I read this book thinking, maybe, I dunno, aliens? Hmm… This was my first tango with a Science Fiction Thriller. I usually have this problem with aliens or extraterrestrial beings and that is I usually cannot empathize with them. I usually label them away as alien and drop the book or movie and never give it a second thought. It’s a wonder to me that I love Doctor Who so much, though, I guess it’s because the Doctor seems pretty human and if anything, having two hearts makes him more relatable than a human.
Anyway. The reason I stuck with Rifts was because, well I am a fan of world building and this book has it. Boy! Does it have it.
I don’t want to be too spoilery as always, so here’s a little summary:
“Author C.R. Downing introduces the Clurn, aliens from the planets Narxon and Bafwique. They could care less about eradicating anyone or any species– including mammals or others of their own kind. A history of alien intrigue, genocide, invasion, civil war, and colonization with ending guaranteed to surprise even the most avid mystery lover.”
My favorite part was how engaging it was. Like I said, I have a problem with aliens, but not these guys. Downing offers up an almost interactive form of story telling, with documents to read through and alien language to decode. The story, combined with these elements, pulled me into the conflict, and pushed me forward through the mystery with ease.
Everything in this world feels real, despite being transported to a completely different world, on different planets.
I found the perspective of the main characters compelling. The complexity of creating a non human race with easily relatable qualities was outstanding. I cannot stress this enough, I didn’t expect to be so drawn to these characters, or the world, for that matter.
I am so glad I picked this one up. I am so glad Rifts opened my eyes to science fiction thrillers and mystery. Rifts pulled me into an entire genre I was missing out on. I only hope that this well crafted novel doesn’t spoil me and put all the other stories in it’s genre to shame for me.
I highly recommend this book. I especially recommend this book if you are into things like Doctor Who.
(PS, How great is this cover art?)