This book definitely falls under an “impulse buy” when i saw it, i was like yes ill take another sci fi book. Pretty much Sci-fi novels are the only one i’m not picky with, ill give anything a go. Other genres such as crime, thrillers, non-fiction. i’m much more picky with and generally stick with authors i know or topic i favor
Having no idea what this was actually about i decided to give it a read the other day. The premise is that a giant Ark 9 thousand miles long (why an Australian born writer uses miles is beyond me) left earth with thousands of inhabitants. The ark essentially was a giant tube in space that rotates to create an artificial gravity. In reality this is actually called an O’Neill cylinder and was first proposed by its namesake back in 1976. The ark originally leaves earth with various nations owning different land areas. but much like on earth no one is happy with what they have and wars break out. Now here is the part i really found interesting. The scientists on board were fed up with the constant fighting over land or religion came up with a brilliant idea. The made everyone fall unconscious and then altered their memories to remove and notion of national ties or religion. Now if you think about it skipping over the whole freedom issue. Removing national ties and religion is a smart but extreme move, almost every war is fought between nations and many are based on religious differences. remove the 2 biggest causes of war and suddenly there is no more holy wars and crusades, the US is no longer playing the school yard bully taking out anyone they don’t like. While a rather extreme and abstract idea unfortunately it does led to a sort of dictatorship.
But anyway back to the story, several hundred years later and the inhabitants of this ark which they call urba, no longer know they are from earth and the scientists styled the new society on a medieval one (in fact in the novel they explain that one of the scientists was reading lord of the rings and based the new society on that) they even go so far as to genetically alter animals and create dragons. The scientists become the “elites” and are feared by all. The elites rule by fear and travel around in hover cars and use ray guns, while the inhabitants use bows and arrows. This continues until one day the elites disappear, they have lost their power. Realizing the elites are gone the people get more adventurous and try to discover where they went, many elites are found in hiding in the general population and are persecuted and hung. Rulers start to get more confident and eventually invade their neighbors fearing no reprisal from the missing elites.
A few months after the disappearance of the elites is where our story starts. In a little kingdom at one end of the craft. The son of the king is ordered to go on a recon and find out what the other kingdoms are up to. His best friend (and court jester) comes along to and their secret real mission is to find out what happened to the elites. In their journey across the craft they encounter raging dragons and rampaging pillagers. eventually they encounter a beautiful woman and rescue her from some pillagers. Turns out she is an elite and over the course of the their journey to the middle of the craft she reveals the above mentioned history of the craft
Once they reach the center of the craft and the elite capital they find out what happened to the elites. an alien craft has attacked the ark and in doing so knocked out the reactor that powers all the elite technology. The story then follows our heroes as they try and save the ark by attacking the alien vessel. After a brief attack our heroes return home.
After reading this i was furious, no resolution on the alien attack, no searching out more elites, just lets go home and chill. it was a very interesting story, i really love the whole out of time factor of it, a medieval duo stuck in modern times. yet the dull ending just left me hanging
I was saddened to find that the author died a year after writing this, so we will never find out what happens or if he had planed a sequel. Yet on its own it is still a pretty good read