I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Trident's Forge by Patrick S. Tomlinson
Published by Angry Robot on April 5th 2016
Genres: Action & Adventure, Alien Contact, Fiction, Science Fiction
Buy on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, GooglePlay, Kobo, BAM, Book Depository, Publisher
The Ark and her thirty-thousand survivors have reached Tau Ceti G and begun the long, arduous task of building their new colony by the sea. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Tau Ceti G's natives, the G'tel, are coming to grips with the sudden appearance of what many believe are their long-lost Gods. But the first official greeting ceremony between humans and g'tel goes catastrophically wrong, visiting death on both sides. Rumors begin to circulate that the massacre was no accident, and the Ark's greatest hero, Bryan Benson is told to stop coaching his new love of American football and tackle the mystery. Paired up with native 'truth-digger' Kexx, against both of their better judgment, Benson finds himself thrust into the heart of an alien culture with no idea whom to trust, how to speak the language, and how to tell who wants to worship him from who wants to kill him. Together, Benson and Kexx will have to find enough common ground and trust to uncover a plot that threatens to plunge both of their peoples into an apocalyptic war that neither side is prepared for or can afford to lose.
The Ark, a massive space shuttle outfitted to harbor thirty thousands souls away from a dying Earth in the hopes of finding a new home world, has arrived at a suitable planet. The residents of the Ark have begun to build a new colony by the sea on this strange planet inhabited by strange creatures called the G’tel. The G’tel have called the Tau Ceti G home for generations and have a primitive social structure based on gods and ritual rather than logic and technology. The two very different cultures are bound to clash – and do – when the first official greeting ceremony for humans is interrupted with violence that causes losses for both species. Bryan Benson, ex-detective and current football coach, teams up with an alien ‘turth-digger’ Kexx in order to bring those culpable to justice. Benson is thrust into an alien landscape with interstellar strangers whom he must trust to keep him alive while he proves that his colony is not to blame for the grisly greeting ceremony slaughter.
Meanwhile, the Cheif of Police and Bensons wife, Theresa, is dealing with violent outbursts within the human colony. The general populace suddenly wants to wipe out the G’tel, whom they claim, are dangerous species bent on war with the humans. In a rush to ensure that the colony remains peaceful with their new neighbours, Theresa uncovers a plot to manipulate the populace to commit genocide.
Guys, I don’t even know where to start with this one. I requested Trident’s Forge from NetGalley without really knowing what to expect. I’d never read Patrick S. Tomlinson before and I certainly wasn’t sure how the plot would go, but thankfully I decided to take a chance. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself immersed into a world of strange beings, deep questions about the dishonesty of humanity, a whodunit mystery supported by a strong cast of characters.
The G’tel is a cleverly crafted, plausible but alien society that exists on a world that is, for the most part, familiar to humans.
I have always enjoyed science fiction because of the pure creativity that goes into creating new worlds, cultures and species. The entire spirit of science fiction is one that allows anything to be possible – entire worlds can be created and entire cultures can be developed no matter how implausible they seem. Tomlinson obviously did plenty of research to develop the G’tel: a species composed of loose limbs, headcress and shifting-coloured skin for communication. These elements of biology in the G’tel are both foreign and familiar in our current world’s animal populations and yet, at their very core, the G’tel have similar drives and motivations as humans: love, loss and honor. In the end, the G’tel are an unfamiliar civilization, with some interesting social characteristics, which are explored sufficiently to emphasize the exotic while illuminating the key qualities that make us human.
Trident’s Forge is a fast action science fiction novel that doesn’t disappoint with strong characters that continue to develop as they begin to understand their new, alien neighbours. This novel is also exceptionally good at creating interesting mysteries that span a continent and that initially appear to be completely unrelated. In the end, Trident’s Forge is an exciting second installment of what appears to be a fantastic series. I am definitely looking forward to book three of the Children of a Dead Earth series!
Trident’s Forge is a well written novel that kept me obsessively reading until the last page.
This book will appeal to readers who enjoy science fiction, whodunit mysteries, action and adventure and first contact novels. I would definitely recommend reading Trident’s Forge if you’re in the mood to read something unique and exceptionally well written. It’s not required to read The Ark, book one of the Children of a Dead Earth series, as Trident’s Forge is a book that can be consumed as a stand alone.