destinies as allies and enemies complicate their path.
The story picks up on the planet Sophista, where evolutionarily advanced non-corporeal energy creatures live symbiotically with telepathic humans. The Sophistan collective is testing Stefan and Tova2—a powerful, mated pair of human hybrids, born on Earth, who have evolved into “new and unique life forms” and are fated to rule Earth and protect its telepaths. The Sophistans are ruthlessly logical and expect Stefan and Tova2 to rule rationally, but their own motivations are murky. Tova2 is forced to create and destroy a helpless life form, and, later, she and Stefan confront a nightmarish creature that has caused a Sophistan energy-matter hybrid to become sinister and violent. Later, Tova2 and Stefan find out that they, along with Stefan’s gifted younger sister, Aleah, are part of a creature called Atreyeu that exists outside of time. Stefan and Tova2’s future unborn son, who travels through time with Atreyeu’s offspring, also visits them at significant moments, watching as they negotiate challenges and locate telepaths on Earth, including the young Tyco and Ty. Along the way, author Biesele also provides substantive commentary on rationalism versus empathy, aggression versus passivity, and time paradoxes. Given the story’s vast complexity, the first two installments are required reading. Even then, this book’s many secretive characters, cacophonous telepathic conversations, ambiguous innuendos and non-sequential events will likely make the book quite difficult for casual readers to enjoy. It’s a dense amalgam of drama and philosophy that, even for aficionados, may require another installment to fully clarify.
A dense sci-fi tale that will likely appeal primarily to fans of previous books in the series.
Biesele’s second book in the Saeshell series explores the nature of power-hungry forces that seem bent on ruling the universe.
A growing group of Sophistan-humans begins to dominate many planets throughout the universe as its members learn to manage their new-found talents in a hypernatural existence. A Sophistan-human is a new life form created by taking human beings who are disintegrating and regenerating them with some of their old DNA and memories mixed with the life force of other creatures; however, the combination is unpredictable. And the frailty of the human psyche limits the powers of the Sophistan-human. Sophista, both a planet and a life form, learns that another species has also been lurking among the humans, and this presents problems for the future of the Sophistan-humans. The book, which is actually a character itself, challenges the reader and resents the human intrusion into the Sophistan domain. Stefan and Tova2 are back from Book 1, and their love continues to evolve. Each character exists in duplicate or more copies because of a “medical couch” that disintegrates and regenerates, creating countless clones of each human mutated gene resulting in a confusion of characters. In Book 2, there’s still no clear conflict or plot despite the fact that the characters are better developed than in Book 1 and the intricacies of their relationships are more complex. A complicated plot leaves too many unresolved questions, such as why Sophista has an interest in Earth. Many characters and entities appear without sufficient description, making it difficult to remember who they are, much less track their roles in the narrative. Overall, there’s little linearity.
A convoluted installment of Biesele’s sci-fi series returns to some of its unusual characters of the past.
A race of formless consciousnesses imprisoned in crystal intends to reform the universe in this first of a planned sci-fi series where past, present, and future occur simultaneously.
Biesele’s work explores the human psyche through an elevated species that claims to understand the internal workings of the universe. The book, a “living” character, challenges the “meat-based barbaric automatons” to see if they can understand hyperspace—a plane of tunnels intersecting in space. Ty and Tyco’s futures hang in the balance as they explore the history of their own painful evolution by linking with the Guardian, a highly evolved computer system. The two youngsters rely on their teacher, who guides them telekinetically through the history of Stefan and Tova2, the destined leaders of the new universe. The boys, like others before them, evolved from a mix of human genetics and other creatures, a mix that gives them powers to attract the attention of the Sophistans, a race of consciousnesses with no true physical form. The evolved youth had been raised by selfish sociopaths using their children for personal gain until the Sophistans rescue them from the savagery of a human fate. Ty and Tyco train to become Children of Sophista. Despite the promise of an enlightened existence, the “randomness” of human genetics is in direct conflict with the orderly, utopian ideals of the Sophistans, leading to the potential euthanasia of the two boys if they cannot adapt. The book primarily builds the foundation for what is to come in the series. The characters travel through familiar places like London and learn the value of exploring hyperspace despite the dangers of disintegration. The novel struggles under the weight of several heady concepts—an enlightened incorporeal intelligence; a blend of past, present and future; and various wormholes through space. The narrative seems to lose its momentum somewhere deep in the labyrinth of hyperspace.
A space journey sidelined by convoluted, high-concept subplots.