In a world of Science Fiction, what seems unbelievable at first glance seems to come to fruition some years later. Many of the gadgets we are familiar with today, first found credence in the mind of a writer.
In Lodestone, Book Three: The Crucible of Dawn by Mark Whiteway, we follow the continued exploits of a group of Kalani who are trying to save their world, and release their people from oppression. The humans have found a cache of Lodestone, a substance from a different universe, located on Kalani, and have enslaved much of the population, forcing them to mine the ore. Using the powerful Keltar to force obedience, life for the Kalani has become a hopeless drudgery. Lodestone is highly sought for its use in weaponry, although the Keltar have used it for generations as a tool to help them quell the Kalani. Assigned to take charge of the mining, the Keltar do not realize the treachery of the humans. While the Keltar feel they are in charge, the humans have found a way to hide their real purpose.
A spirited young female Kalani and a group of ten unlikely heroes set out to cross the Sea of Storms, ready to use the four components of Annata, to save their world. Having secured the components necessary, Shann and Rael, two of the carriers are lost at sea, with their fate unknown. Lost on an island, Shann and Rael find themselves right where they need to be. As time winds down, and with the help of a strange and legendary Chandara Boxx, can they overcome the internal conflicts and work together to find a way to find to disarm or destroy the human’s strange new weapon?
In their quest to find the answers, they find unique and remarkable truths about themselves. As the time grows short and all is at stake, will the Chandara make a stand? What is their place in the interplanetary dispute? With the strange abilities of Boxx, and his odd way of speaking in riddles, can our group of heroes convince the Chandara to help them in their final quest?
Whiteway has done a remarkable job of staying true to the science fiction of old. He has developed a world full of promise and passion, and peopled it with a race of beings, unique in appearance. Along with the Kalani, and the Keltar, the planet is also home to some dangerous beasts, such as the murghal and valthar. Also making their home on this planet are the strangely enigmatic Chandara, once thought extinct. By weaving technology and learning, a superior avionics division, and a hostile world full of strangely barbaric inhabitants, Whiteway has given us an unusual twist to the credibility of his world and characters.
Described in detail his world is easy to envision, and his characters have the ability to come alive and leap off the pages. A fun and exciting read, the story is also full of angst and personal demons. The flow is exceptional, and the story is quite enthralling.
I would recommend The Crucible of Dawn to the science fiction aficionado, but the story would also be appropriate for the YA reader. Full of fun and danger, action and adventure, and characters that either charm or repel, the story holds an unforgettable appeal. This would be a great book for your library, and while you are contemplating the purchase, you might check out Whiteway’s previous novels. He just gets better and better.