Fiction - Science Fiction
206 Pages
Reviewed on 02/17/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Rook is an intriguing and conceptual work of science fiction penned by author Blaine C. Readler. The premise sees us first introduced to the title character Rook when he belongs to a tribe of native people. As he struggles to prove himself a fair hunter and a good young man, Rook is whisked away into the stars by what appears to him to be a boat. As he grows and learns, Rook returns to Earth at scheduled times and begins to see the massive changes which develop, and he tries to help the race he left behind. What results is a fascinating story of development, danger and a new perspective on the alien genre.

Author Blaine C. Readler has created an atypical and highly original version of the science fiction staple of interstellar travel and alien threat, and it is sure to refresh the palates of seasoned sci-fi readers who are looking for something new. The development around Rook makes him a blank slate hero at first, allowing his experiences to shape him and for us, the audience, to grow with him on his journey of observation. What begins as a slow-burning and conceptual plot has a nice twist in the tale later on, developing the action well for a sudden and highly entertaining conclusion. The overview of Earth and its development also adds a poignant layer of commentary to the narrative that gives it further complexity and readability value. Overall, I’d definitely recommend Rook for science fiction fans everywhere.

Edith Wairimu

Rook by Blaine C. Readler follows the intriguing adventures of a young man on board a starship whose occupants have the ability to defy time and access different periods in human history. A member of the Natooma tribe, Rook first encounters the starship while facing a cougar. To prove himself a man to the tribe, Rook has to hunt down the fearsome animal. Just when the cougar is about to attack, something interferes. After the strange experience, Rook finds himself on board the starship with one of his assignments being to deliver a special but lethal gift to Alexander the Great. As Rook continues fulfilling his assigned missions, an alien race plans to dominate the earth.

The plot starts with a hair-raising opening scene. Rook is out by himself and is faced with an almost impossible task. A suspenseful moment follows as Rook faces the cougar. The details of the cities and places that Rook sees and visits are vividly described. Further descriptions are offered especially at the beginning as Rook learns about the starship, its occupants and his missions. In each mission, Rook faces danger and this increases towards the end with increased attacks from the alien race. The element of time travel, which is the foundation of the novel, is captivating. Rook travels into the future. His fascination when he sees large cities and impressive gadgets from the future is entertaining. With a plot that contains many fascinating twists, Rook by Blaine C. Readler is a great read for fans of science fiction.

Charles Remington

Rook is an early hunter-gatherer, an inhabitant of the American continent. This imaginative sci-fi novel by Blaine C. Readler carries his name. The story commences when Rook is rescued from a cougar attack by a starship which, in his own mind, he identifies as a sort of boat. He is kept in isolation but is well looked after, even if the food is unappetizing and there is little to do. He spends much of his time sleeping while the craft travels among the stars, dilating time so that many hundreds of years have passed by the time Rook makes a return to Earth. His routine now changes and he is taught words and phrases in a language he does not understand. Nevertheless, before long he is sent on a mission to deliver a message along with a precious object to Alexander the Great. On arriving back on Earth in Alexander’s time, he is met by a miniature Artificial Intelligence in the shape of a tiny hummingbird which assists him with his mission. Not really knowing what he is doing or understanding what he is saying, he speaks the words he has been given and manages to complete his task - the first of many over the millennia until his final assignment, which takes place in modern times and during which he must try to save the planet from alien invaders. With the help of an attractive fellow traveler and the same tiny drone, he must battle a lynx-like species and, after some astonishing revelations, face a final confrontation with the intelligent starship he has called home for several thousand years.

Rook is classic sci-fi - full of strange concepts and ideas, it stretches one’s imagination and understanding. I found looking at the changing world through Rook’s eyes nicely observed; it is obvious that author Blaine C. Readler has invested a great deal of time and thought into how an early Aboriginal would react when every time Rook returns to Earth, several thousand years have passed. The aliens and starships are well-described and Rook’s missions are thought-provoking from a historical point of view. The narrative is well-written and moves along at a brisk pace. I enjoyed the story along with the twists and turns, particularly in the later parts of the work. If I had a gripe it would be that Rook seemed to acquire American speech idioms rather quickly on his arrival in the modern day. Blaine C. Readler is a fresh new voice in the sci-fi genre and I look forward to hearing from him again.