Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Visionary of Peace is the coolest book set on Mars you'll read this year


The Vallar saga by Cindy Borgne is a great "visionary" achievement. They are books so original and exciting they stir my imagination the same as the cutting edge of science can do when narrated by Stephen Hawking, Neil deGrasse Tyson, or Brian Cox. Like most science fiction space opera, Visionary of Peace imagines an alien world filled with technology, lots of gadgets, and fights between spaceships. But it also leaps into the vast and bleak terrain of Mars to visit such unknowns as the Nocturne Labyrinthus and the largest volcano in the solar system: Olympus Mons.

The German director Werner Herzog has said that we live in an age starved of new images. What Cindy Borgne provides us in her sequel Visionary of Peace is the solution to such starvation by borrowing visuals literally ripped from the Mars Rover. Man is already leaving tire tracks on Mars. How long before those tire tracks are a footprint and before corporations rise to terraform the red planet?

Cindy Borgne nourishes us with a tale that shows human nature is not so different in the far future, despite all that has happened. Psychics now dwell among humans, and scientific advances have made wormhole creation a reality, giving man for the first time in history the ability to step beyond Sol and colonize a world orbiting an alien sun. We still have wars, people still die in violence, and the battlefields have become the windswept rock of Mars. However, there is hope in the true "Visionary of Peace" who is named at the end of the book. Perhaps it is appropriate that the dust of the fourth planet is red, because this narrative is steeped in blood that is not so much a story, but an experience because of the first person alternating narrative of two lovers, Ian and Kayla, who despite all odds find a way to make things work in a breathtaking romance that spans the stars. Ah to be young and in love and saving the world. I think even Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Total Recall" could get on board with that concept.

Visionary of Peace combines science fiction, space opera, and young adult "coming of age" in surprising and refreshing ways making familiar elements new. Cindy Borgne employs insect swarms that are in fact machines, explores betrayals among corporations and friends, and her villains are merely so because their motivations run completely counter to those for whom we cheer. Toward the end, there is a thrilling, almost apocalyptic battle that left me on the edge of my seat. And I have to say upon finishing, this is a book for anyone who still has a sense of wonder and a feeling for bold visual style.

I look forward to the next book in this series, and I hope that Cindy writes it soon.

I give Visionary 5 stars out of 5 and recommend it to anyone who likes sci-fi epics and wonderful, emotional characters.

Cindy Borgne's AMAZON PAGE.
Cindy is also on GOODREADS located HERE

Have a great Tuesday. Tomorrow I will be hosting Ellie Garratt early and for two days (Wednesday and Thursday) because she's on the other side of the world, and I want her post live so there is no problem in linking from the UK to the US.

20 comments:

Elise Fallson said...

What an awesome review and it sounds like a book I'd really enjoy. Off to check it out right now!

Donna Hole said...

Wow, this sounds like a book I'd love. Thanks for the review and introduction Mike.

....dhole

Jess said...

Sounds like a great one! "Ah to be young and in love and saving the world..." Nice :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Have both of her books!

mshatch said...

I love scifi, probably as much as I like fantasy. I'll have to check this out :)

PT Dilloway, Grumpy Bulldog said...

I finished that on Sunday. It was good.

CBame13 said...

Darn I just bought 3 books and it looks like I'll have to buy another. Guess that's a good problem to have.
You had me at Mars

Cindy said...

Thanks for the review. It left me speechless and blinking for about five minutes. Off to work on Vallar 3. :)

Briane P said...

Boy. I was already looking forward to reading these, but your review made me want to throw out my other books and get going on hers.

Which I can't do because (a) my books are electronic. It's not satisfying to simply hit "delete" and (b) one of my other books is yours and I really want to finish it.

Michael Offutt, S.F.A. said...

@Briane: Thanks for saying so buddy.

L.G. Smith said...

That had to be great fun to think about the future world and then create it on the page. :)

Rusty Webb said...

I've got it right here in my queue to read soon. I'm sure it'll be great!

Catherine Stine said...

This one sounds good, and I really love Mars, so I will check it out!

Southpaw said...

Oh, that sounds good. Great review.

klahanie said...

Hey Michael!

A super and informative review, my friend. Being a sci-fi fan and rather spaced out, I shall endeavour to check out the book. Being on Mars seems a lot more fun than getting stuck on Uranus...

Cherie Reich said...

What a great review! It sounds like a series I would enjoy.

Liz said...

So many books...

tfwalsh said...

Great review... now I really want to read this book:)

Helena said...

Oh darn, another great author and her books to add to my list. But I haven't read recently of many authors with a visual style, so that sets Cindy apart.

Nick Wilford said...

Sounds excellent and well constructed. I'd like to read more sci fi.