Author: John B. Rosenman
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Genre: Science Fiction
Publication date: 2007 for eBook, 2009 for Print
Length: 356 pages/274 pages
Reviewer: Clayton Bye
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Captain Eric Latimore leads two husband and wife teams to the planet Lagos to investigate the disappearance of the previous company crew of six. It doesn’t take long to discover what happened to the first crew and what may also become the current team’s fate. Aliens of such beauty that one immediately recognizes them as angels invade the dreams of anyone who lands on the planet. These dreams are so real the beauty represented by the angels eventually causes the dreamer to go insane. One crew member actually digs out her eyes because the angels are just too beautiful to look at.
The team also learns that the angels are imprisoned on Lagos in high-tech/magical cubes one can carry in hand or pocket. And while the aliens are physically restrained, they still command an incredible and influential power over visitors to the planet.
As the investigation progresses the angels manage to influence a crew member to render all means of transport off the planet inoperable, to cause the death of one of the crew and to badly injure Eric’s wife. And now comes the punch-line. The angels believe an ancient prophecy that says a stranger will lead them to freedom and provide the means for them to exact revenge from their captor (a mysterious creature known only as the Gatekeeper). They have been trying to convince Eric that he is the One—with little success. But now, in return for healing the two women and promising safe passage off Lagos for them (and a second type of alien victim), Eric must agree to become one of the angels, sire their Redeemer and lead them all to a showdown with the Gatekeeper.
Eric feels he has no moral choice but to agree. Then things get interesting at light speed. The more Eric becomes an angel, the more he realizes they are empty, petulant, bored killers who look upon what they consider to be inferior races as their playing and killing grounds. One wonders if they even have a soul. Yet Eric knows, one way or another, he is going to be the one to fight the Gatekeeper on behalf of these aliens. So, he keeps looking for redeeming virtues in the angels, for something he can touch and nurture, that they might eventually be taught a different way of living, a different path—to earn redemption rather than taking it by force.
It’s not until tragedy strikes the very core of the angels that Eric sees his chance. But to accomplish what he envisions Eric must defeat a creature who might well be the God of the Old Testament.
With a strong science fiction setting, John B. Rosenman explores the importance of culture, compassion and love by pitting a race that has none of these qualities against a number of species.
Alien Dreams is, in my opinion, John Rosenman’s most substantial offering to date. One could say that he shows us what it is to be human by slowly tearing everything that means away from Captain Eric Latimore, all the while holding up the angels as examples of the horror of what he is to become.
Yet another enjoyable read from an author who knows how to entertain and make you think. Well done John.
Copyright © Clayton Clifford Bye
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