Friday, August 31, 2012

Review of Strangers in the Gale by Joe Occhipinti

An unconscious girl found on a clump of floating kelp radically complicates Bernardo’s life. By all accounts, Ondas is supposed to be uninhabited. Why is the League government hiding the existence of the seafarers? In his quest for answers, the young biologist becomes entangled in a broader conflict that is about to take a recently colonized world to war. Bernardo is swept into a secret world of rebellion and espionage, and uncovers a genocidal policy by his government directed against the child’s aboriginal culture. On this water world fraught with ubiquitous storms, Bernardo, a few of his colleagues, two enslaved technicians, and an enigmatic mystic fight for the girl’s survival and that of her people, discovering a long-forgotten truth that will shake the foundations of worlds.

4 stars

Strangers in the Gale was inspired by author Joe Occhipinti's time living among the indigenous tribes of the Andes Mountains.  The theme of the book reflects the respect he gained for a people living life the way that they have forever without the interference of larger more technological peoples.

The book takes place on a planet that is largely covered with oceans and often has storms that make what happens on Earth seem like a gentle spring rain.  Bernardo is a League scientist who is traveling to this planet help with the exploration of the new species of plant life.  While simply doing his job he meets up with an old school colleague who has an agenda that she is keeping secret from everyone.  She believes the planet to be inhabited and The League is covering it up for their own reasons.

Bernardo is sucked into her agenda when he finds out what atrocities The League has perpetrated on other planets, including the virtual enslavement of an entire race.  Together they must avoid the attention of the people who will arrest them and remove them from the planet while trying to find out the truth and help the indigenous people.

I really enjoyed this book.  It has solid characters, a good plot, solid pacing, and a surprising amount of action.  This is a great offering from a new author and I look forward to seeing what else is on the way.

Pick up your copy on Amazon or check out the website and Facebook page for more info.

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