The first novel in a science fiction series, Through the Abyss follows a complicated quest to protect human beings from forces that would destroy them.
Earth is the epicenter for an alien battle in Sidney Son’s science fiction novel Through the Abyss.
Something is happening off the coast of Puerto Rico. Jonathan and Ariella, both expert geologists, are assigned to investigate the strange phenomenon, unaware that they share an explosive secret that will determine the fate of multiple worlds. Nor are they the only ones on the hunt: rivalries between ancient alien foes are about to come to a head, with Earth—and Jonathan in particular—in the cross hairs. Only unwitting Jonathan holds the key to the planet’s survival.
Within this novel, Earth is in the midst of a cold war with multiple alien species, including a subterranean race of reptiles and beings from another universe. Each race has a unique relationship to, and interactions with, humanity: some want to help humans thrive, others want to see them destroyed or enslaved, and still others keep their presence a complete secret. There is also a group of Nazis who have a secret base in Antarctica, where Jonathan’s companions go in search of information. All of this makes for a complex world with plenty of room for growth and exploration.
But lengthy passages focused on exposition impede the novel, which is further weighed down by its excess of details. Dramatic and exciting developments are dulled because of these narrative tendencies, as is the vibrancy of the book’s world building and character development. Indeed, several people are characterized more in terms of racial, gender, and cultural stereotypes than anything else. Offensive language is used to describe an Indigenous person, too. Later, it is revealed that there is more to one of these stereotyped people than meets the eye: they are meant to play a major role in guiding Jonathan toward his ultimate destiny.
Also impeding the novel are its grammatical and linguistic missteps, as with its prevalent misuse of semicolons and some German words. Information repeats, and some of it is contradictory, as when the narrative states that Jonathan has “little faith” in God, but later depicts him as religious. And new people and events—including Jonathan’s old flame, Cynthia—are introduced with too little context.
But Jonathan and his allies’ tasks take them to diverse, thrilling locations, including a vast underground complex and a research facility in the depths of the Marianas Trench. This variety results in some wonderful atmospheric moments, embellishing the novel’s betrayals, lack of trust, and complicated secrets well.
Ending with multiple cliffhangers to set up its series, the science fiction novel Through the Abyss follows a complicated quest to protect human beings from forces that would destroy them.
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