Publication Date: January 31, 2012
In Xterra Conspiracy: Book 1 by Ivis Bo Davis, the Earth is dying. Three, top secret, giant “ark” spaceships are created to save selected humans, plants and animals from the coming disaster. Dark political forces are at work. Forces that Todd and Randy, as smart as they think they are, may not be able to defeat. Xterra Conspiracy is Book 1 of the futuristic, sci-fi, Xterra series.
This may be the toughest review I’ve written in a while. Xterra Conspiracy: Book 1 was a really good read. The review that follows may sound at points like the book was horrible, but I thought it was a good, solid, science fiction opener to what is likely to be an epic series. A lot of work and structure went into plotting Xterra Conspiracy: Book 1 and laying out the characters and, as science fiction novels do, creating a new world. Davis makes some interesting choices in reference and in his new world setup. In actual fact, beyond some small changes, the world at the time of its imminent implosion isn’t a whole lot different than our world today. There are still countries, racial and religious tension. Davis calls on images any modern reader will call to mind like the Twin Towers falling and Hitler’s reign of European nations to lead his reader to identify with events within the storyline.
In a greater sense, Ivis Bo Davis is the Stuart Woods of science fiction. Like Stone Barrington, everything seemed a bit easy in the forward motion of the plot. I won’t say contrived because I don’t believe that the movement goes to that extent, but it was maybe a bit all set up and little show. This, of course, invokes what I like to call, “The First Book Excuse”. The author gets to know the characters at the same time that we do. There’s a whole new world out there that the reader is just learning. The differences may appear subtle in the storyline in a way the reader won’t find distracting, but there are differences.
And what characters! Todd and Randy are super-smart, super-wealthy and super-stealthy. They are as deep as deep gets under the radar. They each only have one e-mail account for business and, unlike other kids, don’t text. They’re both extremely advanced educationally due to homeschooling from Randy’s stay-at-home mom and their own general God-given talents. I kept expecting at any moment one to put on an Iron Man Suit, and the other to turn into the Green Hornet. Another big surprise is that the boys were of upper, but average male height for our current times. I find a lot of times, authors will evolve the characters with the advancing years in science fiction and characters tend to be 6’8” or taller. Had Davis made the boys taller in this storyline, it would have simply been too much.
The baddies are numerous and have solid motivations. The original set of baddies is a league of secret politicos, and the detail with which Davis describes their lair is stunning. This author can paint an awesome word picture. I would like access to their library that can have any novel ever written, printed and bound in leather on request. THAT is a baddie living the dream. How do I apply for this baddie group? We can forget the great works of art and jewel-encrusted columns, I want the books!
Sorry for the digression. Reading that passage got me a little excited for the dark side.
The biggest surprise of the novel was 80% in when suddenly the characters engage in a religious and socio-political debate. Things are falling apart around them and suddenly characters are talking about Jesus and God in a way that seems as though the speaker is talking directly to the reader. “When the world is falling apart, what will you be thinking about?” Davis seems to ask us. Davis, in his biography on Amazon, is listed as a Christian author, but within the scope of the story, the dialogue really, in my opinion, was jarring and distracting to the reader.
Reading further in Davis’s biography, the novel and series are explained. At the age of eight, his father placed a mattress in the back of his truck and allowed Bo and his brother to sleep under a sky full of stars, birthing Bo’s fascination for outer space. (Amazon author page). An open Idaho sky on a summer night … how can that fail to light the imagination?
The second book in the Xterra series, Xterra Escape, was released on February 1, 2012.
Read an excerpt and pick up Xterra Conspiracy: Book 1 by Ivis Bo Davis on: