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Reviewed by Barbara Garcia for Readers' Favorite
Khamlok by Regina M. Joseph is the second book in The Alterran Legacy Series. The Alterrans, En.Lil and his guardsmen, have just taken Alana and the remaining women of her tribe as wives. With winter not far off, they must build shelters and plant crops to survive it. As they set about building Khamlok, their new earth home, tasks are assigned in hunting, building huts, and agriculture. Armed with special seeds developed by Ki, En.Lil's brother, wheat and fruit trees grow fast and abundantly, and with the aid of lasers, trees are felled quickly and building is accomplished before the first snow. Alterran technology also saves the day and lives, as the women all give birth on the same day. Alterrans, being of greater stature than the earth women, make for larger babies. Disastrous births are imminent for most, but En.Lil's mother arrives from Hawan to save the day. With an abundance of food, hides, and a magnificent settlement, Khamlok becomes the envy of all who know of it. Tribes in the region are doing poorly, and people are hungry due to diminished game and failing crops. Jealousies arise and the scent of war is in the air. The whole of Khamlok faces the brutal reality of mortality, and the losses cut deep.
Khamlok is every bit as gripping as Colony Earth, the first book in The Alterran Legacy Series. The details that Ms. Joseph wove into the fabric of this story are expertly done. Never once did I feel bogged down by such detail because it was all a necessary part of their lives. It's truly a fascinating look at primitive life and the premise that only the strong survive. Though aided by a bit of technology from Alterra, you get the sense that these people had the force of will and the common sense to survive even without it. With continued in-depth character building, Ms. Joseph shows us the evolving personalities and emotions of the main characters, and how they must adapt to this new life. I really enjoyed this story, although I was shocked by the ending. I can't wait to read Resurrection, the third book. I highly recommend this, not only to those who enjoy sci-fi, but anyone who likes a great story with depth. I do recommend reading Colony Earth first to get the full force of who these characters are, and what led them to this point in the series.