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Monday, October 17, 2011

Phantos Fire by Anne and Jeff Lambert

Phantos Fire by Anne and Jeff Lambert
Publisher: Mundania Press LLC
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (212 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Orchid

Nyla has problems. What happens when part of the planet you are on is alive, sentient, and you're killing it? Nyla--a g-e, or genetically engineered individual--takes this concern to the born humans. But Nyla is property, tied to a specific planet, and forever doing someone else's business, and no one is interested in listening.

Born human colonists gave up everything and gambled their lives and freedom to make the colony a success; they don't believe Nyla, nor does the head of the planet, her lover. If Nyla is right, they'll be no better off than she is: for the born humans, paying back the InterGalactic Mining Company would make indentured servants of them and their families for generations.

Nyla has problems and she's on her own. She only hopes she's smart enough and good enough to save them all.

Humans and genetically engineered humanoids - or GEs - share Phantos IV. They are there to mine titanium ore, the lifeline for Phantos IV. In reality it is the GEs, made specifically for this planet, who take the risks and get the ore. GE Nyla Four has discovered a reason why they must stop mining immediately.

The Un are the sentient inhabitants of the planet who can change not only their shape, but their inner essence. They are reluctant to communicate with any human but Nyla due to previous attempts ending in death for both humans and Un. Without proof, the humans refuse to acknowledge their existence.

Nyla and her fellow GEs along with the Un, fight for their rights with the corporation who sponsor and run the planet. The corporation’s human representatives have their own agenda, and it’s not a nice one. If the GEs and Un fail they will all be destroyed by the greed of the humans.

I enjoyed reading this book, though it sagged a bit in the middle. Thankfully, it didn't take long before it picked up again and got a new lease of life. When that happened, though Nyla had changed and I couldn’t really understand the difference in her. At the beginning of the book she was well balanced and co-existed with the humans on Phantos IV, despite the fact they treated GEs as second class citizens. Later she became bitter and twisted with a hatred for humans which didn’t jive with her previous character. She also crossed the line with her fellow GEs.

Nyla Four is the main character, but the other GEs and humans fit well into the story. The friends, the ex-lover, the traitor, even the splicer of genes for GEs - they all have their part to play. A disaster brings the two factions of humanity together and with the help of the Un they sort out their differences. Happy ever after - definitely not. What good is it to live comfortably together if their very existence is threatened?

As mentioned, I did enjoy reading Phantos Fire. It's a well written book with bold, vibrant characters and a completely new story idea for this genre. The Epilogue finished the story nicely as it showed what happened after the book finished. If this hadn’t been there I would have been wondering if I’d guessed right about some of the partnerships the authors hinted at in the final chapters. Despite showing the greed and lack of compassion of the humans, this story shows a future with an intriguing twist, plus a look at the way our race might interact with others in space. If you're looking for something to read with a difference Phantos Fire could be the one for you.