Astral Alignment

Fiction - Fantasy - General
307 Pages
Reviewed on 07/03/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Paul Zietsman for Readers' Favorite

Astral Alignment by Randall Sharpe is a two-part horror and science-fantasy novel. In Forestrunner, a young woman, Clover, finds herself in an alien world or dimension. She has almost no recollection of her previous life on Earth and soon forms a strong bond with the natives of the alien world. Having psychic abilities and being able to communicate with the wild gods, she takes on a leadership role and leads the tribespeople in a war against their powerful and monstrous enemies. In Alignment, Josiah, an autistic teenager with psychic abilities, comes into contact with an alien being. As he learns about the nature of reality, Earth is thrust into a process called astral alignment that causes portals to open to monstrous beasts that wreak havoc on Earth.

Astral Alignment is an amazing feat of creativity, with themes of alien abduction, apocalypse, and the nature of reality. Randall Sharpe combines two stories with converging characters into a melting pot of horror, suspense, and intrigue. In both stories, the use of psychedelic drugs, including ayahuasca, strengthens the users' godlike and psychic abilities, and this ties in well with the theme of questioning reality and its ultimate truth. The characters vary from heroic and exciting to witty and sarcastic—a great balance that adds to the novel's enthralling intrigue and sharp humor; Josiah Powers' internal dialogue when presumably on LSD is especially striking. Astral Alignment is an absorbing and exceedingly unique fantasy novel that caters to lovers of New Age spirituality, ufology, and all things paranormal.

Jamie Michele

Astral Alignment by Randall Sharpe is a science-fiction horror novel with stories in two parts. In part one, Clover awakens with amnesia in a forest, is saved by Warrick, and learns of dangerous shades created by the ancients. She joins the Forestrunners. As turmoil erupts, she warns of the ancients and is seen as a leader. Forced into a rescue, Clover must also prepare her community for a siege, seeking guidance from the wild gods. In part two, Josiah Powers is taken by the father he doesn't know to Europe, where it is hoped his latent psychic powers can be used to hunt down his uncle's killer. Josiah is thrust into a surreal scheme where he learns the power of a blink, his burgeoning telekinetic abilities, and, ultimately, communicating with the extraterrestrial and summoning a threat.

I didn't think that Astral Alignment by Randall Sharpe could get better after reading Forestrunners, with its incredible world-building, and experiencing it alongside Clover at the same time. The concept of 'vryn,' a subtle energy that the Forestrunners manipulate, and the disciplined daily routines and training regimen of the group, were the standouts to me. Then we get to part two, and the neuro-divergent Josiah is immediately a kid you want to root for despite a rough start; for him, not us. Ling is my favorite character in the entire book, possibly because she reminds me a little of an aunt I have. I had a fist-pump moment when she said, “In China, there are entire schools where they train kids like you to do impossible things, but here they just dope you up.” Overall, this is an excellent pairing and as the first in a series, I'm excited to see where it goes next.

Romuald Dzemo

Astral Alignment by Randall Sharpe is an intricate novel weaving together the fates of three compelling characters amidst a cosmic conflict. Clover Fields wakes up lost in a forest with no memory, only to discover she possesses extraordinary abilities and a crucial role as a protector in a mysterious hamlet called Teiwaz. Espionage agent Darien Weever chases after Delta Freya's nefarious plots, navigating perilous underground networks. Meanwhile, Josiah Powers struggles with emerging psychic abilities and his involvement in supernatural battles driven by his father and a sinister cult known as the Sunflower. Each character faces daunting threats and personal transformations through their interconnected journeys as they face an impending apocalypse, blending the physical and astral realms.

