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on July 31, 2010 :
Now here is a story that I’ll tell you right off is worth the full rating of five stars, if not more! A young monk, an acolyte of the Quarantine Protectorate, constantly gets into trouble. Because of this, he is summoned to the headquarters of the Martian Abbot to explain himself. What the abbot doesn’t know is that this young monk has serious doubts about the Quarantine Protectorate, and its strict ban on any contact with alien races through the transceivers. These are massive communication devices in the asteroid belt. Plots are hatched, schemes are developed, but there is a problem, a young Sister of the Quarantine, Phillida, who comes again into Tyler’s life. Now love complicates matters, and his objectives.
To tell more would be to spoil this dark story of fear, love, and mystery. I will say this; Mr. Shelsky has an incredible talent for painting in scenes and creating atmospheres. You will think you are on a terraformed Mars, one that is slipping back to what it was before humans arrived. The whole mood, atmosphere of this tale, is skillfully created by the author with a dark and brooding brush.
He does more than set the stage. He sets the entire feeling for the story. For me, it was almost an Edgar Allen Poe sort of atmosphere. And since I’ve always delighted in that author’s works, what can I say? I loved Mr. Shelsky’s Soap Bubbles. This story is a five-star one if ever there was one. It has some darned good writing in it.
(reviewed the day of purchase)