Review of Books 6-10, Earth's Final Chapter, by Barbara Kihiu

Reviews by Barbara Kihiu

Book 6 - ARK  

 Another dimension is added in this series of novellas. The ARK has been whispered in previous stories but we’re not quite sure who exactly they are.  All we know is, they are a headache for PC (Planetary Council). Leo Mega has a thorn in its side, namely the ARK. They are causing unrest, and that is something the PC cannot have. Who doesn’t love a band of rebels pushing against the status quo? That is precisely what the ARK does. However, the show of might is not quite what is seems. The quest to leave the scorched Earth seems to be universal no matter what section of it one resides. The illustrations in this novella are more vivid. The colors shine bright and creatures otherworldly. We also get to meet old characters who had been introduced briefly and are able to connect with other books.

The great thing about this series is the little crumbs that keep you coming back for more. You want to read the next instalment because just maybe you might get a piece of the pie. However, whether the ARK is just a single entity or something more is a discovery for every reader. 

Book 7 - HUNTER & HIS HOUNDS

I would be lying if I said I hadn’t anticipated this instalment. The mysterious hunter makes his appearance in the seventh book of Earth’s Final Chapter, and boy what a debut. The greatest question was would it live up to the expected hype? But Julian Fernandes outdid himself in this novella.

The Hunter is not a likeable man, but he is the bounty hunter of choice. He never fails at his job and you have to admire that kind of tenacity. So, when he takes one last job it is definitely not business as usual, once the chase begins you see this strange dichotomy, a bloodthirsty man who loves his family fiercely. You are kind of torn as whether to despise him or respect his work ethic. Be warned the words paint a gruesome imagery of blood and gore. These are not your average dogs. The illustrations seem to blur deliberately to prevent from fully disliking this character. However, this hunt is cursed from the get go and the Hunter is beset with problems as he chases his prey.

In the meantime, there are those who would seek his services back home and another Hunter rises. Will there be two Hunters, or has fate conspired to shift the tide? Whether the Hunter completes the hunt or not that is for you to find out. It’s definitely a compelling read and by far my favourite of the series.

Book 8 - HOMESTEAD HUNTS

It is not quite what I expected. The tangent this novella leads you on is quite interesting. Long ago, the PC lost contact with one of their first cities. With the world falling apart around everyone’s ears, it was thought the people died. This is where Homestead come is in, a new city has risen, hobbling on its broken legs. A society divided into predator and prey where the weak are hunted by the strong. For years, the hunts have raged on and it seems there’s no end in sight.

There are key players in Homestead who hold an important role in the city, and those who seek to continue the hunts because they hide far bigger secrets. There are some who seek peace between the predator and prey.

When a coup comes knocking the players find themselves changing who they were. Doing things that they never thought they would as the fight to take the city is waged and blood of the innocent and guilty is spilled. Still there is a far bigger threat about to descend on the city they just don’t know it yet. This was one of those stories I wish had more illustrations simply because I enjoyed it. The play of different species to create people was fascinating. It brought the characters to life. Both author and illustrator seemed to be in a coherent unit. It was a great read.

Book 9 - KYO

The Oceanic Alliance sent a crew out to the seas with a mission to find life. Well, they get more than they bargained. They stumble upon the Nation of Japan that has lived under the ocean for over a hundred years undetected. They have a whole society led by the Five Families. and at the heart of it is Kyo Yoshi: a visionary with a master plan. It’s really hard not to like this young man, heck—he is the book!

Kyo knows that change is coming to the Nation of Japan. However, there are those close to him who would rather push their agenda than lead the nation in its next encounter with the Planetary Council. Julian does his best to paint for us a completely self-sufficient world underneath the ocean without really coming up for air. The inventions are remarkable as we are reminded that this nation has a hand in the stars and is closely monitoring the Starship Ceu. Another piece of the jigsaw puzzle falls into place and there is me going “aha!” but I refrained. The illustrations are pretty cool, giving you underwater vibes with machinery.

 The Nation of Japan is literally rising, and Kyo is the catalyst. The mission commissioned by him is just but the first step in letting the PC know who is boss. He has given up everything in order to elevate his nation and just when we think we have all the pieces, another hole appears in the puzzle.  I was disappointed when I turned the last page there wasn’t more.

Book 10 - POINT MEGA

Finally, we get a glimpse into a city held by the PC; Point Mega is on the cusp of revolution. Not all is what it seems. Catalina Silver is tired of being a point person for the PC. She feels it is time to cut ties and forge a new city independent of the PC. However, there is revolution within the Point Mega walls. Her own daughter-in-law, Isla, wants to escape the confines of the city with her children. She wants freedom from the oppression she feels enforced on her. A deeper revolution is that of the AI. I did not see that coming. The robots are rising under Catalina’s nose, and she does not know it yet. She is making bold moves partnering with the Nation of Japan and securing allies. However, the PC will not let the city go without a fight.

It all comes to a head and certain revolutions succeed while others fail. What is clear is the battle lines are drawn, and the question of life in space is still being asked. The illustrations give the story that extra bit of edge. As book 10 comes to a close, more questions are raised, and all I want know is: where’s the next one?