Fantasy, Paperback: 356 pages
Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing (2008)
Not often does an author allow you a glimpse into the life of a series' protagonist prior to the novels. While you might wonder what s/he was like as a teenager, you can only guess what events shaped them into the adult they are in the books. That's why when I heard author Christopher Hoare's heroine Gisel Matah, of Deadly Enterprise and Wildcat's Victory was the sixteen year old "starship brat" in his third novel ARRIVAL, I couldn't resist -- I had to read the book.
ARRIVAL is the story of the dramatic events of the starship Iskander ending up on the wrong planet in the wrong world. Though there are plenty of mishaps and woes, it's fun to see just how much trouble Iskander's unofficial translator can get herself into. Not all the misadventures are of Gisel's doing. But take one feisty teenager, add attitude, rebellion, and a mouth that never stops, and you've got one exceptionally entertaining fantasy.
Gisel's parents are recently divorced (seems Matah Senior can't keep his hands off young proteges), and Gisel suspects she's aboard because her father hopes to repair their estranged relationship. Only Gisel may never see her mother again because finding their way back to Earth seems unlikely. If that isn't enough, she's subjected to an overbearing father, a recluse brother, and more chauvinists than most women meet in a lifetime. And that's only the beginning.
ARRIVAL has a huge cast of characters: engineers, scientists, knights, lords, ladies, earls, and a king and an emperor. What makes this books and the series so exceptionally well done isn't just the epic adventures of these fascinating characters, but the story of how Gisel rises from a lowly fitness instructor to a courageous, intelligent, and formidable agent. In ARRIVAL Gisel may start off as a brat, but by the end, she is anything but.
I highly recommend this novel and definitely books one and two in the Iskander Series.
Christopher Hoare's Fantasy novel Rast is out in ebook through MuseItUp Publishing February 28th, 2011.