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Sue HTop Contributor: Fantasy Books
3.0 out of 5 starsInteresting Start to Series
Reviewed in the United States on April 13, 2019
The Truth Beyond the Sky is the first book in the Epic of Aravinda series. This can be read as a standalone. There is violence. This was an interesting start to the series. It starts off slow but picks up as you get farther into the book.
Reviewed in the United States on February 17, 2020
I hate giving any book a 2 star rating. But then again, I hate getting a book that only rates 2 stars. I finished it but only because it was relatively short. I wouldn't have been able to continue much longer.
Now, why didn't I like this? First, I imagined I was buying a science fiction book, not a child's version of Master's of the Far East. Spirit guides, deep spiritual meanings to everything. Metaphors for life and "the light" yadayadayada.
All those things would still be okay if the story and the writing were good. The story is very simplistic. The author spends more time describing every little thing and overuses the words "light" and "rainbow". When he does introduce a decent vocabulary word, it's as though he just learned the word himself and wants to try using it.
The descriptions were so continual with no action that my eyes glazed over many times just trying to wait until something would happen. The characters are cheesy at best, the dialogue is stilted and I often wondered if the characters were actually robots or cyborgs. One of them actually did turn out to be mechanical at one point! But she didn't talk any differently than the human beings. Data on Star Trek Next Generation spoke with more inflection.
This could be a child's book I suppose, but I'd hate to recommend it to children. It would turn them off from reading real science fiction. The more I write, the more I'm tempted to change my 2 star rating to a 1 star. But I'm feeling magnanimous. Don't buy this book. Even for free it's not worth your time!
Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2019
Very interesting start to a new series. For parents, some language (used 3 times), and some violence. Above mediocre reading, but found it not so engaging despite how better this book is compared to hundreds unknown authors. Sadly, I wasn't sure whether I would continue in the series. The best part, this book leaves enough unanswered to satisfy the reader. Not an awful ending, but left me doubting whether I care for this style of writing. More written for youth. For me, it was missing the wow factor to remain engaged. It was fascinating & slow for first half, but strange at times trying to understand descriptions of shafts. Had this book on audio for most of it, but seemed to lack some clarity.
Some readers will really enjoy it for the action/adventure. Others will enjoy the chance to see that it is not good enough to continue further, but be glad to see if this works out for them with little risk.
4.0 out of 5 starsNice Light Fast-paced Sci-fi Novel
Reviewed in the United States on July 22, 2014
This was a very enjoyable light read that was quite difficult to put down; I found myself up until 2 AM a couple of nights. It is good science fiction which does not delve into heavy techie details of the objects that are beyond the technical abilities of the main character, Zahn. He is from a planet that does not have space travel yet, but is exploring the galaxy via telescopes. Zahn ends up aboard a downed spaceship as he becomes needed by its pilot for a grave mission of supreme importance. This leads him across the galaxy where he meets new friends and galactic enemies. As the author says about his writings, 'transcending' one's self is needed to be learned. This skill is the only way to get their message to the Council; an interesting twist you don't find in many stories of this genre which I found interesting. I only gave it 4 stars because (1) as others have said, Zahn is unable to get many questions answered about the new tech he is encountering and using, and (2) even though I like that it was Not a "blood and guts" war-like story, things for the most part happened almost too easily. Only toward the end of the book do things gets a bit harrowing, but "extra help" saves the day. I really do appreciate how polished this story is. I've read too many lately that not just had a lot of spelling errors, but poor grammar as well. I am ready for a continuance. Thank you, Andrew M. Crusoe.
Reviewed in the United States on December 14, 2015
I listened to the audiobook version of this book and I would listen to any audiobook that Jeff Hays has narrated in the past or will narrate in the future. He either used technology to help with the various voices or he is absolutely amazing at voices, even the female voices sounded like actual people and not caricatures like so often happens with opposite gender voices. I seriously cannot say enough good things about the narration for this book.
I believe this book is targeted to slightly younger than me science fiction fans, so it skips over detailed descriptions of exactly how the technology works, which I appreciate. Although some people will likely argue that the way that is done is a copout, I liked it and felt that it made perfect sense for the story, and it kept the story from feeling bogged down by descriptions that would likely have bored me to tears.
I felt like the story moved along at a fairly fast pace, but it didn't feel unrealistically fast if that makes any sense. There was quite a bit of action, but a fair amount of "down" time too, so it didn't feel like the characters were just being bombarded with one thing after another. I guess I could say it was well balanced.
Overall I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and the narration 7 out of 5 stars because it was that good. I definitely recommend this book to sci-fi fans and if you have any interest in audiobooks at all, spring for the audio. You won't regret it.
This book, suitable for youth readers, I liken to a written ballad where the tales of multiple encounters within a bigger journey are told. Our main character, Zahn, finds himself immersed in a quest, along with an alien, Oon, and Oon’s ship - itself a living entity. It becomes a classic tale of good and evil, portrayed in a galactic setting as Zahn helps newfound friends and together they fight an aggressive alien race. Hidden within this tale are lessons in understanding others and selfless sacrifice. If you’re looking for an engaging book for your sixth through high school reader, this is a good choice.