Questor by L. S. Gibson

QUESTOR
Questor by L. S. Gibson
Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (347 Pages)
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

The spaceship, Questor, is caught in an unknown phenomenon that results in the vessel being transported far from home. Desperately low on supplies, the crew discovers a solar system with two inhabited worlds where they hope to find assistance. Captain Sullivan visits the first world, Midea, while sending a small expedition to the second planet, Rhiava. When Jon and Manny try to land on Rhiava, however, they discover a strange energy field encircling the planet, which causes their vessel to crash.

Rescued and befriended by Rhiava natives, Jon and Manny learn the truth about the oppression of the Mideans. The Rhiava aren’t the simple people they first appear, having strong mental skills they call Gifts. Helping the Rhiava leader, a young female called Triena, to reach safety, Jon and Manny travel across the planet’s surface. During the dangerous journey, Jon and Triena become close, and she’s devastated when he’s captured and tortured by Midean forces. But Jon refuses to disclose anything he’s learned, and though he’s finally rescued with help from Triena’s Gift, he has been hardened by the ordeal.

The Questor eventually arrives at Rhiava, its crew having learned the truth about the Mideans. Knowing that if they assist the Rhiava against the Mideans and succeed, they will receive all the supplies they need, Captain Sullivan decides to help. After Triena reveals some of her people’s secrets to the Questor crew, they plan an attack on the Midean base.

Now only one question remains—who will survive the battle?

After spending three years in space, exploring their assigned quadrant but finding nothing, the Questor is finally returning home. Suddenly they find themselves in the middle of an unknown dangerous phenomenon which throws them wildly off-course, so far that it will now take twenty years at best to get home, not six months. They don’t have enough supplies and they also have damaged systems, so when they discover two inhabited worlds, they hope for assistance. Captain Sullivan puts the Questor in orbit around the first planet, so he can begin negotiations there, and meanwhile, Jon Hardaway and his best friend Manny take a two person shuttle to the other planet. Jon discovers that the second planet is heavily shielded, and he and Manny end up crashing onto the surface, barely surviving. It is then that they discover that any help they receive will come at a very high price.

L. S. Gibson has written an exciting story which captured me from the very beginning. The characters are engaging and the mystery surrounding the Mideans and the Rhiava is both complex and intense. I really like the Rhiava as a people, and it turns out that they have mastered advanced technology but then chose not to use it. As their Spirit leader Triena says, “We’re not against technology in principle. We still use certain kinds if it will benefit us, providing its use isn’t detrimental to the natural balance of our world. We use the Gift to help keep the planet in good order and the planet gives us the Gift, so to each other, we are the Treasure.”

Unfortunately, the Rhiava run up against the Mideans, a power hungry race who thinks only in terms of weapons and wealth. I found this conflict to be very realistic, and while the setting for this novel is far away, the problems of using technology without harming the environment is one we face on a daily basis. Jon and Manny quickly decide to aid the Rhiava in any way they can.

The plot takes many twists and turns, keeping the tension building until the end. And the ending is rather like the solution to a mystery novel in that all the clues are there, but I was totally taken by surprise. The dialogue is a bit stilted and the characters all talk in much the same voice, but the telepathic thoughts are very well done. There is a lot of diversity in the inhabitants of this world, and the descriptions of the planet are excellent. I really felt as if I were part of the story.

Lovers of fantasy are sure to enjoy Questor. The exciting, fast-moving pace along with the wonderful characters make this a sure-fire hit.

Comments

  1. Thanks for a very thoughtful review:)

    • You are most welcome. It has been my great pleasure to review two of your books recently (The Eynan being the other one) and I really enjoy your writing. I look forward to reading more from you.

      • What a wonderful compliment:) Thanks, Cyclamen. I’m presently writing a sequel to The Eynan, though I’ve hit a snag at the moment that I need to work my way out of!

        • Excellent news (well,not about the snag)! I was hoping for that! May you see your way through the snag and I look forward to more from the world of the Eynan!!

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