Three amnesiac Earth youths with inexplicable superpowers join refugee Kirin on her war-torn world in a conflict that threatens to engulf the galaxy.
In this debut novel, Planet Alluria, in the Argent star system, is wracked by the depredations of a militaristic conquering race called the Ensi. Kirin, a beautiful Allurian teenager, barely survives an encounter with a squad of Ensi when she finds herself on the run with three uninvited guests, all Earth males (in their own teen years). Vaan, Roger, and Sky have no clear memory of their pasts (not even how they came to speak Alluria’s native language effortlessly), only a vague recollection of leaving on a mission into deep space to combat a threat to their planet by near-Godlike entities. And there’s another detail—all of them seem to have different superpowers (throwing fireballs, being able to freeze things, etc.). Moreover, psychic Kirin (whose ability may be the most devastating of all) remains gravely ill with lamiansias, a congenital Allurian degenerative disease, with a dwindling stash of serum that’s the only thing keeping her alive. The quest-style narrative—although none of the characters are sure until the halfway point what they are seeking or why—serves to introduce an array of creatures and beings (and superpowers) slated to be revisited in future installments of a proposed trilogy. Readers know this because of a bookend meta-gimmick in which a nameless “storyteller” dickers with a hired “writer” to get this tale down on paper (hinting that it’s a true account). The plotline involving a paranormal team of teenage heroes could have come straight out of a Japanese anime/manga saga (not necessarily a flaw, although the Earth guys might have benefited from more colorful personalities). And a lizardly ally would fit in well with similar reptilian fan favorites in the Mass Effect gamer universe. A deliberate cliffhanger ending sets readers up for the next volume in an epic that takes a careful, narrow road between the fashionably dark, grim stuff and the LucasArts-friendly space swashbuckling.
A lively sci-fi action-adventure that should appeal to teenagers.