Regular Books Are Cool readers will know that I’m a great fan of R Peter Ubtrent. Dark Pilgrim Fallen brings his amazing Dark Pilgrim series to a dramatic close – dramatic both in the sense of the author’s achievement in creating this incredible imaginary universe that has held us transfixed for six novels, and also Ailanthus’ dramatic final achievement. Rivalled by Mishi to take the role of Emperor of the Imperium, there’s really precious little to be emperor of. The Ynos have destroyed most other lifeforms in the galaxy and even Earth is preparing to be evacuated. The Restoration continues to attack the beleaguered Church of the Blessed Prophets. There is rivalry between prospective empresses.  Anolis returns with bounty hunters in tow to avenge his brother’s death on Ailanthus and Tethys, whom he holds responsible, forgetting their once close friendship and loyalty. B’cha the Kroor assassin is another familiar figure to reappear but this time fails in his mission. When had the galaxy gone so wrong? he wonders to himself as he fall. It’s the question everyone should be asking. Why has the universe set itself on this course of self-destruction?

Again, a tightly woven, many layered plot entertains us as the Imperium’s reluctant saviour embarks on a desperate, dangerous plan. Characters, cunning, treacherous, loyal and brave, perform the actions and win the reader’s and each other’s disgust or admiration. In this novel, even more than the others, it seems that strong females emerge, which is perhaps fitting as the need to save and nurture the remnants of humanity becomes more pressing. The surviving friends from the first Dark Pilgrim adventure are scattered, yet still bonded together, a tiny focus of hope for the future. Beyond powerful, this book, like the whole series, is a must read.

Dark Redemption by R Peter Ubtrent is the fifth book in the stunning Dark Pilgrim series. And still the author keeps up mesmerised and surprised as events in the galaxy continue to twist and turn in directions we could never have foreseen. The universe seems to be crumbling into chaos. The F’gat Ynos are slowly but surely destroying every planet they come across, intent on wiping out the human race. There is general chaos as the hyper gates normally allowing galactic travel are closed as a defencive measure. Only a few vessels are able to create their own pirate gate to travel through. Ailanthus, the Emperor, is still trying to unite the Imperium, the Noble Houses within which are being challenged by The Restoration, whose members are growing more and more desperate. Someone else is after the Imperial throne too. The Dei Glorium, Ailanthus’ intended spouse, has vengeance up her sleeve and possesses an illegal and devastating weapon, but her plan misfires. And Anolis, working with two bounty hunters and a Kroor, still wants to repay his brother’s death, brought about by Ailanthus’ actions in the past. The action doesn’t stop.

In contrast to the enormity of the crisis facing the galaxy, emotions on a personal level play an important part in this novel. Love and loyalty emerge strongly, although there is also deception, hatred and dishonesty. The characters, many of whom are now very familiar to us this far along in the series, continue to develop. Each is as complex as the universe they inhabit. Ubtrent has created yet another absorbing novel that it’s impossible to put down.

Visit Peter’s website at http://ubtrentbooks.com

It takes an excellent author to maintain a series successfully over four books but this is what R Peter Ubtrent does in this next novel in the absorbing and complex Dark Pilgrim series. And if anything, the quality goes up. The excitement continues with the Restoration now thrown into the broiling mix, working to bring down the Church of the Blessed Prophets which it sees as an “infection”. Lord Comte Mishi continues his rebellion against the tatters of the Imperium. The virus is still having a fiercely negative impact on humanity, as are the Drek and the Ynos. And Ailanthus is still fighting his fate, with an ever dwindling band of loyal supporters. He feels wholly inadequate for the responsibilities he will face as Emperor. All of the main characters reflect on what their status will be within the new order, if and when it finally comes.

This intricately constructed book has at its heart pain and relationships, and often the pain of relationships. There’s torture, both physical and emotional on a shocking scale. Trust too is an issue. It’s described as being nothing but exploitation at one point and this seems true. Alliances are brittle and self-interest is served. The galaxy seems to be wading forward into darker times. The truth concerning the history of the Dark Ages of Human Bondage emerges but as Ailanthus declares sarcastically, “Now that we’ve been enlightened, we all know better.” There seems to be no end to the darkness in sight. There is still a lot more to come in this astounding series.

Visit Peter’s website at ubtrentbooks.com.

Buy the book from Lulu.com here.

Not long ago I featured a guest post byPeter Ubtrent, a science fiction writer I admire very much. I’ve now read two more of his books and wanted to share my reviews of them with you.

First up, Seed of Power, which is the second book in the Dark Pilgrim series.Ailanthus, Tethys and their rather unlikely band of friends, having escaped from the horrific penal colony of K’ar Krack’a, begin to attempt to build new lives. But the world they find themselves in isn’t really much different, full of criminals and liars all trying to steal credits and simply survive. There is conflict and tension everywhere – between The Church of the Blessed Prophets and the struggling Imperium, between some of the various alien species, and within the Imperium itself. Too many people are after personal power or revenge. Rohini becomes a key figure in keeping the Imperium’s collapse at bay since the new Emperor is neither popular nor diplomatic. And he needs Ailanthus’ help.

