Has your loss ever been so strong you thought you would die from the pain? I imagine a lot of people of my venerable age of 48 could say yes. How do you deal with something like that? Well, you either learn to live with the pain or you kill yourself I imagine.
Reza Gard has experienced this kind of loss. The kind that rips you apart and leaves you feeling like a raw wound. Life sometimes does that to you.
I think this is part of what makes Michael R. Hicks’ writing flow for me. He leaves me with a sense of someone who understands the feelings he writes about. I highly doubt he has fallen in love with an alien and had to leave her Empire cutting off all contact with the race, but loss is loss.
Just as his disappearance from the Empire was sudden, so too was his appearence in the Confedration. Like an angel from heaven Reza seems to come as the answer to Father Hernandez’ prayers for redemption from the Kreelans. The Marines who are left after meeting the Kreelan warriors are happy about the result of Reza’s return.
For me the Redemption trilogy has partly been about prejudice. What Reza meets upon his return to the Conferation are mixed feelings. Some see him as a threat to humanity while others (those who come to know him) understand that his sense of honor goes beyond what most of us expect. Fraternising with the enemy/the others, becoming like them and then returning to one’s roots is bound to antagonise some people. Being an “Other” myself I have experienced how difficult it is for some to accept my “Otherness” as just as good as their way. Reza’s story has in a very small way been my story.
I saw the old cover on one of the reviews below and prefer this one.
Flow! To me it is all about the flow. It is that magical quality that some authors are born with and some authors can work their way into. Maintaining the flow through a whole text, whether it be fiction or non-fiction, is something most authors struggle with. Some authors never hit it while others fall in and out of it. Then we have the others.
Michael R. Hicks has the ability of remaining in the flow. He did it so well, I had to get the other two novels in the Redemption trilogy and read them right away.
Maybe part of that has to do with the harshness of Empire. Michael did not try to sugar-coat the conditions of the orphanage. I imagine there are people out there who cannot believe that such things exist, but they do. Muldoon is nothing unique in the world of orphanages.
The other thing that really hit me was Reza’s ability to adjust. Some people are like that. They just bend with the blows that life hits them with. Me, I’d break having to live through the death of my parents, abuse at the hands of caretakers and finally having to live with the enemy. Whenever I meet a bender, I am impressed all over again. So, I was impressed with Reza.
As Reza learns so too does Esah-Zhurah. She goes from thinking of him as beneath her to gaining a grudging respect of Reza’s possible value. Inevitable I guess. Tearing down the walls of propaganda takes time – even for superior aliens.
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