Monday, February 2, 2015

Aoléon The Martian Girl: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Saga - Part 2: The Luminess of Mars: A Review

BOOK TITLE: Aoléon The Martian Girl: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Saga - Part 2: The Luminess of Mars, written and illustrated by Brent LeVasseur
CATEGORY:  Middle-Grade, 90 pages
GENRE: Science-fiction and Fantasy
PUBLISHER: Aoléon Press
RELEASE DATE: February 23, 2015
          Aoléon and Gilbert receive a special mission from PAX, a wanted criminal and leader of the Martian resistance movement to investigate the Luminon of Mars, who he suspects is planning an invasion of Earth to steal its milk cows. Gilbert has an encounter with the Luminess (the mate of the Luminon) and discovers something strange about her during a procession, and the duo are chased by the Royal Paladin Guard.

          At Aoléon’s home, Gilbert meets Aoléon’s family, her sister Una, mother Phobos and father Deimos as well as her overzealous pet Zoot. He is also introduced to Bizwat, a covert operator and Procyon Commando, who uses his Saturn Pizza delivery job as a cover.
          Gilbert then gets to visit the Martian Space Academy (Aoléon’s school) where he encounters Aoléon’s nemesis, Charm Lepton and her friend Quarkina, as well as receiving a history lesson on the Martian people by Plutarch Xenocrates. After class, Gilbert and Aoléon get to train in zero-G and Gilbert is treated to a Psi-ball match between Martian Space Academy and Martian Science Academy.

          This book is the second part of the Aoléon The Martian Girl: A Science Fiction and Fantasy Saga. Since I had already been introduced to the basic concepts of Martians and Terrans (yes, earthlings) in part one of the series, I had an idea of what to expect in the story.
          Part one ended with Aoléon taking Gilbert home and showing him Mars. She also gets a message from the mysterious PAX who vows to overthrow a plot of stealing all milking cows from Earth. The reason why is explained in abundance in part 2.
          Aoléon and Gilbert travel to her home where her parents, though surprised she brought an earthling to Mars, still continue to be polite and extremely hospitable. Aoléon then takes Gilbert with her to school and the adventures they see there are detailed. The real adventure and the meaning behind the title are explained in one scene where the ‘Luminess’ (the mate of Luminon, ruler of Mars) meets Gilbert. The exchange between them happens to give credibility to the title.
          Other than this important sequence, the rest of the book has a lot of new characters and seems like scenes strung together in rehearsal for some big event. The new characters that are introduced are then defined (each is given a purpose. Some are friends, some are powerful teachers, some haters and some downright enemies. The detailing is like setting a stage for their individual performance in some big event that we are to expect in the remaining three parts of this saga.
          Though initially hesitant to flaunt Gilbert, Aoléon slowly overcomes her inhibitions and nervousness as people start recognising him for the Terran that he is. By the time this book ends, many people are aware of Gilbert’s presence in Mars and his association with Aoléon. This again seems like some sort of ‘nail biting’ anticipation wherein the reader expects someone to object to Gilbert’s presence in Mars.
          Overall, a perfect second book to a series that poses more questions and more ways for the plot to develop and offers some serious character development so that the reader has to remember how every character looks and behaves.
          Good writing, Lots of Graphic images. Once again, a different imagination!
On the other hand:
          The whole book seems like a middle act which lays the groundwork for the next major act so no really new story. You could understand where things are going only if you are familiar with Part 1 of this saga.
          Too many new characters. But the reader just has to remember them all if there is to be any hope of understanding the subsequent books in the series.

          As is expected in the series, whenever a scene is too difficult to visualise, the author has included a lot of graphics that are beautifully rendered so as to give a reader an idea exactly how the Martian city will look. Good if children who are reluctant readers pick up this book!
          If you read part one, understood and enjoyed it, read this and get ready for some more explanation in the rest of the series.

          Mr. LeVasseur enjoys crafting good stories based on lovable characters designed to translate well to multiple media formats such as books, games, movies, and toys. He lives in New York when he is not commuting between Southern California and Olympus Mons, Mars. His hobbies include writing, 3D animation, musical composition, and intergalactic space travel. He also enjoys various sports such as skiing, running, and exospheric skydiving.

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