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Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite
Out of Due Season: The First Transit by Benjamin X. Wretlind is the first book in the science fiction Transit series. The Circle of Light cult, led by Father Elijah Jonas, has some big plans. More specifically, in the depths of a lake in the Pacific Northwest, where hundreds of bodies were found. This is the first phase of a plan that Elijah has convinced his followers is necessary to accomplish the unimaginable. While most of them believe him, a few do not. As the story unfolds, the differing points of view of a huge array of characters reveal the details of Elijah's COL cult, the people who are part of it, and the ones who love them but will be left behind. The truth emerges about the frailty of an entire planet that has no chance of surviving the war and environmental assault perpetrated by its caretaker humans. “We are in a delicate situation. We are building a new world while we sit on a powder keg.”
Out of Due Season by Benjamin X. Wretlind is one of those brain teasers where you think you know exactly what is going to happen to the crazy cult people, but then it sucks all the life out of you. At least it does if you're on Team COL. The novel does have a painfully slow start with political exposition and dream sequences that can feel a little gratuitous. Soon enough, the story develops into a brilliant, fast-moving chain of events that climax with an unexpected twist. Transit is the name of the COL's plan to escape terrorists from China and bureaucrats from the Department of Energy. The writing is clean and the prose is engaging, with dialogue that feels authentic and scenes described in just enough detail to breathe vivid life without sacrificing the quick tempo. Highly recommended.