Behind the Gem by Ken Hart

Behind the Gem by Ken Hart
Publisher: Gypsy Shadow Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (277 Pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

Ripped from heart and home by galactic farmers, Ray and his co-workers are taken hundreds of light years across the galaxy and left to fend for themselves. When he begins hearing a voice in his head and is unjustly blamed for the deaths of his friends, he is separated from them by a mysterious silver pod and is led to a peaceful race of aliens called the Draasen. He experiences a new way of life with responsibilities and challenges that he never could have imagined. He is accepted into their society, but at a high cost to his dignity when he is led into protecting and birthing their eggs. When the galactic farmers arrive to take the Draasen population as fodder, the Draasen’s fate becomes entwined with that of the nearly extinct human race, and their struggle to survive.

Entire buildings complete with all the people inside are disappearing from the Earth. Raymond Meinhardt is in one of the buildings which is captured and before he knows it, he and his co-workers are dumped and left to fend for themselves on a planet hundreds of light years away from home. If that weren’t bad enough, Ray starts hearing a voice in his head. He is captured by a mysterious silver pod and taken to the Draasen, a peaceful race of telepathic beings whom he comes to love and respect.

Ken Hart has written a wonderful story. He has created an entire world populated with what to Ray are alien beings in a highly intelligent matriarchal culture. I liked the Draasen and I found this alien world to be totally believable. Hart describes every aspect of the people and its world, so that it is easy for the reader to be fully present in it. I especially enjoyed the fact that the female implants her eggs into the male who becomes the birthing animal. Ray becomes the birthing animal for Amber, the Draasen High One, and the description of the process is very well done.

Ray obviously has a lot to learn and to adjust to, and his learning proves to be a great vehicle for the author as it allows the reader to learn first hand what it is like to enter into this alien world. At times I felt the action was a bit slow, although there was a lot of information to convey and Hart conveys it well, doing much more showing than telling. The suspense builds slowly throughout the novel as Ray realizes that something is happening within the culture which he is not privy to. When he finally does discover the hidden agenda, he is taken by surprise, and it takes him awhile to adjust to the new situation.

Lovers of fantasy are sure to find this to be an interesting read. The descriptions of a race totally alien to and more advanced than our own is fascinating. I certainly enjoyed the journey to the world of the Draasen.

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