““Do it do it do it!” Maevery was beside herself and presently she was beside her mate. But the recognition didn’t come right away, as Lynn appeared to be transfixed by the vista now in front of them both. As Maevery opened her eyes her mouth also opened into a hoarse scream the likes of which she had never previously uttered. Even so, even with the true awe of the awful and the awesome gripping the throat of her very soul, her love and loyalty had the strength to reach for Lynn and then her mate knew she was there. They held one another and now Lynn pushed them both over and into a rocky cleft. The fire that surged over their position was unlike anything either of them had ever before seen. An ocean of blue-green flame, a plastic plasma, the spindrift of nebula. When it had vanished off in the general direction of Kairos Lynn was up first, surveying the damage. There was nothing left to be seen. Maevery gasped again as she beheld the scorched surfaces, blacker even than the perpetual night sky above them. Neither had been to this place before so they had no clue what else was now missing from its heartless grace. But back at Hedodronican central control, in Smiley’s home laboratory, at Heather Westmore’s advanced AI building, and even in an obscure office in the Kremlin, the listening devices of all these and perhaps much more had suddenly gone as dead as that very place in which the two women stood alone.” (from the book).
A decade after their momentous and cosmic victory, the heroes find themselves suffering from a collective mid-life crisis whose source may be equally cosmic. With one world leader seemingly suicidal and another about to step down, Kristen, Mike, Smiley, Smithers and the entire rest of the legendary community are once again called forth into the newly dual void of transliminal space and time. Events soon overtake them, from a coup on the pioneer human world, a civil war in Tudor England and the threat of one on that felid, as well as the wider yet mysterious calling of those chosen to sacrifice themselves in an ultimate gambit. Who is to go? When and why them? But the truer conflict lies within, as Keeley must confront her predestined fate, Maevery and her new life-love Lynn must confront their dark world of origin, and Kristen herself must not only repay Kylie a debt but also a much larger one owed to her own predecessor. In a series of bizarre yet transcendent maneuvers, felid mates Smiley and Astridyx along with their human kin Smithers discover a way to enjoin the greatest possible reunion. The shocking idea that the sisters of fate could be brought back at once seems like both the ultimate solution and the ultimate mistake. “In a classic follow-up novel, Loewen’s now venerable pantheon are required to make one more tremendous effort to ensure not only the future of the galaxy, but possibly that of the entire universe as they know it to be. The flights of imagination needed to even begin to do either take the heroes on their most visionary and dangerous journey yet. With the ethics of their actions often thrown aside, each of the saga’s principles must make choices that none of them would desire. The outcomes of these actions are at once horrifying and edifying, as the most celebrated and yet dreaded figures return in altered forms to face their own final fates. In doing so, no other of their former friends remains untouched.” (from the publisher).
As with volume 5, volume 10’s cover has been beautifully rendered by Nova Scotia artist Kei Gania, VDM’s 2D art lead. The tablet bears the inscription ‘Thought Sets You Free’, in deliberate reference and defiance of the notorious slogan above the gates of Auschwitz. A new decalogue heralds a new world age of human maturity and ethics and as a social philosopher I hope all of you will gain something from this adventure and its world transformations.
“At some length Kristen managed some small revenge by grabbing onto Mary and fingering her little friend to a decent climax of her own, realizing only afterwards that Evelyn had been helping out from behind, as it were. Which then left the dark-haired mortal enemy of all that was evil in the world. Evie, the avenging angel, the fullest-blooded princess of the night; fearless, peerless, faultless. Yes, faultless, by gods. Blood lust be damned, I love you and my god I need you now. The both of you. Like never fucking before.” (from the book).
“In silence now, a silence made sacral and unforgiving at once by the ultimate act of compassion, so dreadful as to turn the tail of the finest warrior-cat, she found the place that mere demons would shun, requiring a grace they could never master. Seraphim nodded once to her would-be-wretched mother and closed her tail around her throat. Her mother smiled back at her, ruby orbs shining filial light into her own. That was something that would never, ever come again. But knowing I had it, knowing I was loved by them; well, that makes all the difference in the universe, doesn’t it?” (from the book).
With Kris and Mike on the outs for the first time, Seraphim forced into a ritualistic reconciliation with her mate’s felid sister, Hedodronica under the threat of Decamonican vengeance, and the first Kristen at a loss regarding her personal future, the heroes realize their collective task is far from finished. Martin must lead teams in search of the remaining liminals, and while Sir Robert finds himself being an interspecies mediator, Russian premier Kirisovsky and the felid diplomats attempt to make contact with aliens perhaps as old as the Earth itself. Not least, the first Michelle must manage her world-wide social revolution that their new friends, the felids themselves, have stated is crucial for both their worlds. But the true key for all concerned is how to regain their own humanity given everything that has already passed before them.
