From Earth to Terra, Stone City

Fiction - Science Fiction
326 Pages
Reviewed on 04/07/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

Stone City by Beverly Jenness is another gripping entry, the second installment, in the From Earth to Terra series. Set 200 years from now, readers are introduced to the group of colonists, now settled in a new world (planet) after surviving upheavals in nature, including drastic climate changes and a dying earth. In their new home, the colonists are starting a new civilization, but everything begins from zero, because this new home seems to have its own laws, its own weather, its own kinds of creatures and dangers. Now they are going to experience everything for the first time; crime, death and, most frighteningly, winter. So, how are they going to deal with each of these realities? Here is an adventure that will excite readers and make them shudder at the same time. It is a very entertaining and prophetic kind of story that warns humankind of the perils of climate change.

I was honored to read and review the first book in this series and Beverly Jenness’ writing had me completely absorbed. Now, she has done it again, crafting a sci-fi story that is infused with a lot of imagination, stellar writing characterized by powerful descriptions and awesome characters. The setting is like nowhere readers have been, but it is vividly painted so well that readers can feel like they are part of its décor. The opening lines of the story already fill the reader with a peculiar feeling, a link with the setting: “The lightning flashed through the black night, silhouetting Stone City against a canvas of dark clouds and a darker night. Their new planet trembled with the constant onslaught of thunder, sending vibrations through to the very core of the city.” Stone City is a page-turner, a purpose-driven, masterfully crafted story that transports readers into an imaginary world that could exist in their future, many years from now.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

From Earth to Terra: Stone City by Beverly Jenness continues the saga to create a new world on the planet Terra. The residents of Stone City remain vigilant. As a clan, they strive to protect their new home from the evil Purists remaining on the ships and from Terra’s violent wildlife. With winter rapidly approaching, improvements to the city take high priority. The clan continues to grow with babies and refugees from both New Dawn I and II ship settlements - “So much to do, so much to learn.” In Stone City, the humans and tubers work together, sharing their talents with one another. Everything seems good for now. However, in the recesses of their minds, they are plagued with the haunting fear - will they be able to survive winter and the obvious differences between them. No one knew what the future held.

From Earth to Terra: Stone City depicts the trials and triumphs of life. Beverly Jenness reminds us that no matter what planet or era of time we reside in, there will be adversity to grow through and rise above. As challenging as life is on Terra, it is still life. The first book in the series ended with an exodus; Stone City starts with a new beginning. Jenness pens a large cast of characters, but maintains focus on an elite few. The depth of each individual character develops as they overcome tragedy, hardships and the pains of forming a functional society. Idyllically, the character differences are portrayed as gifts to benefit one another. But one can only wonder, how long will these gifts be used for good? Astral projections, telepathy, the ability to read and alter people’s minds are powerful influences to harness and control. However, the idea of a perfect world is tempered by the fateful memories of Earth and the unknown forces of Terra. The new world is a constant flux of utopia and peril - birth and death, war and unity, grief and joy, fear and wonder – circumvent life on Terra. Beverly Jenness ends Stone City with enduring hope coupled by a shocking revelation, leaving the reader with an “I didn’t see that coming” conclusion.

Sefina Hawke

From Earth to Terra, Stone City by Beverly Jenness is the second book in the series and it begins the morning after the exodus that took place in book one. This is a book that would appeal most to a mixed audience of young adults and adults who enjoy science fiction, as well as those who enjoyed the first book in the From Earth to Terra series. Two hundred years into the future, Earth is dying and those who call Earth home are facing extinction, but not all hope is lost as the Life Trust Guild has prepared and stolen two NASA ships that they loaded with people and supplies to have delivered to a planet known as Terra. However, the unthinkable happened and they were betrayed. The ships were forced to avoid pursuit by taking a different course through radiation that propelled them through space. With no chance of finding their way back, they are forced to colonize a new world. What dangers and hardships will they face and will they survive or perish?

From Earth to Terra, Stone City by Beverly Jenness reminded me a bit of the mass effect of video games with how humanity has been forced to look for a home outside of Earth, and the way that technology has advanced over time. I liked how the author wrote about the colonists' plans to create a community of their own, and how it is not all just smiles and rainbows as they have to face off against their own hatred and prejudices. Then there are also all sorts of new and unique animals and plant life that they have to understand without the use of the technology of Earth to assist them. I greatly enjoyed reading about the new world that the author created within the pages of this book, as well as the adventures and hardships of the colonists.

Ruffina Oserio

After the colonists survive the devastating effects of climate change and the dying earth, they are finally settled in a new home. It is two hundred years in the future, and they have to start their life from scratch. Stone City introduces readers to a community of survivors as they face new challenges, struggle to adapt, and get used to their new environment. It is not an easy experience as they explore new ways of leadership, encounter new dangers, and learn to live with new plants and animals. But what bothers them most is what winter will look like and can they survive it in this difficult and unforgiving world? This is book two in the From Earth to Terra series and Beverly Jenness comes across as a mistress of the craft, introducing readers to powerful elements of the sci-fi genre.

There is so much to savor in this new and captivating installment in the series. First, the author creates very interesting and compelling characters - Amanda, Socrates, Nick, Artemis, Olivia, Zen. These and many others will stay with readers long after they are done reading the story. Second, the descriptive prose, sprinkled with intelligent and plot-driven dialogues, will grip readers and get to their hearts like music. It is interesting to note that the author captures sounds, sights, and details in the story without sacrificing plot in any way, and without making the read boring.

The setting is awesome, a strange world with post-apocalyptic features. It is well constructed and masterfully described so that the reader can imagine and visualize it. This is an aspect of writing that allows the reader to connect easily with the different elements of the story. The conflict in Stone City revolves around the concept of survival and it is wonderfully integrated into the plot. Beverly Jenness’ novel is an exciting read with numerous relevant themes. It’s a page-turner.

Samantha Dewitt (Rivera)

Being on a new planet on their own is a difficult task for the members of New Dawn I, but the rift between some of their members and the forced move to another place, entirely their own, has changed things even more. Where life before was difficult, life in their own Stone City is possibly even more so, as they attempt to learn about their own survival and advance their civilization in any way possible. But what of the ship that traveled with them across space and time? Little is known about New Dawn II until Evette happens across information that could prove they are in even more danger than the members of New Dawn I ever were, but can they save their fellow travelers? Do they even want to? And what might happen if they do save them and bring them back? It’s all just part of the story in From Earth to Terra: Stone City by Beverly Jenness.

This is definitely a story of survival and determination. For the people who are living on this new planet, there is nothing easy about life. They all have to learn how to take care of themselves and contribute to their new society. It’s a complex story and one that you will want to read more than once. I already loved the first book so when I knew there was another one coming out, I had to read it. I’m glad that I did because I liked the characters even more (and there are more of them). I’ll be watching for more after From Earth to Terra: Stone City by Beverly Jenness.