Using a highly descriptive, literary style, Alan Paul has written a fine, action-packed novel. Right from the start, we are pulled into the main character, Jason, and his sensu-ous dream. When he wakes up, we further experience what it is truly like to exist in a small space capsule on a unique voyage. Great authentic lingo, such as, “All systems are nominal, although we did have a wave spike in the tunnel, but I calculate the differential thrust ratio levitation, and positive force acceleration; so I readjusted the energy out-put,” made me feel as if I were there with him and his cohort, Sofia, about to experience the not always so peaceful unknown that awaits him and the Rebel Lexis in the great planetary beyond. Dystopian oriented, and to me, reminiscent of the movies “Total Re-call” and “Minority Report,” this was quite a read. Definitely recommended!
The 'Rings of Polaris' by author Paul Alan is three book collection of fast-paced, time-bending sci-fi action which assaults the readers senses, challenging ones understanding of the universe and technology while avoiding many of the confusing tropes and lingo commonly associated with this genre.
Jason Bjorn, captain of the Chameleon, on a dystopian earth, shows himself to be a hard, crass, loner. All the unpleasantness, however, drips away as you learn more about Jason's history, his setbacks.
His complex character is further enhanced by his relationship with his SYNTH, Sophia.
The world building is complex but the reader is never meant to understand it all, not right away. Enough is revealed to keep the reader intrigued and slowly, the depths are revealed, the politics, the black market, and the powerful Polaris Corporation (Sovereigns of the galaxy).
Trying to amass enough wealth to elevate from a lonely Level 4 living condition, Jason agrees to engage in some illegal activity. He must transport nuclear enriched power rods to the Vril. Of course, he is told it will be easy and he won't get in any trouble.
It's not easy and he does get in trouble but being double-crossed tends to do that.
Things go sideways and Jason loses his cargo before being captured. In the midst of being tortured, his gallant SYNTH strides in and saves the day, but not without sustaining injury.
Jason takes the SYHTH, Sophia, to SYNTECH where she is not only repaired but upgraded. The story really gets going now as Sophia takes on a new, more compelling personality. The relationship between the SYNTH and Jason adapts as her fondness and affection for him, and desire to be seen as sentient, leads her to choose her own name.
Mind you, this is still book one.
Jason's character matures as he slowly begins to understand that he actually knows little about the world and the universe. There is far more going on than he could imagine. From Operation Black Star, to primitives on Mars, to the Star Child of the Anunnaki, Jason's whole world is shaken to its core, eventually smacking into a time bubble.
Rings of Polaris has something for everyone, especially for those who love Sci-fi.
My only complaint would be some of the editing and formatting of the book.
At times, these interfered with my pace as a reader. Having been three stand alone books before being compiled into one collection, those issues probably should have been worked out and dealt with.
Please don't let this minor criticism prevent you from checking out this series. You won't be disappointed by the story. You won't be able to turn the pages fast enough.
Science fiction shows up in my recommendation occasionally and when they do, I take a good look at the blurb before committing. Rings of Polaris Collection by Paul Alan looked good and I added it to my TBR list. Here are my thoughts!
Synopsis (from the author): Masterfully crafted by Paul Alan, the ‘Rings of Polaris’ series fuses science fiction, dystopian fiction, and action – in an adventure giving Arthur C. Clarke a run for his money. Readers are invited to strap in with Jason and Rebel Lexis on a mission across the vast wasteland that was once Earth to the surface of Mars. While nobody will deny science fiction’s timeless popularity, both readers and critics are currently crying out for wholly-unique new narratives that don’t succumb to recycling of the “same old” concepts.
What I liked: Rings of Polaris had the interesting characters, cool, technology, and galaxy-altering intrigue that I enjoy in science fiction novels. Jason and Rebel Lexis fill the characters’ role nicely, especially Rebel Lexis’ emergence as an almost human syn. Jason has enough baggage to allow him to be a brooding hero. The tech on the ships was a bonus. With plenty of action, a touch of mystery, and a bit of time travel, the book entertained me!
What I didn’t like: I thought the book could have used another round with an editor. I usually don’t comment on particular words or writing style unless it throws me from the story. In Rings of Polaris, the word ‘albeit’ was overused and, after the first couple of appearances pulled me from the story. In addition, I felt there were some rambling parts that didn’t connect with the story as a whole.
Overall impression: Rings of Polaris Collection had some excellent good sci-fi elements. Good characters, solid technology (including the syns), and the intrigue all make for an entertaining read. Sci-fi fans will enjoy it!
A Sci Fri adventure that was cleverly written. And fun to read. Virtual reality meets quick witted relationships. There’s no lack of interesting characters and objects to focus on to move the story along, including the casting of planet Earth which is not in good shape, a seductress, a captain, a corporation boss, those opposing him, a ship, etc. All come together with crisp action and engaging dialogue. Much has already been written about the collection so no spoilers here. Suffice it to say this was a fast-paced, enjoyable read.