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Posted January 17, 2013
The Fifth World
A well-thought-out and well-articulated combination of futuristic speculative and science fiction, “The Fifth World” begins with the Hopi explanation of the five worlds in which humans have lived since creation by the spirits, and then leaps immediately into the chaotic and uproarious 22rd century, an era of space travel and potential off-planet colonization. But this novel goes much deeper than simply explaining faster-than-light travel. It is philosophical, metaphysical, spiritual in that it examines tenets of many faiths, scientific; and it is also a novel of character.
I’d be hard pressed to select the main characters; both planet Earth and the newly-colonized planet, Gaia, in another solar system, are characters in their own right. So are the spaceships: the Ark, the Mayflower, the Atlantis, the Prophet. Important also are terraforming scientist Becca Newman; her brother Alex of the U.S. Department of Justice and among the first group of colonists to Gaia; Marissa du Preece, formerly Alex’s professional protégé and fourteen years later the Ambassador to the Terran Federation; and many others, including Brazilian scientist Felix and Iranian scientist Khalid, both astrophysicists. There are layers and layers of characters, layers upon layers of politics, economics, society, cultures.
I found this an exceptional novel and was very glad for the opportunity to read it. I was provided an ebook copy by the author via NetGalley in return for my fair and impartial review.