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Patrick Castles
Legend of the Maara
Legend of the Maara By: Patrick Castles While studying the Earth-distant planet, Maara, with his Chaperone crewmates, Jason Tabor, an archeologist, is kidnapped and awakes naked and alone in a smooth white room with no visible door. He is soon joined by Mia, and after some time and study of their captors' schedule, they manage to escape to a new planet. Eventually, a diverse total of nineteen other couples of the Chaperone appear in the same way, each with their own expertise. Questions abound. Why were they directed to this planet? How will they survive? They have the advantage of Earth's history to direct them, but they arrived naked and they will leave that way. However, while they live, they must explore, reinvent the wheel, and build their first fire. But what of future generations? And what of punishing their kidnappers - the Maara. Enjoy the vibrant storytelling of Legend of the Maara as these questions are answered.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 7.75 out of 10


Plot/Idea: An interesting survival tale of space travelers abducted and dropped on a new planet by mysterious aliens. They build a community and colony while exploring the planet they find themselves on. The latter third of the book shifts forward half a millenia to the ancestors of the settlers, who further solve the mystery of the plot. The ending is satisfying, but feels perhaps a bit too neat. There is room for additional fiction in the world of this novel.

Prose: The writing is descriptive and consistent in tone. The strange world the characters have been marooned on is brought to life effectively by the language. Dialogue fits well within the story.

Originality: The novel presents a clever story, in both conceit and structure. The novel effectively utilizes elements of the genre to create a new and exciting story.

Character/Execution: The novel takes care to develop the survivor characters which contributes to readers caring for their survival. Relationships feel organic to the story, and tragic moments resonate with emotional impact. After the time jump, the emphasis shifts away from characterization yet the reader remains engaged in learning the outcome for Jason and others.

Date Submitted: August 31, 2023