on March 27, 2013 :
This is an excellent book. Note that I rarely give 5 stars to anything so I'll have some wiggle room on a review.
Prf. Oliva and her xenoanthropological team are secretly invited to Kal-fa. Why the secrecy? The entities of Kal-fa are considered to be the spiritual guides of the Chu-nesians, the people who live in the same system, but the next planet inward.
What they find there startle, enchant, and disturb the team. The two women, after their initial shock at the nature of the Kal-fas (not sure if this is the plural) proceed with their studies of the low-tech folk. A third member of the team doesn't get over his shock, but, instead, sinks deeper into a loathing of the Kal-fas. To tell you why here would be too huge of a spoiler.
Lorinda Taylor presents a unique situation in the encounters between humans and aliens. Presented in the form of the Proceedings to investigate what had occurred on Kal-fa. Much of the transcript is based on personal journals of the team. This allows for a unique multiple POV presentation, especially interesting because the personal journals are spotty and incomplete.
I was fascinated from beginning to end. This is a wonderful novelette well worth your time. Ms. Taylor's background as a librarian and teacher must be partly why her story seems as well-researched as if the Kal-fas and Chu-nesians were real rather than the highly imaginative output of her imagination.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)
on March 11, 2013 :
I literally said 'Wow' out loud when I finished this book! Before I started it I had thought it was going to be a bit hard going, but it wasn't at all, it was very readable. I sat down on a Sunday afternoon thinking I would make a start reading the first few pages, but as it turned out I couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting. It's shocking and compelling, and has a moral message, but it's one that feels incidental rather than the story being contrived to bring out the moral point.
I've never read anything quite like this and it's not a story I'm going to forget in a hurry.
(reviewed 54 days after purchase)
Chris The Story Reading Ape
on Feb. 18, 2013 :
In our present age of increasing intolerance of, and prejudice against, anything and anyone that is 'different', this is certainly a thought provoking story, not least because we are at the early stages of interplanetary travel.
Will we meet Monsters, or, will WE be the Monsters that others will meet?
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Nov. 14, 2012 :
Fascinating ideas. Well-written. I only wish it were longer.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Nov. 13, 2012 :
In this book one gets to explore a new world with fantastic creatures that boggle the mind, make you cringe, make you think. In this book you are taken on an adventure unlike anything you could find on Earth. Lorinda J. Taylor demonstrates the benefits and detriments of Human curiosity. A superb story very much worth reading!
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)
on Feb. 7, 2012 :
We meet very strange creatures. Are they monsters, sexual deviates, mind-manipulators, or victims? I loved the vehicle used to tell the story, which is full of imagination, intrigue, and suspense. Moreover, there is a moral to the story, as its ending clearly reveals. This short book is very well written, flows gracefully from page to page, and has an impact. It is well worth the price, and will haunt you for days after you have finished it. If you're looking to give a gift to a sci-fi reading friend, then this is it.
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)