Utterly complex and affectingly human… A thorough page-turner.
Westhoff masterfully combines vivid characterization and evocative worldbuilding in this stellar SF series. Readers will find it easy to dive into the intriguing web of action, vivid imagery, and multifaceted, fully realized character in the first installment. It’s the 24th century. Radical climate change has reshaped human geography. Canadian geologist Keltyn SparrowHawk accompanies a small crew to Antarctica in search for the strategic mineral iridium. But a technical difficulty leading to their plane crash-landing on the rough terrain of Antarctica brings the crew face to face with a nomad tribe still living in ancient age. But getting the elusive Iris stone is not as easy as it seems on the surface. The second installment offers an action-packed return to the richly imagined ice-free Antarctic setting. Keltyn has survived her almost fatal bullet wound and has been trying to make herself a new life with the nomadic tribe. Meanwhile, the mega-industrialist Sir Oscar Bailey is getting a second mission ready to exploit the iridium treasure by Mt. Erebus. Keltyn must take drastic measures to protect her tribe even if it means losing her own freedom. Both returning readers and those new to the series will be drawn in by the expert worldbuilding and subtle shifts of the political chessboard in the third volume, which takes readers further into Keltyn, Luz, and Joaquin’s individual as well as shared journeys as Bailey and Fae set on to destroy each other. Westhoff does an excellent job of propelling the adventure along while simultaneously pulling back the layers of his protagonists’ intriguing backstory: he includes just enough background information to create a solid story line and flesh out the characters in the second and the third volumes, keeping readers thoroughly invested. He vividly imagines the cultures of Onwei tribe and peoples them with multifaceted characters struggling with their inner demons. The coming-of-age journey of the free-spirited Luz and the endearing Joaquin is fascinating to watch. Keltyn shines as the main lead. Westhoff’s language is lush and accessible as he takes readers into a thrilling journey into futuristic warfare. The epic ending in the third installment will make the reader come away craving more volumes set in this fascinating world. Along the way, Westhoff explores the intricacies of love, family, and friendship, trust, betrayal, greed, ancient beliefs and superstitions, climate change and environmental concerns. Fans of sophisticated, descriptive SF tales built around futuristic intrigue won’t want to miss this one. Westhoff is a master of the form.
Erebus Tales (3-books series)
By Norman Westhoff
Stone Fever: Erebus Tales, Book I
Price $10.12 (USD) Paperback, $0.81 Kindle edition
The Color of Greed: Erebus Tales, Book 2
Price $8.99 (USD) Paperback, $0.82 Kindle edition
Gifts of a Dark God: Erebus Tales, Book 3