Paradox

The Alien Genome

Fiction - Science Fiction
372 Pages
Reviewed on 12/04/2017
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

In Paradox: The Alien Genome by H.S. Rivney, a team of scientists is stranded on a far away planet with no escape in sight and no aid coming from Earth. Captain Thomas Jackson has no idea how he can help his crew survive starvation and protect them from the unknown dangers of a strange planet. He is losing hope as well, but a ray of sunshine comes; salvation in the form of a special someone on this dark planet. Rianya has been curious about the humans from the first moment she laid eyes on them, especially one particular human. Her people, especially her family, do not want her to have anything to do with them, but the lure of that captain is too magnetic to ignore. Soon both of them give up; they first become friends, then allies, and then lovers. Their relationship is frowned upon by her people and so is their daughter. However, their child’s DNA proves to have a cure for millions of children on Earth. But to save these children, they have to go back to Earth. Can they find a way back home? Will their daughter be accepted? Will their relationship be accepted?

Paradox: The Alien Genome by H.S. Rivney is one of those epic science fiction novels that make you wish it would go on and on and never end. Surprisingly descriptive, sweet, emotional and action packed, Paradox: The Alien Genome hooked me right from the start. Sharply crafted and wittily developed, the novel is a wonderful read that I thoroughly enjoyed. The character development was on point and so was the universe. I enjoyed the descriptions and the idea of a humanoid world where humans are the intruders and aliens are the local inhabitants. The world was believable, the characters were enjoyable, and I loved the premise of the story.

Deepak Menon

Science fiction with a twist! Paradox: The Alien Genome by H.S. Rivney brings new insight to the plethora of elements making up the science fiction tableau – in this case genetics rivaling the novels of the great author Robin Cook. The book starts with a scientific expedition consisting of a team of scientists led by Captain Thomas Jackson of the science space ship ‘Linus Pauling,’ that has been exploring alien planets for the past several years. The team is looking for a genome that can cure a genetically engineered man-made defect, one that has afflicted millions of humans on Earth. Nearing a planet named Beta Hydri Four, there is a big explosion as one of the ship's reactors explodes, damaging the spacecraft beyond repair. Somehow the crew, consisting of about 20 survivors, manages to eject in landing pods and reach the surface of the planet. Reaching the shore of a calm sea, they start their settlement, using the escape pods for shelter, and foraging in the surrounding forest and the sea for food. Strangely, they start losing weight and their ribs become visible after some weeks.

The medical team of Karabou Clarke and Diaz confirm that there must have been an extinction event caused by a collision with an asteroid which turned the planet upside down and affected the process of evolution on the planet, resulting in amino acids differing in chirality with amino acids found on Earth! Consequently, foods on Beta Hydri Four have no caloric value for humans. Pre-extinction event creatures and vegetation still exist as palatable food, so they struggle along on bare subsistence diets. Then they discover that there are aliens living in a society not unlike the people of Earth in the pre-industrial era.

H.S. Rivney then adds superb flavor to the story, as the earthlings mingle with the aliens. Development is good with clear flow. There is love and romance, a little disillusionment, superstitious rage, fanaticism, jealousy and plenty of action, drama and thrilling adventures, including another planet and a large asteroid. The strength of this novel lies in its originality despite belonging to a well written about topic - the human genome! The book ends with a nail biting finish. A memorable quote from the book: “The old sages say love is mysterious. If we knew how to define it, how to capture the charm at will, love would surely lose the very thing that makes it priceless.” This is a wonderful, riveting, hardcore sci fi novel and fully deserves five stars.

Arya Fomonyuy

Sophisticated and spellbinding, Paradox: The Alien Genome by H.S. Rivney is a gem for fans of well-crafted sci-fi, a story that follows a crew of scientists led by Captain Thomas Jackson. They are stranded on a planet, 20 light years away from home, a world with three moons and where the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. The captain’s ship is gone and his crew, faced with starvation and dangerous predators is quickly losing hope. Despite the strict orders of her father to stop doing so, the gentle humanoid, Rianya, continues to spy on the humans, finding them intriguing. But she eventually gets captured by the fascinating man who leads the team and they quickly fall in love. The hopes of a rescue could be futile, but then a child comes and she carries in her genome something that could cure Earth’s children. The hard question is: can this group make it back to Earth?

A page-turner that is well-imagined and crafted with unusual mastery, Paradox: The Alien Genome is one of the best novels I have read for a long time in the genre of sci-fi and fantasy. H.S. Rivney’s characters are wonderful and it is impossible to not fall for them. It is also interesting to notice the strength of the conflict. A space ship stranded on another planet is enough to rock a story, but now the characters are forced to become not only resourceful but resilient. I couldn’t stop reading, anxious to know what would happen next and what would become of the characters. There is a lot to enjoy in this tightly written and well-plotted story, including the fascinating setting, deft character development, and the originality of the idea. A must-read!