Pursuit of the Light Cipher

Fiction - Science Fiction
368 Pages
Reviewed on 03/12/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Onestonia: Pursuit of the Light Cipher is a work of fiction in the science fiction, adventure, and intrigue subgenres. It is best suited to the general adult reading audience. Penned by author Emory Frost, this is the story of Taukin, a mixed-tribe outcast turned Rintic soldier, whom we follow as he embarks on a perilous adventure to retrieve the Light Cipher. In the world of Onestonia, agrum, a life-sustaining liquid, holds immense power and is fiercely sought after by the banished Suvanth tribe. When Taukin learns that combining agrum with a fungus can produce godly abilities, he realizes that this knowledge could lead to catastrophic consequences. As tensions escalate between tribes and the threat of war looms large, Taukin must race against time to secure the Light Cipher and prevent the destruction of Onestonia. With high stakes and thrilling action, the novel explores themes of power, sacrifice, and the struggle for survival in a fantastical world.

Author Emory Frost has crafted an immersive reading experience packed with vivid world-building and captivating storytelling. I found myself totally drawn into the richly imagined land of Onestonia, where the author’s scene-setting perfectly complements the emotional mood of each scene, settling you in with keen attention to detail and drama. Taukin's journey, fraught with danger and uncertainty, kept me on the edge of my seat as he faced formidable challenges and confronted his own inner demons. I loved his dialogue, with such a unique style and attitude, unlike other heroes you typically meet in this genre, and his clashes with other characters were filled with dynamism, emotion, and humor. The novel's exploration of themes such as power, loyalty, and the consequences of greed was well-balanced and built slowly in the background, inviting readers to reflect on the complexities of human nature and the pursuit of power. Overall, Onestonia is a gripping tale of heroism and sacrifice that will appeal to fans of epic fantasy seeking an immersive experience filled with adventure and intrigue.

Alma Boucher

In Onestonia: Pursuit of the Light Cipher by Emory Frost, Taukin was raised as a Rintic but was born a Suvanth. All he wanted was to be respected and treated the same as everyone else. Taukin was given the chance to put his allegiance to his tribe to the test, and if he was successful, it would guarantee his position with the upper Carth tribe. Taukin's mission was to find the precise location of soldiers captured by the Suvanth tribe, to help with their rescue, and to restore the order of Eltepsu. During his mission, Taukin met the leader of the Suvanth tribe, who asked him to retrieve the Light Cipher. This will determine the fate of the planet. Will Taukin be able to stop Onestonia from being destroyed?

Onestonia: Pursuit of the Light Cipher by Emory Frost was unique, and I was hooked from the first page. This sci-fi story was fast-paced and jam-packed with action. With all the twists and turns, I never knew what to expect next and was guessing until the end. It was easy to visualize the surroundings because the events were described in detail, and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. The characters were very relatable and realistic. Every character had a distinct role in the story, and they were all amazing. Throughout the story, Taukin's character develops from an insecure man trying to find his position in his tribe to a more confident man. The story was masterfully written and exceeded my expectations by far.

Olga Markova

Onestonia: Pursuit of the Light Cipher by Emory Frost is an epic fantasy that transports us to the planet Onestonia. Two tribes, the Rintic and the Suvanth, inhabit Onestonia. The tribes are at loggerheads, competing for agrum, Onestonia’s precious food, which is in decreasing supply. When the Suvanth abduct a Rintic tribesman and a producer of agrum, the Rintic choose Taukin, a young soldier, to infiltrate the Suvanth and rescue the kidnapped tribesman. Taukin is a half-breed and is longing to prove his worth to the Rintic, many of whom mock and reject him for his odd looks. In contrast, the Suvanth are going to great lengths, even sending a spy to get Taukin to join their tribe. The Suvanth's eagerness to accept Taukin should ease his infiltration. But will Taukin accomplish this perilous rescue mission?