The dystopian view of humanity so evident in Dark Pilgrim Rising continues in this novel, so when loyalty, courage and honesty do appear, they shine like beacons. Familiar characters are further developed and new ones introduced. Unresolved issues and hints that surfaced in the previous book are dealt with, but new ones emerge to intrigue us. Themes and subplots weave through the story, carrying us towards the exciting conclusion that leaves us wanting to continue following this imaginative and epic science fiction adventure. This talented author plunges the reader into a rich, persuasive and fascinating alternate universe. He packs more into a page in terms of linguistic ability and sheer entertainment than many authors do in an entire book.

Next comes Dark Throne. This is the third book in the absorbing Dark Pilgrim series. “I am Bhasan Volans, son of Deneb Aquila Volans, and I am the Emperor of the Imperium,” announces Ailanthus during a meeting with the Druzsni leadership. He’s only pretending at the time. Whether he is or isn’t, and whether he can or cannot bring himself to be assume this role, is the uniting theme of this book, set in a very disunited galaxy. Ailanthus feels nothing but antipathy towards the Imperium. Can he really be expected to lead it? Can he bring peace to the huge diversity of co-existing lifeforms that include humans, Kroor, Dwad Mehstiv, Ynos, Morype Slugs, H’Chalk and Druzsni. If that’s not enough, the Lord Cardinals of The Church of the Blessed Prophet continue to scheme and complicate matters in their attempts to retain control of both the Church and the Imperium. Can Ailanthus control them?

If it’s possible, I feel this book is even more neatly structured than its predecessors. It open and closes with references to the Ynos, threatened at first but posing a threat themselves at the end. There is betrayal throughout, in small and big gestures. Not only does Ailanthus face it, but he knows he will perpetrate it himself if he is to unite the warring galaxy. In the prologue we see Marines spilling out of their ship “like a virus”. Another virus runs rampant both through the galaxy and the book. The epilogue closes with the observation that humans are chaotic, but this meticulously organised and tightly constructed novel suggests the exact opposite, at least from this human author!

Do check out Peter’s website at www.ubtrentbooks.com. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but his book covers are brilliant.

Peter will be appearing on the Author Show on 22nd March. Listen out for the interview.

 

I’m very excited to hand my blog over today to an extremely talented author whose books I know you will enjoy reading.

 

Stephanie asked me to submit a guest post to her site and so here it goes. I’m R. Peter Ubtrent, an independent author with seven books in print. The first is titled Eternity’s Handmaiden and is set in the near future where oil has run out, hover-cars rule the skies and every part of your body can be replaced to be like new, all, that is, except for the brain. When someone comes up with a way to transfer a person’s entire brain to a new body, creating pseudo-immortality, everything starts to go wrong. This is an action/mystery/science-fiction novel that takes you from the Earth to the outposts on the moon and mars and to the future.

My other six books are all part of a series entitled the Dark Pilgrim Series. Book one, Dark Pilgrim Rising, which just received a 5 star rating from Reader’s Favorites, is a story set in the far distant future, when humans are in control of vast stretches of the galaxy, battling back and forth with the other indigenous life-forms for control of the lucrative trade routes that connect planetary systems. The Imperium has the formidable navy at its disposal and The Church of the Blessed Prophets has its zeal, faith, and the Confessios to root out heretics. Within this world of brutality, repression and nearly totalitarian control come Ailanthus and Tethys, life-long friends who find themselves in one of the worst penal colonies of the Imperium. Befriending a variety of aliens, the two men fight to escape while the galaxy around them implodes in on itself with greed, avarice and religious zeal. It is a story of friendship and loyalty, both of which are tested severely as Ailanthus and Tethys learn, over the course of the six novels, that they are far more important to the survival of the galaxy and humanity then they had ever thought.

About Peter

Peter has degrees in Astrophysics, History and Secondary Education and a PhD. in Military History. He has been writing since high school, where he wrote his first novel, a combination of The Lord of the Rings, Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever and The Book of Swords. When he had finished writing, he realized that there wasn’t much original in the words, just a combination of the other author’s works! That books was scrapped. From that point on, Peter decided to not read fiction anymore but concentrate instead on his history books, so as not to corrupt his writing with what others had already written.

Peter has a two-book series ready for print, called The Sslithax Heresy, an epic tale of time travel and adventure that burrows into the very heart of humanity and its beginnings. He has also written the first of a three-book series entitled Caelus, the first book titled A Requiem for Caelus, in which a vast galactic hegemony attacks planets for their resources and colonization rights, killing the majority of the inhabitants and taking those chosen to serve in either the military or the bed-chambers of the high lords of the Va’Shan Empire. When they attack the planet of Caelus, the seven survivors of the indigenous inhabitants herald the downfall of the mighty empire.

You can view all the books at Peter’s website Ubtrentbooks.com.

Peter currently lives against the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico with his lovely wife.

Review

You can read my review of Dark Pilgrim Rising here.