**I am Peter Cawdron’s fan and friend, and I credit him for making me reading for pleasure again.
**”Monsters” is still my favorite Cawdron’s novel and I still think that it would make a blockbuster movie… And yet… Well, please keep reading.
I will not give any specific details of the plot because I do not want to give anything away; it is too good of a story to spoil it.
And now, without further ado:
Before Peter Cawdron, there was Isaac Asimov. The elder author wrote a series of novels collectively titled “The Foundation Series”, which (again, collectively) is one of my favorite science fiction books, ever. Peter’s latest offering, “3zekiel”, could be part of another series. Even though Peter dislikes the term “hard science fiction”, it is accurate of 3zekiel. Here’s some of its highlights:
**It has a well-defined story that stands very well on its own, and has a satisfying story arc. However, I would *really* like to know what happened before the events of the novel, as well as what eventually happened to our heroes (humans and otherwise). I’d also like to hear about our heroes’ descendants, and what happened to both civilizations. Yes, this novel lends itself to a whole “Asimov-eske” saga.
**I find the description of what the aliens’ technology can do quite fascinating. The alien civilization is certainly recognizable as having a biology and psychology similar to our own, but it is also significantly more advanced than us. For example, we cannot “park” an asteroid whenever we want, we cannot, harvest said asteroid’s materials to make other things, and although the idea of a space elevator has been around for a while, we cannot build one now, period. More importantly, we are *nowhere* near the point of biological engineering mastery that the aliens have. Nonetheless, their biological expertise is not so advanced lest we confusing it with magic. We get a good idea of what they are doing and at least a couple of guesses on how they are doing it. We could get there in the not too distant future. I hope to see at least some of it… Along the way, the novel alludes to some of the important questions that we as a species have: What is life? and Who exactly am I?
I liked all the characters, but my favorite are Tiny and Lady. I’ll let you read about them. Also, one of the characters truly reminded me of a real life and somewhat controversial physicist/astrobiologist. I actually contacted Peter about it, and it was a wild, total coincidence. Let’s see if you can tell who am I talking about when you read the novel.
Peter’s attention to detail is a pleasure to read; whether he is describing how a very well-trained soldier fights or describing a geosynchronous orbit, we get an excellent idea of how these (and many other things) works.
Although there is a certain amount of suspense as part of the plot, it is relatively easy to see where will the story lead; and yet this detail does not take anything away from it. It actually has precisely the right amount of surprise at the end.
As most of Peter’s works, 3zekiel has has something for virtually everyone. More than solid science, good writing, some suspense, a pinch of horror, just the right amount of religion, and an uplifting ending. I really do not want to say more, because, as I have stated before, I do not want to give anything away.
My favorite lines: “All of these is an illusion. Trees. Monkeys. Snakes. Centipedes. Birds. None of that is real in itself. Every animal (**Note from ORP: I would have liked that it said “organism” instead) is a hodgepodge of individual cells–a collection of trillions upon trillions of microscopic lifeforms that combine like Lego blocks to form living creatures like you and me.”
One final comment: this is a novel that should be read as a physical copy (my admittedly unapologetic bias), but please do read it in your preferred format. I read my copy in two days. Seriously, pick it up (virtually or physically) and read it. I am absolutely sure that you will love it!
The real final comment: now I have two indisputable favorite novels from Peter. Both “Monsters” and “3zekiel” should be made into movies.
What are you waiting for, fellow reader? Pick 3zekiel up and read it!
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