Emory Frost’s Onestonia is an enchanting tale of exceptionally high quality. Emory did a great job of balancing action and character drives, creating a steadily paced atmospheric narrative. The colorful scenes of the Rintic and Suvanth habitats, their ways and customs, wondrous forests, magical beasts, color-changing tribesmen, and graphic combat made reading this captivating fantasy feel like watching a film. In addition, Emory’s creativity and ingenuity shine through in every episode. I felt like I had never lived before I discovered seranphopid summoning and the fungoid communication system! But most of all, I liked the immensely thought-provoking and dramatic ending, which translates into the modern topical themes of adoptive parentage, diversity, and inclusion. I highly recommend this gripping epic to fantasy and magical adventure fans.

Jamie Michele

Onestonia: Pursuit of the Light Cipher is a science fiction fantasy by Emory Frost. In a realm where life-giving Agrum is the ultimate prize, the banished Suvanth tribe relentlessly seeks it. When whispers of Agrum's fusion with fungus unlocking divine powers spread, it sets in motion an impending clash between the Rintic tribe, the towering Umgara giants of Onestonia, and the subterranean Suvanth. Taukin, a brave but ostracized tribal member of mixed lineage, is enlisted as a Rintic soldier. He embarks on a perilous odyssey for the Light Cipher, which is the relic known for holding the planet's destiny in its cryptic code. His quest is a race against oblivion. The collapse of Onestonia would mean the annihilation of all he cherishes. As Taukin navigates treacherous paths, he confronts adversaries and trials that test his resolve to the core.

Emory Frost's Onestonia presents a richly detailed tale with multiple layers of depth in this new world, an order that highlights the intricacies of tribal dynamics through Taukin, an unlikely protagonist whose mettle and integrity are put to the test. From the initial altercation over a destroyed blanket to the revelation of who he runs into down the way, and the burden of ancestral expectations, Taukin's odyssey is both immersive and emotionally resonant. Frost neatly guides readers through themes of loyalty, identity, and the pursuit of peace as Taukin has no choice but to confront his inner conflicts while forging unlikely alliances in the face of adversity. Onestonia stands as a testament to Frost's prowess in storytelling, offering readers a colorful journey through a world brimming with intrigue, danger, and the timeless quest for understanding.

Asher Syed

Onestonia by Emory Frost revolves around a hero's journey and one outcast's destiny, and a relic so precious it was hidden—but now it is needed. Taukin hears Avent's tale of creation, and despite resistance, Taukin starts soldier training, impressing with his skills. Tasked with seeking aid for a wounded soldier, Taukin faces ridicule but alerts Fort Carth of the attack. Meraco orders increased patrols, confronting Lord Hiko about a traitor. As the stakes ratchet up, Taukin persists in aiding the search for the underground Suvanth. Advised by Swinzal, Taukin resists temptation and warns Avent's party of a Suvanth tunnel. Joined by Keel, tensions rise, and Taukin makes a decision that could amount to treason. For what? While the cipher might make control of Onestonia possible, the ability to restore trust and peace between the Suvanth and Rintic factions could be the most important key to preventing all losses. 

“...fears arose that it would be possible for the expelled demons to obtain the Light Cipher... and therefore control Onestonia... the leaders decided the dome was the one place that would be impossible for the Suvanth to access.” It took some time for me to get into Onestonia, but once I was in and understood where my footing was, we were good to go. I liked that there was an excellent blend of science fiction, fantasy, and mythology, and the mission Taukin undertakes allows us to see Emory Frost's world and get to know Taukin. This is a serious novel that does not try to play down crushing battles and potential annihilation, and where Frost excels is in the atmosphere the author crafts. Just imagining the tunnels of the Suvanth was enough, but being brought into them was downright claustrophobic. My anxiety was having anxiety. Frost throws in some big “Are you kidding me?!” twists—in a good way—and the book ends with a clear segue into the next in the series, which I will await with very little patience but a lot of optimism.