Book Reviews


Hollywood Book Reviews

The Thirteenth Order I: Guardians Of The Crystal Skulls

Liz Konkel

Reviewed by

Five aliens have spent millenniums going undetected as they protected earth and kept humanity alive, but now the earth is facing the threat of an axis shift which could see the fall of mankind and the guardians. Their only hope lies in the hands of Rachael – a typical human given the not-so-typical task of helping the guardians with their mission to save the world. In an epic adventure, Rachael travels across the states searching for crystal skulls while evading government forces and working against an intense timetable before the earth is doomed.

The opening sets up the plight that the earth is facing while establishing an immediate sense of urgency. By immediately introducing the problem, you’re quickly drawn into the plot while also receiving some backstory about this unique world. The aliens that author Linda Marie Arena has created aren’t little green men, but a creative take on Greek mythology, serving as protectors of humanity that work in the background of our history. Arena has created an interesting juxtaposition between the guardians’ desire to save the world and their perspective on the antics of Mortal men. The characters ground the story in reality with their complexities which is appreciated in a science fiction setting. Rachael’s humanity provides a balance to the earth-ending threat and the quest for alien crystals by serving as a reminder of the reason to save the planet. A notable character thrown in her path is Greeley who serves as a foil to her. His presence creates a game of cat and mouse as he chases after her while she keeps messing up his plans. This also adds adrenaline into the story with the suspense of Rachael trying to stay a step ahead and being forced to hide in plain sight.

Rachael’s epic adventure takes place in a modern setting with aliens and technology taking on a Greek mythology influence, twisting gods into galactic travelers. Various names are dropped (such as Zeus) and references are made such as Prometheus gifting Mortals with knowledge which subtly parallels the myth of fire. The originality of the story is clever while the complex characters are enjoyable and ground the science fiction elements within reality. The lovely writing captures the genuine affection for the world which is seen immediately in the opening through Midas’ admiration for the beauty of the world. Told through the concept of aliens trying to save the planet, the story serves as a deeper commentary on climate change and global warming as Arena cleverly creates the consequences of the planet’s axis shift in the form of tsunamis, earthquakes, and other catastrophes.

The Thirteenth Order: Guardians of the Crystal Skulls

Despite the core plot focus revolving around the impending doom of the earth and all this chaos in the background, the tone is hopeful. Established from the beginning through Midas’s observations of the mountain landscape, the tone creates an interesting foray into the story as you’re told to have hope that these characters will succeed in their quest. The story is well written and delivers characters that you want to care about. The suspenseful moments pull you into the plot while Rachael’s likability makes you want to take the journey with her from start to finish. Those that enjoy delightful twists on mythology and unique science fiction will be immediately drawn into the Guardians of the Crystal Skulls and will enjoy the genuine originality of the world and the complexities of the characters.


Hollywood Book Reviews

The Thirteenth Order II: Darius-Planet of Creation

Darius Planet of Creation

Lily Amanda

Reviewed by

The Thirteenth Order II: Darius-Planet of Creation is an impressive fictional story in the science and fantasy genre written by Linda Arena. The novel starts with a compact show of action and mystery, where a hunt to seek information on the existence of a foreign group of aliens known as The Guardians, is ongoing.

The government’s efforts led by commander Meyer to take out the guardians’ spaceships bear no fruits, to the excitement of hundreds of thousands of people who turn up to salute their saviors as they take an emotional leave back to space. It saddens King Midas, the guardian’s leader, that it may never be possible to come back to their earthly friends again.

A smoldering mountain and a devastated city paint the image of a tragedy and total annihilation of metals that came so close. In a sudden twist of events, a dangerous life-threatening occurrence on planet Darius implores King Medas to seek help from the same humans they protected. Led by Rachael, several chosen women are picked from the earth by Rosie, an organic spaceship.

The characters aboard the ship also include her old mother, a geologist, a paleontologist, and a doctor. They are flown on a thrilling journey across planets, constellations, and galaxies leading to outer space, a perfect fit of a true fantasy adventure. They are soon to discover that a life-altering task awaits them; birthing and continuity of the next generation of guardians, The Thirteenth Order depends on them. However, a defiant guardian, Prometheus, who delights in wreaking havoc stands in the way.

The Thirteenth Order II: Darius-Planet of Creation is an epic tale of friendship and heroism, a book which sets an unparalleled standard for all future fiction-fantasy novels. Full of twists and turns, it leaves you baffled by the action which has been expertly imagined by the author, Linda Arena.  Sticking with the author to the end reveals a true work of extraordinary skill and creativity. Beautifully written, lovely characters and an intricate plot make this bold oeuvre a fantastic addition to its genre.