A woman aiding an alien race contends with restless humans awaiting the aliens’ rejuvenation of their dying Earth in the second of Osgood’s (The Reclamation, 2017) sci-fi series.
The Lumenians are the original natives of Earth and creators of humans. But they must intervene and save their creation since humanity’s treatment of the planet practically guarantees its extinction in the mid-21st century. Earthos is a Lumenian who contacts and later fuses with female human Corilan Troxler, using telepathy to communicate with her. She convinces the world to take refuge in the Ephemeral Passage, a limbo of sorts, while the aliens renew Earth. Corilan, however, has kept mum about the Lumenians, as per their request. As humans establish communes within the passage, their uneasiness is palpable. Allegiants (humans designated as Earth guardians) fear members of the worldwide School of Ancestral Guidance plan on turning them into slaves. There’s eventually tension between the groups, which is especially taxing on Corilan, as both a SAG member and the chief of allegiants. Additional complicated developments spark aggressive reactions among the humans. Osgood aptly incorporates numerous social themes into the storyline. In addition to the environmental message, there are traces of segregation (the notion of allegiants’ and SAG members’ children attending different schools) and religion (Lumenians are, after all, humanity’s makers). Genre elements are equally riveting: Corilan’s bond with Earthos furnishes her with healing and mind-reading abilities, and humans ultimately learn of shocking biological changes in the passage. The meticulous characterization does come at the expense of plot. With all the meetings and announcements addressing humans’ civil discord, the story sometimes stagnates. Nevertheless, a surprise ending promises a deeper look into Corilan’s developing feelings for Earthos, whom she periodically sees in physical form.
Sharp writing molds profound characters and themes even if the story’s overall progress is minute.