‘Between interstellar intrigues, metaphysical conflicts, sibling bonds and lover’s leaps, book nine of the vast and deep saga has the reader immediately enveloped. Throw in elite car ads, shocking revelations about the origins of religion, stinging indictments from objective observers of the human condition and all of its failings, as well as the overarching architectonic task at hand – to rid the universe of mythopoetic persona and thus take control of human destiny – and one cannot afford to blink. The game’s never been as afoot, and as the cosmic mystery and adventure of Kristen-Seraphim hurtles ever onward, prepare yourselves for an “archaeology of the soul” itself.’ (from a reviewer).
“You don’t need lauding, Kristen Anne. Good fucking Christ, didn’t you get enough of that at school? And then who takes up with Mr. Perfect, letting yet more time slip by before you even thought to look for me? And then when your precious friends pushed you to confront your bad conscience, you did everything you could to avoid it. I know, sister. We merged, right? I know everything about your feelings regarding me. Then when I thought we were tight, when we were dancing in the blood of our enemies together, raking them with no stopping us, you lied to me, there on the roof-top of that unholy school. I should have killed you then and there.” Seraphim declared coolly.
“And saved me the torment of doing it myself.” Her sister softly replied.
“Not many people yet realized that the self who dreams is not the same self who then wakes and lives out the day, day after day. And in such dreams from which we do awaken – and indeed, there are those additional to the unconscious from which we never again emerge – what, perchance, remains of the days within which all dreams come to grief?” (from the book).
Imagine yourself set down indeed. In volume eight of Kristen-Seraphim we follow the startling itinerary of the six only partially human heroes who had left Earth for points unknown at the end of the previous arc. The two sisters of fate find that the wider, cosmic mystery centers around their most intimate acts, that Smiley’s alien kinfolk are only half-glad to welcome him home, and that their bare survival will require of them all of their skills and genius, metaphysical and otherwise. It will also require their shocking return to the world they had all once believed was their truest home. In turn, the remainder of the legendary community is forced to awaken from an unexpected dormancy to provide the epic narrative with its most astonishing climax yet.
‘A stunning display of imaginative discourse, this first full length novel of the ever-widening saga will appeal as much to adult readers given its ingenious plot devices. ‘The myth that myth is dead’ animates the narrative and gives it a life beyond its own storytelling. More than this, we now understand for the first time the true relations amongst the principals, their origins, and perhaps also a nascent sense of their destinies, as well as perhaps our very own.’ (from the publisher).
“Does it matter? You can read the message we’re sending out.” Kristen was now suddenly bored. Tired out. Killing was not really her thing. She didn’t enjoy it, like Evie, and she didn’t remain unaffected by it, like her sister. She wasn’t much good at it technically either, like Mike. It didn’t give her something to hang her hat on, like it had for Kylie for a while. And shamefully, she felt little remorse in it, even after all the other possibilities had been barred to her. Unlike Mary. No, she was most like Michelle. Maybe that’s why her successor had actually fallen in love with the second Michi. Well, she had left them together with their fashion photographer who used to also be hers and hers alone. Kristen suddenly felt quite lonely. ‘Kriss’, double-s, that’s who I am now. No, it wouldn’t do. It was ludicrous. She was still Kristen, just the one that now no one needed. Except for her sister. That was really the key to all of this horror after all. Loyalty to her beloved sister, making up for all of her cowardice she’d shown back in their family home worlds ago.” (from the book)
And what a message! But is this the spirit of the world speaking or merely the human spirit, tortured and yet aspiring, desolate and yet hopeful? Faced with both staggering reincarnations and canny returns of those the heroes never expected to see again, their sacred community is torn apart by conflicting loyalties and questions about the character of their faithless faith. What is love? What is freedom? What is friendship? What is trust? But the deepest thing about their ethical abyss is not that it is gripping, nor even that it grips you by the throat, but that long after you think it is finally finished, it has refused to let you go.
“The radicality of Kristen-Seraphim reaches new heights – and depths – in this the most disturbing installment thus far. The contrast between the whimsically good-natured domesticity with which the next series of increasingly shocking incidents begins and their horrifying outcomes could not be more starkly inventive. Loyal readers will be forced to question everything the legendary characters now face; but the ultimate question is how they indeed answer to these deeper challenges.” (From the publisher).
We don’t meet Seraphim directly until book 3, but when we do…
“Illness and plague, torture and blight, is what she brings.
Mocking holy standards, deceiving feeble fools, is what she loves.
Granted with powers, gifted with magic
Watching the world through raven eyes.”
Dimmu Borgir (1997)
May 31st is the release date for book 2 of the saga: The New Self-Reliance: a novel of endurance. More details and full cover image soon.
Here is a link to the local newspaper’s article on the saga and upcoming launch of book 2: https://www.nanaimobulletin.com/entertainment/nanaimo-author-greg-v-loewen-releases-next-book-in-young-adult-fantasy-series/
The first book of a ten volume cycle is out now!
Here is the publisher’s page:
The publisher’s book web pages: