Whiskey Creek Press
eBook format ISBN: 1-59374-658-X & Trade paperback ISBN: 1-59374-657-1
Dragons, aliens, terrorists and romantic trysts come together in a complex web of events in Aethereal Revealed, where fantasy has become reality, and humanity is given a second chance.
The time has come to announce to the world that shape-shifting dragons, known as the Aetheral, have been protecting Earth from malevolent aliens “the Greys” – as well as from ourselves – for millennia. Ebon, an imposing warrior whose true form is a black dragon, and Astra, a beautiful healer whose true form is a white dragon, are the poster children of this campaign, along with their riders Eric Johansson and Judy Deavers. With this new alliance, a number of lucky humans will be chosen to partner with individual Aetheral to work to protect the earth.
Not everyone is happy to discover that the immortal and invulnerable Aethereal are the true rulers of planet Earth. The revelation ushers in an era of changes, including the banning of nuclear weapons, the revolutionising of health and healing, exploration of other planets, and the discovery of technology that renders the current energy sources obsolete. While the general reception of the reformed global community is positive, there are clusters of resistance that result in tragedy for humans and Aethereal alike.
When I saw the blurb for Aethereal Revealed, I was intrigued by the plot. What would happen if Earth’s citizens were informed that they had long been protected by the dragons mythologised into foes? How would this impact the global political scene? How would it impact individuals? This appealed to me as being a fantastic premise – but unfortunately, I found the premise to be the best part of the novel.
As this is the sequel to an earlier book, there are quite a few references to the previous book, as well as some back-story. While this clarifies parts of the current story, it did actually drag the action down in parts – I caught myself thinking that the focus would have been better spent on developing the second story and keeping it moving.
Actually, plot-lag was an issue that I ran into throughout the whole novel. Telling me what happened instead of showing me what happened was the principle cause of irritation. Lists of events were described, some in detail, and I found myself skimming to the next fragment of dialogue or action. While I was interested in what the characters were doing, I really only care about their actions in the context of plot or character development, and sometimes the description had nothing to do with either. I struggled to find a thread for the plot at all – to me it reads like a string of short stories without a common thread that unites them apart from the remarkable circumstance. I kept waiting for information gleaned earlier to become important in a twist that never came.
In the author’s defence, there are many successful authors out there who fill their books with descriptions of events and don’t focus much on characters, and the readers of those books would probably enjoy this one. You say po-tay-tah, I say pot-a-tah. It’s part of what makes literature such a colourful tapestry. But I found the characters to be static, two-dimensional, and strangely identical – there was little variation in style or mannerism across characters to differentiate them. Relationships leaped from “Nice to meet you” to “I love you” in a couple of pages without showing the passing of time and the building of affections – and the dreadful characterisation of the female humans leads me to make it clear, before you get any further, that this is a ‘Boys’ book. (Between you and me, Girls, he ain’t got no clue.)
All in all, in my humble opinion this book was based on a premise that could have been a fascinating study in the interplay between humanity, politics, and greed, but the story just didn’t get off the ground. If you don’t mind a whole lot of information about things of little consequence to the plot or characters, then you might enjoy it, but this little reviewer came away feeling disappointed.
Reviewed by Amber-Rose
© July 2006