ELOM by William H. Drinkard


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A debut first-contact novel that blends a dash of classic Star Trek with a healthy dose of psychoanalysis.

On prehistoric Earth, Geerna is preparing for her adulthood ceremony when she is abducted by a mysterious entity whom she believes to be the goddess Shetow. Hundreds of years later on the planet Elom, Geerna’s intelligent but technologically primitive descendants must face Shetow’s judgment upon the human race. The handful of people chosen as humanity’s representatives must solve the mysteries underlying their artificially controlled society and work through their substantial personal issues as they prepare to submit to an unknown and extremely powerful intelligence. The protagonists are far too smart and sophisticated for their hunter/gatherer way of life (for example, they use terms like “specimen” and “variable” when it’s unclear how or why they would understand those concepts), so much so that even the threat of Shetow should not have prevented their ancestors from developing a far more technologically advanced civilization. The story setup is beyond implausible; the prose overwrought and clunky; and the epiphany experienced by each character laughably obvious. However, despite these numerous flaws, the novel is intermittently compelling and possesses a certain naïve charm.

You might want to wait for the next book.

Pub Date: April 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7653-1785-8
Page count: 544pp
Publisher: Tor
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2008