The Gates of the Frontier Universe  by Christopher Villanueva

The Gates of the Frontier Universe

A Society Called to Arms
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KIRKUS REVIEW

An epic sci-fi novel centered on an intergalactic dispute from debut author Villanueva.

The world of Atlantis is under attack, and the Galactic Court must take action. After discussion, they decide to intervene since the court “believes the attacks on Atlantis will soon transform into a full invasion.” With skilled warriors like Olivia Silatine and Dakota Raldonar involved in the fray, it seems like the Union (as the opposing forces are called) hardly stands a chance. However, men like Pirate Gen. Thomas Morgan and the diabolical Cmdr. Étienne Fontaine, who once served as the leader of a combating force that killed millions, have tricks up their interstellar sleeves. Meanwhile, a young man named Lex Clark is embarking on a quest of his own. Journeying with his father, a politician of much renown who “had in fact done great things in the past,” the two seek one of several Celestial Artifacts that “are extremely rare and known by only a few in the entire galaxy.” The artifacts are of vital importance, and if found by Fontaine, worlds far beyond Atlantis may very well be doomed. Complex and lengthy, the story is slowed at times by extraneous details; e.g., “Accompanying the trio of capital cruisers, many smaller support craft held formation and surrounded the host vessels. These units not only assisted their flagships during combat but also provided protection during space travel.” The novel is not without surprises, which range from the extent of Fontaine’s evil genius to the emergence of a colorful three-tailed fox, which “actually had more in common with that of an adult lion.” Over-the-top dialogue, however, is often distracting: “The Court sealed its own fate the moment they put trust in the likes of you, FAILED SORCERERRRR!” And the overuse of capitalization doesn’t help: “IT HAS BEEN NEARLY SEVEN LONG CENTURIES SINCE YOUR DEFEAT ON EARTH. YOU FAILED TO UNDERSTAND THEN THAT LIFE DOES NOT ANSWER TO YOUR BECK AND CALL.” Propelled by action—“bullets flew, blue, green, and red shards whizzed, arrows stuck, and little fires grew all around the team”—and plenty of twists, however, this muddled story still manages to satisfy.

A taxing read that makes good on early promises of an epic adventure.

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 2015
Page count: 718pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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