When the past collides or intertwines with the future what exactly do you see? What happens when your life is no longer your own, the choices you normally would make are no longer an option and your world has become dark? Ambra Dawn awakened one morning to a world filled with sunshine and two parents who loved her. But, that was just you might say a mirage or an illusion as what would transpire next would do more than change her life but destroy the lives of those she loved. As he father tossed her up in the air and she experienced the feeling that she was floating or flying Ambra describes what she sees, hears and feels before landing in his arms. But, the expression on her mother’s face would more than tell a story that no one wanted to hear and no one could change. Three men in dark suits claiming to want to help Ambra in order to cure an illness within her brain were really there for another purpose. Within her mind she was able to see and feel things that no one else could. Early on as she relates the story and narrates it even her mother realized that she was different. She had what some might call a sixth sense. She could send her thoughts to the past and even reflect on the present. Within her dreams she would experiences events that most would shy away from, fear and not understand whereas Ambra new them as “strange and wild.” But, what was about to happen to her was terrifying. Why was she brought to the attention of as she puts it “the Dark Forces?” Was this a gift that she had or what was it? Within her brain she had a giant growth or tumor that was getting bigger and the people that took her and decided to enslave her and so many others did not care that it was growing. Sold into slavery she was beaten, prodded, tested and ignorant of her fate. As she describes the treatment she received you wonder why the cruelty, the hate for those so young and the real purpose that they had in torturing these children. Those able to understand what they saw and pass their tests just might survive and those that did not you can guess their fate. This might say is Survival of the fittest to the cruelest degree. Within Chapter 6 we are enlightened just a bit as one tester explains to her that she’s so special, her tumor so large and almost treats her as you might say some type of oddity. Operations to further their experiments and then the end result would me total blindness for this young girl. But, Ambra was strong, unique in her talent and what she finally realizes is her sixth sense and her skill as a Reader might get her through.
Erec Stebbins: Reader: One powerful novel that will make not only adults think about what happens when humans and aliens take it too far and decide who lives and who dies and teens might appreciate what they have after hearing what Ambra has to say. Ambra’s life was consumed with fear, tests, others controlling her movements. But, one thing that they could never take away is her spirit and her ability to seek out the past, revisit so many things that others would never be able to and foretell the future. At one point the past was so strong that the future was blocked.
Then, she and so many others were taken away and sent into orbit to work for a group and learn that she was someone’s property and that someone was there to examine her. If she failed well the consequences would be dire. Leaving where she was might not have been so bad until you, the reader learns more as so many were taken and the end result horrific. But, before leaving a revelation was made, a certain prayer you might say was revealed and Ambra knew what she must do. Her journey and the final destination is not anywhere anyone should be or would want to be. Just who are the Sortax, what is their goal and why did they need these children? As you read each chapter there is a profound saying and equation to whet the reader’s appetite before reading the events that befall Ambra and so many others. Page 67 is quite interesting as it begins with Leonhard Euler’s equation V-E+F=2. : To delve into the deepest mysteries of nature and discover the underlying truth has been denied us, but with the right imagination, a hypothesis may explain many phenomena.” Read the chapter to truly comprehend the meaning. Tests are all about scores, as you will learn within this chapter and what happens when Ambra’s fall guess?
We often have to compensate and use other skills to stay alive and survive. Ambra take readers on a journey within her thoughts, mind and hopes showing us how she uses her sixth sense, delves back in time to her personal experiences from the past and hopefully will understand the future. Her description of the trip to Point T her feeling about floating in space and her description of what she wants us to see as she witnesses her home sun and the feeling in her stomach alerts readers that danger was near and the fear instilled within her from the voices she heard was real. What she saw, witnesses and the odors and smells would defy all your senses and instill more than just fear in your heart. Two different universes were presented to her. Trying to understand the truths, the picture of a putrid world she faced and the indignities she was to face would send anyone over the edge.
When the Dram is defeated and Ambra is taken aboard another ship she learns more about her purpose, her powers and her future. Can she heal and find her way back to what she is supposed to be? Meet the XIX who were sent to rescue those along with Ambra that were abused and hopefully guide her to understand her place in the world as it is. However, she wants to return to Earth and learns more about the fate of the people there, the Dram revolution that took over her planet and hopefully she will be able to guide them into the future. But, things change and her powers do increase and even though she is able to guide them back home she soon learns the unhappy truth. Those that she formed a bond with no longer exist as the Dram once again take over and those that were kind to her perished. But, Ambra hears the voice of a friend, regains her strength, decides to defend her position and she is no longer allowing herself to be held at anyone’s mercy. Thel the one alien that befriended her met a terrible fate and now Waythrel an Xixian medic has taken over and she is about to learn Dram law and custom. Learning about the two religious castes on Dram, their civilization, the faiths and more created a conflict within her. Imagine hearing a conversation in one ear and a commentary in the other. Next, he explains the Orbs and which ones are vital to each religious caste. Imagine having to learn all of this as the author outlines it on pages 156-157, having to remember it all and then being questioned. What would the end result be and why would the XIX risk it all for her? She learned a startling revelation within this 26th chapter: reader and also a writer. What does that mean and how will that impact her future remains to be seen? Charges are presses against her and she is brought in front of the High Inquisitor. Ambra stands her ground and does not fall prey to what she is told. Will she face execution? Will she be tortured for refusing to give them what they want? Who will prevail: Believers or Naturalists? Which religious caste and what will the end result be? What happens to her will horrify you and help you understand the gravity and lengths these creatures will go to in order to get what they want? What they do to her is unforgiveable and when the Xixian medics examine her harsh truth is confirmed.
When Ambra faces her inquisitors and hears what they want the end result will surprise readers and let you know that Ambra just might have the upper hand. Can she take down the Dram? What is her plan? Will someone foil it or will Ambra finally see the future for what she wants it to be? What she does will mystify readers and what she is able to do to the Dram Emperor quite compelling. What happens to Earth and the end result is explosive? When the angel of death wins who dies? What is Ambra’s choice? Which world survives? Loyalties, deceits, betrayals and one young girl’s hope to live to save the lives of so many more. Ambra is blind yet she can see. The visions within her mind and her journey is compelling and when she comes to the harsh realizations that her visions are fading what her friend from the past is saying what will the end result be for everyone?
The final chapters will explain what happens as the Readers and our narrator explains how they became a closely-knit group and just where civilization winds up. Betrayed by her own kind, mutilated and then the sacrifices made to survive. What is next for our reader and who lives in the mind of the author? Minds and lives destroy what is next for Ambra? Her story must spread and you must endure her pain and take the journey with her. Author Erec Stebbins creates a plot so intricate, so complex and yet so simple that the reader or review understands that the world is not always what it seems, that your faith is often tested and the end result as he states: Do we dare to believe?
Take the journey and understand.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer