Angels' Watch Series Book 1: Chimes of Light by J.M. Dubry (Science Fiction)

 
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Alan M Brooker for Midnight Scribe Reviews(http:/geocities.com/midnightscribe/index.html)
4.5 stars * * * * 1/2

Do you like a challenge?

Ev, a railroad engineer had to face a major challenge when he was involved with events so strange that he to suspend his belief in what he had grown to accept as normal and face a new reality.

It wasn't every day that his engine spoke to him. It grew even weirder when it spoke back and he got into a conversation with an alien entity called Jenine, who had been trapped inside the GP-40 class locomotive for two years.

Ev had never heard of the Silicrys, and he doubted his sanity as Jenine started to talk about Siivahnurah. He became even more frighten when the entity gave him a taste of some of the powers he would be able to yield if he combined with her in the Fate of Change metamorphous.

While Ev is facing this momentous decision, we learn that other Silicrys are also at the rail yard and establishing links with other locomotive engineers.

Why have so many of these strange alien creatures congregated in the same rail yard, and what has drawn them to Earth?

We know that the Silicrys consume electromagnetic energy to survive and that they can live for around 500 earth years, but what has drawn them to this isolated spot?

We also meet Aronda, a crewman who is not a Silicrys, but an alien who has been born on Earth to alien parents.

As the story unwinds, we learn of the powers that the Silicrys give to their human hosts, and we see that there are certain problems associated with adjusting to these paranormal abilities.

Will the human hosts adjust?

More to the point, are the Silicrys on Earth to benefit humanity, or to threaten it?

I know the answers, because I have made the journey through Chimes of Light, which is the first book of the Angels' Watch: Tales of the Kiiyahkihn series. I know, but I'm not going to tell you anything other than it was a fascinating journey that challenge my perceptions of reality as much as it made Ev stop and think when he came across a Silicrys for the first time.

Juanita M Dubry has woven a story filled with more than enough action to satisfy fans who want their stories ripping along at a great pace, but she has also put in twists and turns for fans who like to feel challenged. If you want to know exactly what is going to happen around the next corner before you get to it, you will be disappointed because that doesn't happen often in Chimes of Light. The obvious is often not as obvious as it seems, and that is the mark of a good story.

I like the writing style, which is relaxed and flows effortlessly from scene to scene and doesn't distract the reader from the unfolding plot. As an example, check out this extract when Rev makes contact with Jenine for the first time:

"For a moment, Ev was strangely at one with the locomotive. He felt a sense of rightness of belonging that he had never before experienced. It was oddly exhilarating, easily changing how he felt, altering his mood. He smiled, gaining a certain perverse pleasure out of the sensation. If only you could talk to me. That would be something...

The engineer was totally unprepared for what he then heard, in his mind.

"I can--if you wish me to." The reply was like glass chimes with a soft feminine voice.

Ev jerked his hands off the controls as if he had been burned. The hair on the nape of his neck stood on end. Suddenly his heart was loud in his ears, mimicking the pounding rhythm of the locomotive beneath his feet. The itch became an ache as his mind whirled.

Oh my God...I'm not hearing this. I'm imagining that the engine is talking back to me. I've finally gone 'over the edge... Ev thought, his mind spinning.

"I AM speaking to you, but I am not exactly an engine, either."

Ev closed his eyes trying to deny what he undeniably 'heard.' NO! This is impossible! This CAN'T happen! I'm losing my mind...

The ethereal voice in his mind, sighed. "All things are possible. Why do you feel that hearing my voice is impossible? I am here, and you invited me to speak..."

The engineer tried desperately to ignore her voice, but her words refused to go away. As the train moved north-northwest through Christie Station on its way to Beloit, Wisconsin, Everett Rykoff came to the conclusion that the trip was no longer routine.

The phrase, 'be careful what you ask for, you might get it' crossed his mind, as he pondered the situation.

What have I done?"

I would have no qualms in recommending this novel to all readers, not restricting it to followers of sci-fi/fantasy. It is a good story, well written, and with a creative plot.

Strongly recommended.
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Kathy Boswell, January 2000
4 Thumbs Up = Excellent, Don't Miss

I must admit the premise behind this book is a very interesting concept. It has definitely kept me turning pages to see how this fascinating book ends.

Ev Rykoff is getting disillusioned with his job as one of the youngest engineers in the train yard. One day his mind wanders and he wonders in his mind what the engine would be thinking if it were alive. Suddenly a voice answers him telepathically. This starts a very incredible adventure with a being named Jehnaa'ehn who is a silicrys or one of the 'Star People'. She has been trapped in the engine of the train and has bonded with Ev to complete the siivahnurah. Ev doesn't understand all this and resists her with all his being. This makes him miserable. Then he finds out that there are other silicrys who are completing the siivahnurah with other people. Finally he breaks down and decides to complete the ritual with Jehnaa'ehn. What does this mean and how will it affect the people and the silicrys?

I very much enjoyed this quite different book and look forward to reading more about the silicrys.
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