Randall Sharpe’s handling of characterization is remarkable, with each protagonist offering a unique lens into the overarching narrative. Clover Fields' evolution from a bewildered survivor to the resilient leader of Teiwaz stands out as particularly compelling. Darien Weever, driven by duty and determination, pursues the elusive Codex Aeternatus within the Sunflower's cult. His confrontation with cult leader Spherus showcases his steely resolve, even as he mistakenly enters through the wrong door, adding a touch of dark humor amid the tense standoff. Weever's journey through an unexpected extradimensional landscape further explores the complexity of his mission and the broader implications of Delta Freya's conspiracies. The Sunflower's cult plays a unique role in the story, serving as the antagonistic force that weaves through Josiah Powers’ storyline. His psychic outburst against the cult captors, resulting in mass destruction, underscores his latent power and the growing threat posed by the cult. Josiah's familial ties provide an emotional anchor to the narrative. His attempt to reconnect with his family and the supernatural dialogues with Jordan, the visitor, emphasize the human stakes amid cosmic chaos. Astral Alignment is a richly detailed novel that merges supernatural elements with the struggles of leadership and survival. Randall Sharpe's narrative prowess and exceptional characterization make for an electrifying read.

Christian Sia

Astral Alignment by Randall Sharpe intertwines three distinct narrative threads involving complex characters embroiled in a cosmic battle. The story centers on Clover Fields, who awakens in a mysterious forest, barely remembering her past, but soon finds herself fighting against eldritch creatures and leading a resilient group, the Forestrunners. Concurrently, we follow Darien Weever, an espionage agent, navigating a labyrinth of conspiracies against the organization Delta Freya. Last, young Josiah Powers struggles with newfound psychic abilities as his estranged father drags him into a maze of supernatural conflicts. These narratives converge around critical themes of survival, leadership, and the paranormal as each character confronts their destiny in an apocalyptic landscape, culminating in a gripping showdown between humanity and ancient cosmic forces.

Randall Sharpe excels at developing deeply compelling characters. Clover Fields is a dynamic protagonist who evolves from a disoriented survivor into an influential leader. Her journey is marked by moments of vulnerability and strength. As the story opens, readers witness her instinctual fight for survival as she shoots an eldritch creature, which immediately cements her as a formidable force despite her initial disorientation. Meanwhile, Darien Weever represents the world of espionage with a gritty resolve. He confronts the enigmatic Spherus and showcases his unyielding determination and adaptability in peril. Josiah Powers embodies the struggle of taming supernatural power with his youthful innocence and burgeoning abilities. His climactic battle against Dr. Andersson under chemical influence highlights his internal struggle and raw power, marking significant character development. Astral Alignment is a compelling narrative with a strong appeal to fans of paranormal, dystopia, and science fiction. The characters are intriguing, the plot is twisty, and the author weaves tension through every page.

Demetria Head

Randall Sharpe’s Astral Alignment is a compelling post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel that is divided into two distinct parts: Forestrunner and Alignment. The book begins with Forestrunner, where readers are introduced to Clover Fields, who wakes up in a dark, mysterious forest. Covered in blood and with no memory of how she got there, Clover’s immediate struggle for survival against the eerie backdrop sets a gripping tone for the narrative that unfolds. Readers are drawn into Clover’s harrowing journey as she navigates the forest, piecing together fragments of her memory. The second part, Alignment, shifts the focus to Josiah Powers, a high school student navigating the trials of daily life under the shadow of a dystopian world. Josiah's day starts like any other, but his experiences are tinged with a sense of isolation and resentment. His interactions with his special education classmates and teachers are depicted with a blend of dark humor and poignant introspection. However, his life takes a dramatic turn as his hidden powers begin to surface. Meanwhile, his estranged father, driven by a vengeful agenda, seeks to exploit these newfound abilities, setting the stage for the impending Astral Alignment—a cataclysmic event that threatens to tear the planet apart.

Astral Alignment excels in its intricate plot and well-crafted characters. Clover's and Josiah’s parallel journeys are both engaging and thought-provoking, exploring themes of survival, identity, and resilience in the face of overwhelming odds. Randall Sharpe’s world-building is meticulous, creating a dystopian landscape that is both hauntingly beautiful and terrifying. Fans of post-apocalyptic sci-fi will appreciate the novel’s depth and the seamless intertwining of its two parts. Astral Alignment is a must-read for those who enjoy thrilling, character-driven stories set in richly imagined worlds. The adept storytelling ensures that readers will be captivated from start to finish, eagerly turning the pages to discover the mysteries of Clover’s past and Josiah’s future.