By Ray Walker Stanley
Published on: March 24, 2019
Space exploration, planet colonization, space pirates, aliens. This science fiction story has a little of everything. However, it was also a bit of a mixed bag for me as well.
Earth is dying, but a lush, beautiful world discovered at the edge of human space could be the key to its survival. The World Council has begun a massive project to build a ship that can make the journey, even though the planet has a flaw: it defies most of the known laws of science. Building the ship is hard, but finding a trustworthy crew and civilians willing to risk everything on a potentially dangerous world is even harder.
The council decides to pursue a merchant captain who has proven himself in setting up colonies, but Alec does not get along with everyone on the council. His relationship with the council becomes even more strained when they use Alec’s wife and young daughters to coerce him into accepting the assignment. Wonders–and dangers–may await the crew, but as humanity’s existence on Earth becoming more perilous every day, Alec accepts the assignment.
A surprising discovery awaits the crew, but is it one that will help or hurt their cause? Converging Paths of Cerzia: The Journey Begins sets the stage for an extraordinary adventure in space as the crew works together to determine if the mysterious world is the solution that will assure humanity’s survival.
In Converging Paths of Cerzia, Earth has expended all her resources and is in dire need of help. People are forced to wear masks when they go outside, animals no longer can survive. But an unknown world has been discovered – one much larger than Earth, with 18 moons, and is ‘teeming with life.’ As a result of this finding, a mission is approved where a ship will go to colonize the new planet, gather the resources they can and bring them back to Earth to help correct what is wrong. Captain Alec is to head up this mission, but doing so means going on a mission that will take him away from his family and his crew’s family for years. As the story progresses in the first several chapters we meet other colonists who will play a role in setting up the colony or gathering resources, mainly two sisters: Raje and Majelle.
Part of me doesn’t know quite what to make of this story. Even though it isn’t set up this way, it almost feels as if it is broken up into Part I and Part II. To me, Part 1 includes the introduction of the mission, but really follows the families as they get ready for the day the ship takes off. The relationships between everyone is what feels like the main plot of this section, other than a small moment where there might be a minor sabotage or something underhanded going on. To be honest, I struggled through this section. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t the type of science fiction I tend to enjoy. I found the sister’s relationship a bit odd at times and contained too much focus on the families and their interactions.
However, Part II completely makes up for it. Around 40% of the way in the ship finally takes off and begins heading toward its destination. Not only do we begin the adventure the book has been leading us toward, we also begin to get more involvement from an alien race that causes quite a few questions to those on board as well as interactions from space pirates. But the ride to the destination doesn’t take too long and before you know it the ship is in orbit around the planet they were seeking. But due to the gravity of the planet, there is a lot of adjustment that is needed. Some respond and adjust to it quicker than others, including Raje who begins to explore and identify who the predators are and who they aren’t.
The discussions and descriptions of gravity can be seen throughout the book and are rather interesting in how significant they are within the context of the narrative. For example, the two sisters are actually raised on two different planets (Venus, Mars) with the planet having an impact on the way their body currently looks and is shaped. However, gravity also has a very significant role when the crew reaches the new planet. At first there is a skeleton crew sent just to get a read-out of the planet, but once they land we see how just a minimal amount of effort to step outside the shuttle exhausts them.
Overall, while I enjoyed the story I believe the second part of the book was much stronger than the first part. Now that I’ve finished reading, I am curious to see how this new world that they are on takes shape and what Raje will discover next and what role the aliens have to play.
Thanks to Netgalley and Dog Ear Publishing for the readers copy and opportunity to provide an honest review.