Monday, May 18, 2020

Book Review: 'ZARYA: Last Hope for her parents and Cydnus' by Jackiem Joyner

ZARYA; Last Hope for her parents and Cydnus by Jackiem Joyner

Science fiction forte!

California author Jackiem Joyner has carved a fine reputation as a smooth jazz saxophonist and flutist with seven recordings to his credit and winning Debut Artist of the Year in 2008 among other honors. Now he enters the literary stage with a science fiction novel that show promise of a significant career beyond music. The intended audience is for teens/young adults, but the writing is so solid that his book will likely find even wider appreciation.

Creating a significant central character for a projected series (this is Book 1) is critical, and Joyner has accomplished that mission with Zarya, as have his illustrators Nada Orlic and Kristina Pavlovic in making Zarya visual! And as prelude to the intrigue that is promised, Joyner opens with an atmospheric setting of scene; ‘The growing fury of the storm outside hurled dust and debris that pounded the window so hard Aaron couldn’t have seen out of it if he was interested in looking up from his computer screen. The basement lab was dark except for the pale blue glow from the monitor that lit his face. He liked it this way. It kept him focused on his work. Numbers filled the screen. Calculations, scenarios, prototypes, test sequences. To the average person it would be nothing but a jumbled mess, but Aaron knew he was close. He could feel it…’ Having met Zarya’s father in this sequence and taking time to establish Zarya’s family history, the clues for the novel’s journey are set.

Briefly, from the book’s back cover the plot tempts the reader: ‘Crisis looms on Cydnus. One young girl has the power to avert it. But is she ready to face the danger? Fifteen years after life on Cydnus was forever changed, Zarya, daughter of the missing lead researcher, finds herself on the same dangerous path that silenced her father. What begins as a quest to reunite the parents she never knew becomes a battle for the lives of every person on Cydnus. With her friends in tow, Zarya embarks on a perilous journey through dark alleys, lonely deserts, and thunderous arenas with her airboard. Her quest for peace and stability will put her against forces more dangerous than the world has ever known. Will Zarya and her friends emerge victorious or has their fate already been sealed?’

This is a sizzling science fiction fantasy, complete with imaginative objects, devices, and scientific concepts that make this novel soar - contemporary concepts pushed forward and embellished in time, creating a cinematic tale well worth following. Recommended

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.