A rip-roaring blend of space opera, history, and fantasy, this is entertainment at its best…
In New York City of the prohibition era of 1920s, when the mobster Jack “Legs” Diamond is not the man to mess with, the heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey is at the top of his game, and the World War heroine Edith Cavell is remembered for her valor, an alien anthropologist from a distant planet finds himself transported to Earth into the body of a bootlegger and follows clues from his broken memory to save the planet from a devastating invasion. It’s been years since the rulers of the advanced alien civilization, Dagan, lost their lives while on an excursion trip. Under Rescue Armada, a rescue mission designed on Dagan, the authorities are ready to send a massive fleet of war spaceships to Earth to bring back the crown princess Halana, who was transported to Earth into another child’s body at the time of her parents’ death. Tashan Zho, a celebrated anthropologist on Dagan, becomes a pawn in a clever game and finds himself transported to Earth. When Tashan wakes up in his host’s body, an alcoholic bootlegger Ryan Costello, he has nothing else but a small fragment of his broken memory and corrupted mission files for the clues. Tashan must take the help of Mike Kelly, the leader of a criminal gang of World War veterans, who are battling mobster Diamond for control of the lucrative bootlegging market, and rescue princess Halana before the time runs out for Earth. Brown skillfully blends space opera with history, his characters are both relatable and entertaining, and despite the heavy blend of technology and science elements, he never lets the gadgets and gizmos take over the story. Tashan is a triumph of a character, an alien of good intentions who is dogged by bad luck and Costello’s broken body: Brown makes his story both witty and enriching for the reader. Through Dagan people’s analytical interpretations of Earthlings, Brown not only examines the widespread issues of political unrest and social division on the basis of religion, race, class, riches but also adds a spark of lightheartedness and wit to the plot (“They are divided into tribes, which they call countries. Although they possess lethal projectile weapons, they only use them against each other. Their military conflicts have been regional until recently, when they engaged in a global struggle that they now refer to as the World War,” Zho explained. “The World War? That doesn’t sound harmless to me, Professor,” Arixn interjected.”). By setting part of the plot in the Craig Colony, a little-known state institution for patients with seizure disorders, the book delves deeper into the issues of human rights violations that were prevalent at the time. This is a must-read.
It Gives You Strength
By Philip Raymond Brown
Pub date August 17, 2020
Price $2.99 (USD) Kindle edition