Whiskey Creek Press
Electronic format ISBN: 978-1-59374-654-4
Trade paperback ISBN: 978-1-59374-653-7
When I picked up Æthereal, the first book in the series, I found myself in a world populated by Dragons, humans, and other assorted aliens. Some of them were located in my own back yard. Scary. The thought that Dragons exist among us has been the focus of a multitude of books but the Æthereal series takes it to a higher level. Image our world ceasing to exist, except for the Guardians that have defended us from alien invasion for thousands of years. Do we owe our very existence to the Dragons known as the Æthereal?
The Ursars are another of the Guardian races, helping to guard against and quench the threat of the Grays. They are described as twenty-foot tall, telepathic purple bears. Sounds like a cuddly bunch, too. They have some fantastic powers of the mind, creating all that they need from the natural world around them by altering things on the molecular level. They are very peaceful, considering their size and power.
Korin is a young Ursar who has not yet found his niche in the Clan. Others of his birth year have found their life's work but Korin is still seeking his place. He wants to work with the machines that were left behind by the Ancients, that unseen race that created the Guardians. He enjoys watching the red sun of his planet as it rises each morning. He is very much the gentle soul, as are most of the Ursars.
Seven renegades of the Guardians of Sol (Æthereals) were among the Ursars for a short time, causing fear, mistrust, and feelings of inferiority. Once they were recalled to their own home world of Paradise, the Ursars were quite relieved. Because of the damage done to the relationships between the Æthereal and the Ursars by the renegade seven, Danny and Forrest the Green, a guardian team of explorers that were the first to contact the Ursars, are sent to mend the breach. As the Æthereal are no longer trusted, Spyder, leader of the Science Support Staff at Borland Base on Paradise, is welcomed to reside with the Ursar to learn their way of life and to show the Ursars what the Æthereal are like through the eyes of humanity. His wife, Katarina, is later welcomed to come along with their friends, Danny and his wife Katherine.
Meanwhile back on planet Earth, an interracial relationship seems to be building between a human female and an Æthereal male. They are working together, attempting to find out more about the Ancients from following a tunnel leading from the Chamber of the Ancients, through underground caverns, to a set of doors that no one can open and not even the Æthereal can portal through. Azure, a blue Æthereal, and Jenna, a human geologist, spark a relationship that I expect will have interesting consequences in future installments. I can only wonder where this will lead.
Æthereal's Clans follows the discovery of an impenetrable room of the Ancients on Earth; the settling among the Ursars by two human couples as they decide it is where they belong and the new lifestyle they choose to adopt, and finally a grand battle against the Gray invasion on yet another planet. The story moves forward at an even pace but did not fulfill my expectations of excitement and adventure based on the first two books. I learned much about the Ursars and their amazing powers to change anything, even the ability to reverse a Bi-Lateral Tubule Legation (aka, having ones "tubes tied" to prevent pregnancy), by altering the molecular structure in question.
Æthereal is a fabulous story containing a lot of action and suspense. Æthereal Revealed doesn’t have as much action but there is enough to keep the series moving along at a good pace. It introduces the new world order after humans find out about the Æthereal, and peripheral characters, but with few great action scenes. Æthereal's Clans contains very few action scenes. Not nearly enough by the standards set in the previous novels. The Ursars and their way of life are introduced. But what a marvelous way of life it is.
I've enjoyed the continuing sage of the Æthereal but I expect that certain aspects of the ending of Æthereal's Clans, which left several situations hanging, will be concluded in a satisfactory manner in the next installment. Even so, if I don't have the privilege to review the next book in the series, I will be purchasing Æthereal's Prideon the first day of its release.
Reviewed by MargeAnna Conrad
© September 2006