The Skidian Chronicles novels have some new reviews, neither of which I wrote myself!
For the First Chronicle
This book views its science fiction subject matter through a Kiwi set of eyes. The dry humour of the Kiwi farming character is amplified by the 'city slicker' attitude of his American "heroine"; his stoic country practical outlook versus her rather pathetic helplessness. My daughter bought me both books and I intended to read the first book and then something different before the second , however I was so intrigued by the plot at the end of this book that I had to immediately read the follow-up. I was amused that Keith chose to name his female lead after me , even though we'd never met, well not on this planet !
And great to see the reader liked the first book so much they bought and enjoyed the second book (The Second Coming) in the series;
Having read the first book I was intrigued to see how the second book developed. I was pleased that my namesake developed more strength of character, and that the dogs had their own part in the plot. The storyline allows the reader to believe some of the subject matter could actually become a reality and at the end of the book I was left with some thought provoking reflections. This book is an easy read which make me smile, and I hope to read how the story progresses. The font size in the 2nd book was easier to read.
And one from a year or so back
The Second Coming by Keith Fenwick is a next-in-series title about several different people whose stories are in some way related, but if you are just coming in you don't quite know how. Sue and Bruce are normal, everyday Earthlings... mostly. Sue, who owns a travel agency, is somehow pregnant when she hasn't had a sexual partner in a very long time. Her best guess is immaculate conception.
Bruce, on the other hand, is a bit of a foul mouthed, rugged loner living off the land. He feels that something is missing--a chunk of his life perhaps.
On the other hand, Mitch, a third Earth personality (and the United States President), was experiencing no abnormality in his life before a spaceship landed in an American military airplane hangar after a little airspace encroachment, battle, and chase. The alien flying that craft is Myfair, the happenstance ruler of a mostly unknown planet, Skid--the most advanced planet in the universe.
In the wake of a mind-blowing apocalypse on his planet caused by a malfunctioning computer intelligence charged with making Skidian life as easy as possible, Myfair was simply traversing the deep, not looking for anything in particular, when he accidentally stumbled upon Earth, violating American airspace and instigating a dogfight in the process. The skirmish caused him to lose control and scrape his ship across a range of mountains, forcing him to find a place to land. A secured military base is as good a place as any, wouldn't you think?
To you and me it would seem like an insanely stupid idea; but to an intelligent life form that considers us a pitifully ill-advanced, backwater planet that can be easily handled, an air of arrogance keeps our intelligent thought process from rendering us dangerous to a Skidian, and even worthy of note. This is why Myfair was just fine with parking in a military hangar and taking a Sunday stroll around, checking out American war planes. His lack of realization that there could in fact be danger on such an inconsequential planet is just the reason he runs into Bruce, Sue, and President Mitch, which begins their journey together.
As a critique, it takes a lot of reading to get to this point. It could have easily been a hundred or more pages shorter. In addition some of the sexual description was weird, almost as though it hardly had a place in the book. I don't mean all of the sex in general, which was very little, but when it popped up unexpectedly--specifically from the main female character's perspective--it took me by surprise and seemingly without reason. On the upside, there are almost no instances of it. In fact, all such instances containing sex probably only amount to a single page, or less even. My final critique is that Bruce's mother added an almost irritating ingredient to the mixture that bothered me--not because it existed, but because it worked itself into this book so late. Perhaps Fenwick touches on this in the first book, which could make me wrong in thinking this was new, but it was bothersome none-the-less.
All in all though, I found the book quite fun, especially when I got to the meat of it. As the book follows Myfair and other Skidians and allows you to see what their arrogance and underestimation gets them into, it's hard not to laugh. Reading about the effect that Bruce and Mitch have on others is no different; it's quite comical and some of the adventure and action made it so I had to keep reading on past my bed time. The Second Coming turned out to be a fun and funny read and I would recommend it to anyone that has the endurance for longer, slower adult science fiction novels.