Aliens make contact with ancient humanity in Joseph’s debut sci-fi novel.
The Alterrans long ago journeyed from their homeworld to study and live on prehistoric Earth, but they face a daunting reality: the planet Alterra is dying, and there’s no way for them to travel back to it. As a result, the Earth-based Alterrans are tasked with keeping alive their planet’s way of life. Although the aliens have an impressive Earth settlement and amazing technologies such as cloaking devices and rejuvenation chambers, their leader, Lil, and his people grow uneasy with the way the Earth is changing. With the glaciers melting, the planet’s mastodon population is dwindling and the human population rising. Lil breaks Alterran rules by interacting with humans, and he realizes they are not the dirty savages he believed them to be. Can the Alterrans maintain their customs and culture on Earth, or will things change on this new world? Joseph ably portrays the intricacies of the Alterran way of life and paints a detailed picture of an ancient time in Earth’s history. However, the details sometimes weigh the story down rather than move it along. Unfortunately, many characters come off as somewhat stiff and underdeveloped; as a result, some readers may find it difficult to connect to the Alterrans’ sense of helplessness at being trapped on Earth. That said, the overall premise of the story is engaging; hopefully, in future volumes, the novel will move past the jargon to develop the story further.
An intriguing but uneven caveman-meets-spaceman story.