Title: The Amaranth
Author: Alexander Barnes and Christopher Preiman
Subject: Science Fiction
Release Date: Available Now
Reviewer: Maria Josey
Written by Alexander Barnes and Christopher Preiman, The Amaranth embodies the spirit of a vintage space opera. This science fiction novel delves into the world of The Frontier – the out realms of the universe where freedom still somewhat exists. Even on these outer limits, the restrictions so keenly felt on Earth have begun to infiltrate The Frontier. The Helix Network, meant to be an innovative and collaborative system, has become almost a religion by which everyone lives and breathes. Everything they know, fear, love and need is a part of the Helix. Information cannot be bought, sold or accessed without being plugged into this network. Yet for those who still cling to the ideals of liberty, this network represents an enemy that they are not willing to succumb to. The book’s hero, Aurelius, is both strong and fearless – and willing to risk his very life to break free from the clutches of the Helix Network. When he meets up with the beautiful, yet troubled Lithia and her parents’ ship, the titular “Amaranth,” their actions will forever change lives – their own and others.
Readers of vintage science fiction will adore this novel – it is rich with action, adventure and the classic good-versus-evil storyline. The novel moves along at a fast and engaging pace, making it easy to read. Those unfamiliar with the genre and its style may be a bit off by the writing style. There are some clichés, trite phrasing (i.e., “battered and bloody”) and an abundance of passive verbs. The characters are not terribly developed – even their physical descriptions are glossed over. Dialogue depends a lot on current phrasing (“dude” is commonly used), which detracts from any semblance of reality since this is set so far into the future. Still, I think fans of William Shatner’s melodramatic acting style and who revel in the genre will enjoy the novel and not be tripped up by any of its flaws. This is definitely a genre book – so it will not appeal to everyone, but its compelling beginning and action-packed ending is sure to excite readers!