Khalan & Jane: Arrival at Ahalla

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
448 Pages
Reviewed on 10/24/2017
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Author Biography

I'm Barrington Zane, the creator and author of the "Khalan & Jane" series. The series was originally intended to be a comic book series, hence the mixing of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror/Dark Fantasy genres, but I struggled with writing in the comic book script format, so the "Khalan & Jane" series became a novel, short story and novella series of books instead!

"Khalan & Jane: Arrival at Ahalla" was hugely influenced, both by superhero comics and by "The Lord of the Rings", the latter which I was and still am a big fan of and it was because of Tolkien's Middle-earth that I created Ahalla, Alasa and the other worlds of the novel and series, though this was also influenced by the worlds and other dimensions of the superhero comics. As well as comics and some novels, films and TV shows were another influence, with TV series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Star Trek and Smallville, the latter in particular that came to shape my characters and the world(s) they occupied.

As well as writing stories, I also like reading them and I'm a huge fan of the stories of Raymond Chandler and Wilkie Collins. Though my own stories are Sci-Fi and Fantasy influenced, as a reader I have a liking for detective stories!

    Book Review

Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite

Khalan & Jane: Arrival at Ahalla by Barrington Zane follows the journey of three teenagers that must band together to stop the Spider Lord. Khalan and his foster sister, Jane, have always stood out on their planet. Jane is known for her Earth heritage, while Khalan stands out with his purple skin and unique abilities. When mysterious stranger Elaeus shows up at their house, they're warned about vampires watching them and the Spider Lord seeking to steal their powers. Before they know it, they're whisked away to an unknown place called Ahalla where they meet fellow teenager Khaius. While Jane discovers the shocking origins of her own ability known as the Fire, she finally learns the full story of her birth on Earth. As Elaeus attempts to protect them from a meeting he knows will occur, Khalan ends up in a chance encounter with a stranger connected to the Spider Lord.

Khalan, Khaius, and Jane each have a role to play, with every thread slowly coming together for an amazing journey. Every detail is precise and everything falls perfectly into place. The setting is beautiful and full of imagination. Each character is full of life and personality, even the range of robots that help care for the teenagers and provide a surrogate family. Barrington Zane has created a rich history and mythology that really make the world stand out, combining science fiction and fantasy with a mix of other planets, vampires, and robots. As the three teenagers face obstacle after obstacle, there's a balance of these wonderful moments where they get to be regular teenagers, where they form a friendship. One of the most charming moments is when Elaeus gives them a sense of normalcy by providing driving lessons. They form a nice unit that adds an emotional layer to the story. At the end you're left wanting more, with a feeling like it's just the beginning for them. So many layers to devour in Khalan & Jane: Arrival at Ahalla; a truly creative read that mixes genres into a perfect blend that's addictive and stunning. A coming of age story that finds Khaius, Khalan, and Jane confronting their powers, their pasts, and their futures.

Ruffina Oserio

Khalan & Jane: Arrival at Ahalla by Barrington Zane is a riveting blend of sci-fi and fantasy, a book that will appeal to fans of epic fantasy. The reader is immediately transported into another world, and introduced to Khalan Zhal from Alasa and Jane Zhal, his earthoran foster sister. The two teenagers are brought to Ahalla by the shadowy Elaeus for their protection, but they do not know that the Vampires at Alasa and their leader, the Spider Lord, crave their powers. They are keen on Jane’s gift of fire. This is a place where the kids could have felt safe, but they make disturbing discoveries and Ahalla is on the brink of facing her greatest enemy. The encounter will be deadly and will determine the future of Ahalla and what happens to the kids.

This is a spellbinding fantasy with powerful elements of sci-fi, a well-crafted story that will have readers on the edge of their seats. I loved the well-imagined and vividly captured setting, a universe of its own with its rules and inhabitants. The conflict is introduced in the early part of the story and it builds up to a crescendo very quickly. Character development seems to be one of Barrington Zane’s particular gifts. The reader will love the connection between Khalan and Jane, a connection that is perceived as strong from the opening pages of the story, and it is interesting to see how this connection helps them to play their role in the story. Apart from the great characters and the wonderful setting, Khalan & Jane: Arrival at Ahalla is masterfully plotted and flawlessly written, a story that grips readers and will keep them turning the pages nonstop.

K.J. Simmill

Khalan & Jane: Arrival at Ahalla is a YA science fiction adventure novel written by Barrington Zane. Jane Alaeah Zhal was not like anyone else, mainly because, although she lived on Alasa, she was Earthoran. Jane had been abandoned and brought to Alasa by Jaela, Khalan's mother, but this act of compassion created a paradox due to the time difference between the two worlds. In response, the tunnel between the two worlds had been sealed. Khalan was also different, born with purple skin and black hair, in contrast to his peers' green or blue skin and green hair. He, like Jane, was an anomaly, but it was only when his powers began to manifest that he realized how much of an anomaly he truly was. Vampires were thought to be beings of legend, yet they are ancient and covet the power these two possess, each of them a rarity, and with the most recent developments, for everyone's safety they must leave the world they know as home.

Khalan & Jane: Arrival at Ahalla is kind of like a Smallville, Star Trek, Agents of Shield mix. There's an array of abilities like those an avid Marvel or DC reader would have encountered and Barrington Zane creates a mythos for their galaxies that integrates with the religions of the worlds, inclusive of Earth. It is an involved and imaginative plot, with no shortage of peril, danger, and action. Revelations and discovery will keep the reader turning the pages, eager to learn more about exactly who and what our protagonists were and could be.