The Phenix Project for Interstellar Flight has launched its first mission – a flight to the star system called Epsilon Eridani, 10.5 light years away. Capt. Robbin Nikalishin is finally achieving his dream, although the recent breakup with his wife Fedaylia High Feather can’t help but sour the pleasure a little. However, the mission begins on a positive note and its first half is marred only by some personnel conflicts and serious injuries. Meanwhile, the Chief Engineer Ian Glencrosse continues to believe a demonic space entity has doomed the mission and this entity will relent only if provided with a sacrifice – the death of Ian himself.
The ship IS Ariana arrives at Epsilon Eri and deploys the Mission Specialists’ life-seeking probe on a young planet that may harbor nascent life. They are on the verge of retrieving the probe when a series of disasters puts the mission in jeopardy. Will Ian’s self-sacrifice come in time, or will the ship run out of oxygen before the Dauntless can come to its rescue?
Meanwhile, it seems Earthers are not the only interstellar travelers voyaging in the vicinity …
“Fifth Island in the River,” is the seventh book in The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars series by Lorinda J. Taylor. I have read and reviewed part one, “Eagle Ascendant,” HEREand part two, “Wounded Eagle” HEREand part three, “Bird of Prey,” HERE, part four, “Survivor,” HERE, part five, “Phoenix Rises,” HERE, and part six, “Merlin,” HERE.
Oh, my goodness! The long-expected voyage, manned by a mature Captain Robbie at the helm, has launched. The crew is in excellent hands and safely settle into their assigned positions. The coordinates are set as a series of temporal quantum jumps take them to the star Epsilon Eridani.
Finally, everything seems to work in their favor, and the crew settles into life aboard ship. Having served in the U. S. Air Force, I enjoyed the easy camaraderie depicted amongst the officers and crew.
This author thinks of all the details. Taylor adds touches of reality to life aboard ship with plenty of interesting personnel problems. When two crew members start a brawl because they discover they are dating the same woman, the reader learns that one of the professor’s like to cross dress, which was an unexpected disclosure to come out of the situation. In between the normal operations of the ship there were birthday celebrations and even a wedding!
Yet, as much as a family as the crew can be to each other, Ian Glencrosse, the Chief Engineer, continues to descend into a deep delusional state. There were some notable tense moments where I held my breath as I read, afraid for what it would reveal.
The tension cranks up to a fever pitch when a section of the engine fails. I couldn’t stop reading. These characters had become real to me, and I needed to know if they would survive their ordeal.
As you would expect in a science fiction novel, there are some exciting new discoveries. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this for a while, but the author illustrates her own book covers. I never truly understood the title of the series until book seven. It was a late night revelation that left me breathless with excitement!
I’m an enormous fan of this author and her books. She excels at first contact scenarios and I know this seventh book in the series will not disappoint. Every prior book led up to this one! I hope book eight comes out soon, but then, I was hooked on Captain Robbie’s story long ago.
Here’s another of Lorinda J. Taylor’s series that I enjoyed:
Title: The Termite Queen: Volume 1, The Speaking of the Dead Author: Lorinda J. Taylor File Size: 998 KB Print Length: 404 Pages Publisher: Self Published by the Author Publication Date: January 2, 2014 Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC Language: English ASIN: B007RFYSWC Formats: Paperback and Kindle Goodreads Genres: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy *I won a copy of Volume I and II of…
Lorinda J. Taylor, author of “The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars” Series
I’m a retired librarian who worked in academic libraries as a cataloger, and I live in Colorado Springs, CO. Besides my MLS, I have a BA and an MA in English, and some work toward a Ph.D. As a child, I was always making up imaginary worlds, but I didn’t start writing fantasy until I read “Lord of the Rings” in 1969 and discovered that even serious scholars like J.R.R. Tolkien can continue to create such worlds far into their adult lives. I never was successful in getting published in those early days, however, and then family considerations forced me to take a hiatus from writing from 1983 until 2000. Since then, I’ve written a novella and several novels, and have begun to self-publish since I doubt that I can live long enough to go the old-fashioned route!
My interests include almost anything literary, scientific, or speculative — science fiction and fantasy, mythology, language (I write conlangs for my books), poetry, cosmology, astrophysics, anthropology, archaeology, entomology, ornithology …
Philosophically, I call myself a spiritual humanist.
Among my favorite authors are Ursula K. LeGuin, Tolkien (of course), Evangeline Walton, and many poets such as Robert Graves and Dylan Thomas.
“A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape of the universe, helps to extend everyone’s knowledge of himself and the world around him.”
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Colleen M. Chesebro is an American Poet who loves crafting paranormal fantasy and magical realism, cross-genre flash fiction, syllabic poetry, and creative nonfiction.
Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of haiku, senryu, haiga, tanka, gogyohka, tanka prose, renga, solo-renga, haibun, cinquain, Etheree, nonet, and shadorma poetry.
Colleen's syllabic poetry has appeared in the Auroras & Blossoms Poetry Journal, and in “Hedgerow, a journal of small poems.” She’s won numerous awards from participating in the Carrot Ranch Rodeo, a yearly flash fiction contest sponsored by carrotranch.com. In 2020, she won first place in the Carrot Ranch Folk Tale or Fable category, with her story called “Why Wolf Howls at the Moon.”
Colleen is a Sister of the Fey, where she pursues a pagan path through her writing. When she is not writing, she is reading. She also loves gardening and crocheting old-fashioned doilies into works of art.