Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Dark Foundations

Title: The Dark Foundations

Series: The Lamb Among the Stars #2

Author: Chris Walley

Genre: Futuristic/Apocalyptic Science-fiction

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of The Dark Foundations:

Over four hundred light-years beyond Farholme, Sentius Lezaroth, Fleet-Captain of the Tenth Dominion Task Force and Margrave of Cam Nisua, scrutinized the main pilot’s screen on his low-orbit lander as it entered the final moments of the descent. There was nothing for him to do—every aspect of its descent from the battleship Strallak Ravager through the turbulent atmosphere of Khalamaja had been handled by the planet’s control center.

I hate remotely handled landings. I have no control over events. I feel vulnerable. And today, I don’t even know where I’m going.

His screen showed the sprawling, dirty city of Khetelak, the planetary capital. Within moments the lander was heading toward a tiny landing pad high on the spire of what seemed to be the tallest building.

“We are landing, Admiral!” he called out, and braced himself.

The touchdown, however, was gentle. As soon as the lander was stable and all the other parameters looked normal, Lezaroth initiated the power-down procedure.
That much they allow me to do.

He adjusted his uniform and glanced at the only other occupant of the lander, Admiral Kalartha-Har.

Kalartha-har, a bulky man with a worn, heavy face and thinning silver hair, stared out of a window, drumming his fingers against the seat.

He’s nervous. Both of us are. But then, who wouldn’t be when you’re suddenly called to a meeting with our elusive and mysterious Lord-Emperor Nezhuala—a man I’ve never met. Few of us have.

“Sir, where are we, exactly?”

“We are, Margrave, on the summit of the Tower of Carenas at the citadel of Kal-na-Tanamuz. In short, we are at the heart of the Dominion.”

Forester-turned-military-commander battles growing, ancient evil from without—and within.

The Writing: The Dark Foundations is equal to the precedent set by book one, The Shadow and Night, and exceeds it in many ways. For while the descriptions remain on the lengthy side and the book is somewhat slow in the beginning again, the pace picks up quicker than in book one, and the reader can better identify with the chacacters, somewhat sadly due to the increasing evil.

Beyond that, the writing is clean and straight forward, with little outstanding in my mind.

The Story: Again I’m greatly impressed with the spiritual threads in The Dark Foundations, just as I was in The Shadow and Night. This book provides some fascinating peeks into supernatural realms, both good and evil, and the war so often unseen by humanity.

In addition, The Dark Foundations show how far evil can spread, how nothing and no one is immune to it. Yet while this casts a dark tone over the story, flickers of light pop up throughout: you can, by the grace of God, defeat evil and overcome its insidious influence.

However, be aware that The Dark Foundations is a novel about war, not just internally, but also externally. So battles and combat are an unavoidably large chunk of this story. That said, this is one of the most bloodless wars I’ve read about. Though detailed, it’s not graphic and most of the “graphic violence” is enacted against machines, not humans, so it doesn’t carry the same horror factor of most wars. Probably the worst points are the couple, brief mentions of evil’s practice of human sacrifice, which is best skimmed rather than visualized. However, the writing allows you to do just that, since most of it is left to the imagination.

Summary: The Dark Foundations is as good as The Shadow and Night, bringing with it my high recommendation. While the writing may not be the most outstanding I’ve ever read, The Dark Foundations have much to offer for Christian readers of every genre.

Also, because of how the descriptions and violence are done, this story is fairly accessible to teens of all ages, especially if they have not been exposed to excessive amounts of graphic violence in the visual mediums (thus preventing them from filling in the blanks implied by the descriptions).

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Click here to order.

(The Shadow and the Night, book one, reviewed here, and The Infinite Day, book three, reviewed here.)

No comments: