Book Review: Avanaux – A Hickory Lace Novel

Avanaux: A Hickory Lace Novel
Hickory Lace
P. J. McDermott
Patrick McDermott
1st June, 2015

For fifty years, the Alien Corps has scoured the Universe looking for the Son of God.

The discovery of a new Gospel in 2095 has compelled the Vatican to reassess its views on the nature of God. The Alien Corps is formed to find the truth. Fifty years on, hope is fading.

Hickory Lace, sacked from the Corps after a failed mission to Aquarius 4, is surprised when Prefect Cortherien asks her to undertake a dangerous mission to the planet, Prosperine. There is a report that a mysterious extraterrestrial known as The Teacher is performing miracles.

Before Hickory and her team can complete their assignment, they discover a plot by the non-aligned planets to seize Prosperine’s priceless resources for faster-than-light travel.

Hickory must find a way to stop the aliens and at the same time determine what manner of being The Teacher is and what he represents.

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First off, I want to say I went into this book blind. I was ‘assigned’ this book in a group, and was a little taken aback by the religious aspect of it. However, I do have to say that it was a really good book!

The premise states that an old scripture is found which states that the son of god will return on a different planet, so the government goes looking for him – and finds him. The scenery in this book is vivid, pleasant to read about and the adventure feels real. There is technology I would never even have thought to invent (implant technology? What’s that? Pretty creative), to make the earthlings look more like the natives of other planets. There is a bit of technical jargon, but it was bearable for me (someone who has only read about 5 scifi books in my life!), which is saying a lot. The plot was strong and the story was definitely intriguing. This book went down easily, and was quite enjoyable.

Now, to the negatives (not to worry, they are just as a side note).

At times, the characters fell a little flat for me. They had feelings – lots of them! But I just didn’t feel connected to them at times when I thought I should have. I’m really tempted to add a spoiler here, but I won’t. Just sometimes I felt dislocated from their feelings, even though they were perfectly legit! Oh, I have a non-spoiler example: the relationship between Hickory and General Lace (her father). I was not feeling it when she was upset about how much he had neglected her – because I hadn’t gotten the feeling that he had neglected her growing up, just that they weren’t close, and had more of a professional relationship than a personal one.

The second (and last) complaint I have, is that I didn’t really feel like Hickory was the main character. I didn’t feel like there was a main character. Each member of the team had an almost equal part to me. And I was constantly forgetting that Hickory had that power of hers. Every time it was mentioned I was like, wait, what? and then I was like ohhhh, right.

So anyways. Definitely read this book (psst: it is available for free on Amazon Kindle)!! Four stars from me 🙂




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