If you are looking for a unique, innovative, and well-written science fiction story that includes time and space travel, aliens, enslaved humans, distinctive technologies, and a mysteriously calm and soft spoken character called Evaran, then “The Arrival”, the prequel to the “The Evaran Chronicles” should be your next book to read. The author (Adair Hart) does not simply craft another “aliens meet humans” story in this prequel; not at all. Instead, Mr. Hart tells a deep and complex tale in a very condensed book containing 89 pages or just shy of 3 hours for the Audiobook edition; excellently narrated by Michael Pauley (the same narrator of the entire Evaran series of books).
Although the book is a prequel to an existing three-book series, it can stand on its own and in my opinion is well worth the price in any format. The book is provided free of charge (Kindle version) to those who are subscribed to the author’s mailing list; per the book’s Amazon page. As a disclaimer, I have not yet read the other books in the series so my review is solely based on my knowledge found in this book alone. However, I will say that once I finished the prequel, I wanted dive right in to the series and discover what kind of trouble and adventure Evaran, along with his companions, will have.
The book opens with a human (Jake) working with his “father” on a distant spaceport that is more of a rest stop for various travelers. To me, it seemed more like a truck stop or dinner for space ships. A bit dirty and somewhat broken down. Jake is scheduled to be a breeding slave when he comes of age soon. We are introduced to a mysterious human-looking stranger (Evaran) who arrives at the spaceport asking for details on a planet called Jake knows as Earth. Evaran is quite fascinated with Jake being a human in this distant part of space and Jake is quite interested in this stranger’s seemly advanced technology. During their encounter, a slave ship and crew pays the station a visit while heading to earth to pick up another allotment of slaves. Evaran’s plans begin to unfold and the reader is treated to a delightful story consisting of many twists and turns.
I found the book to be very engaging, easy to listen too, and the story well-paced. As stated earlier, even though it stems from a mash-up of various story lines from other science fiction books, it felt unique and different from anything I have read. Michael Pauley’s narration of the book was flawless and his voice enjoyable. He could voice the book’s multiple characters without issue and his voice is what I would expected Evaran to sound like. It was relaxed, smooth, and confident until someone got him angry, which took extreme effort and did not happen often in this book. I noticed no audio artifacts while listening to the book and the volume level was consistent. Everything one would expect from a professionally produced audiobook.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.