I first came across author Nick Caesar when I read Zephir, it transpired that Zephir was part of an ongoing series. The latest of which is Princess Shlilah And The Thorachini.

In this book Nick Caesar has decided to take a slightly different approach, Princess Shlilah is frying solo. Captain Kicef, his crew, and his spacecraft Gold Rush are part of the first chapter, but the rest of the book has Princess Shlilah very much on her own.

I am never quite sure which genre to place Nick Caesar in, He hovers somewhere between Science Fiction and Science Fantasy. But he always comes up with interesting story lines, ones that cannot be ignored.

This book features two alien races, the peace loving Thorachini that really do not understand the concept of warefare, or self preservation. Their would be enslavers are the Jarahaliis, while not overly violent per se, they are more akin to locusts. They consume resources, and when a planet is exhausted it becomes a giant dumping ground. Hmm, sounds a bit like where we all live today!

The aspect of this book that really caught my eye, was that these two races come from different universes. I do not claim to be psychic, but boy my life is a strange coincidences. Yesterday I saw a trailer for a series that is beginning on one of the Discovery Channels on Wednesday. It stars Morgan Freeman and it explores the universe as we know it. I have worked with Discovery quite a bit, and I was able to access the screening room for this program. A major topic of discussion was the idea of there being multiple universes, and that a disruption in one, could well have a ripple effect on the others. We have made huge strides in science, yet we also have much to learn.

It is exactly this disruption between universes that Nick Caesar uses at the heart of his plot.

The book begins with the Princess being contacted by the surreal Doves of Thoracen, these emesaries from the creator ware without form, merely a shining light. Their mission is to persuade the Princess to intercede on behalf of the Thorachini. The Jarahaliis have found a gateway between the two universes and have taken most of the adult population captive. All that is left on the planet are the children. She must find a way to return the adults and close this gateway between the worlds.

Princess Shlilah And The Torachini puts forward the interesting possibility that while the basic laws of physics are in play in alternate universes, but there are subtle differences within the people. Nick Casar uses DNA and RNA, his scenario includes the possibility of being able to graft them on the fly. No cloning involved, merely the ability to replicate and change these building blocks within living people.

This concept is not quite as far fetched as it sounds, there is indeed a branch of medical research that is looking at developing drugs and other tools aimed at modifying or neutralizing wayward segments of DNA.

Different people will have different views of Princess Shlilah And The Thorachini, it can be taken at face value as a science fantasy romp, or as a more serious commentary on what the future may hold for us.

The whole Princess Shlilah series is well worth reading, and you can order your copy from Amazon by using the link above.

Simon Bar

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