Arwen Dayton


Science Fiction / Fantasy


Date Reviewed:

July 1, 2013

was browsing through Third Place Books, which is a local bookshop here in Shoreline (just north of Seattle), when I saw one of the "recommended" tags that members of the bookstore staff place next to various books on the shelves. The tag I saw really extolled the merits of the book Resurrection by Arwen Dayton. So despite the hokey cover - crystals and pyramids?? - I bought a copy and read it.

The best thing about Resurrection is Dayton's description of her plucky heroine, Pruitt. Pruitt is a member of a species called the Kinley that live on a planet that is eight light years from Earth. Her planet is at war with another alien species, the evil Lucien. The war has devastated the planet so badly that only a fragment of the original biosphere remains, the Kinley survive by hiding in domed cities on a ravaged surface. The Lucien continue to attack, and one of their agents is captured. Unprompted, the captured agent blurts out the fact that in 30 years or so, the Lucien will unleash an attack that will utterly obliterate the remaining Kinley! Something must be done!! (Why would the Lucien tell an agent who works behind enemy lines their long term strategic plans? It would be like Eisenhower telling the French Resistance of the Normandy invasion plans - no one would ever do that.) Pruitt is selected to be sent to Earth. Her mission is to discover what happened to a Kinley exploration ship that traveled to Earth 5000 years ago, using Faster Than Light technology. Recover that technology, and the Kinley will somehow be able to escape from the Lucien attacks. (In the intervening 5000 years, it didn't occur to any of the Kinley that they might want to recover that lost FTL technology?)

Pruitt faces some daunting obstacles, including the death of her fellow crew member and a crash landing on Earth that destroys her ship. Nevertheless, she persists in her search, unaware that she is being tracked by a couple of Lucien agents that have followed her to Earth. Fortunately, Pruitt has the advantage of a magic bio-suit, that will heal her, or anyone else she touches. Indeed, at one point an unconscious Pruitt is taken to an Earth emergency room, and the ER team is unable to insert IV needles into her arms because the magic bio-suit. (Unexplained is the fact that the evil Lucien agents were able to make a couple of cuts in Pruitt's skin with a simple knife and insert two tracking probes. Why didn't the suit block the knife? Why didn't the suit inform Pruitt she is caring two alien objects? Why doesn't the suit expel the foreign objects?)

This brings me to the huge flaw with Resurrection - the plot doesn't make a lick of sense. Only the original Ship's Captain had knowledge of Faster Than Light travel, even though it would have taken a huge team of engineers and scientists to construct his original space craft? Why not leave behind a crystal explaining how FTL works? (For some odd reason, none of the crew members on the FTL ship have names, they are only identified by their position, such as Captain, Mechanic or Third Mate. I wondered what happened to their names if someone got promoted...)

Pruitt travels (in hibernation) the 8 light years from Kinley to Earth in 16 years, which means her ship can travel at half the speed of light. This is plenty fast enough for the Kinley to explore and colonize nearby worlds; Pruitt's journey shows that it is possible. If the Kinley have ships like this, why haven't they use them for the last 5000 years? The Lucien also have ships of equal capability, as they demonstrate by following Pruitt. (How did they know about Pruitt's departure? I expected to learn about a traitor in the Kinley hierarchy, but no explanation was ever forthcoming.) But the Lucien apparently don't use these capable ships either.

Just because you plant a tiny transmitter into someone's body, it will only track that person if there are receiving towers or satellites somewhere to pick up the signals, but the Lucien agents have none of these. Yet somehow their handheld devices track Pruitt over vast distances.

Pruitt's magic bio-suit is so powerful that it can cure a human with AIDs with just a touch!

How is it possible that the Kinley and humans are so closely related that they can interbreed? Obviously, Kinley and humans must be the same species, because only creatures from the same species can successfully mate. Yet the Kinley are from a different world. No explanation for this anomaly.

Why don't the Lucien simply drop a few asteroids onto the few remaining Kinley domed cities? Even a near miss would more than do the trick.

Pruitt's human boyfriend sees that she is under attack. What shall he do to help her? Why not rip this robe off a man standing nearby! That doesn't make a bit of sense, except pulling off the robe reveals an alien Lucien standing there!! Who would have guessed? The humans lose their focus on Pruitt and go running off after the Lucien.

There are many more logical blunders in the plot of this book. It might make a empty-headed sci-fi movie some day (Pyramids! Aliens! Spaceships!) but it is a disappointing read. Certainly it didn't merit the effusive praise of the bookstore staff.