BOOK REVIEW: THE JAKKATTO VECTOR by P.K. TYLER
I just finished reading the Sci-Fi, Book One of THE JAKKATTO VECTOR series by the award-winning author, P.K. Tyler. While I admittedly enjoy watching science fiction play out on the big screen, it hasn’t always been my go-to genre of choice. However, within the last two years, I have been opening up my reading selections for pleasure to include stories that either come from different genres altogether or those that have the potential to expand my global and cultural awareness. This book did both, in that the story parallels so many of the current issues faced by humanity today.
The author cleverly wove a complex yet engaging story that highlights many of the same cultural evils of today: racism, xenophobia, bias, and hate. She also tackles gender issues, cultural appropriation, slavery, exploitation, along with trust and intimacy. Lastly, the story expounds on how the human failings and shortsightedness of today in regards to the way we steward the Earth’s environment, in essence, created a hostile and dystopic environment with leaders and inhabitants that base their sole existence off historical, mythical, and religious lies. These splinter groups, of course, use this misinformation to manipulate, conquer, imprison, and destroy other species at whim. [Sound familiar? Timely? You bet! ]
What stood out for me the most I’d have to say were the characters. Tyler not only did a remarkable job world-building without overwhelming the reader with trite myopic details, but she seamlessly tied in five, strong main characters, their worlds, and communities, in a realistic and plausible way. As a non-reader of science fiction, this made the story flow for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the realism she portrayed, the metaphors she dropped, the stings she snuck in. My imagination went into overdrive to the extent that I didn’t even bother questioning the viability of what the author presented. It just all fit, made sense, was exciting, and I simply sat back and enjoyed the ride.
In closing, I also want to say how much I deeply appreciated how Tyler’s female characters were not tropes–and for that matter, neither were the male characters, whether human or not. Yes, some had extraordinary capabilities, this is Sci-Fi after all, but they also had relatable strengths and flaws. A big plus in my opinion, both as a reader and as a writer. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
They came as saviors to a deteriorating Earth.
Julip Torne questions whether there is more to life beyond the barren dirt, acidic seas, and toxstorms her people work and die in. Living in poverty on the withering Greenland Human Reservation, she wonders if the alien Mezna goddesses are truly as holy as the temple preaches.
Meanwhile, Jakkattu prisoner Sabaal suffers constant torture and heinous medical experiments as Mezna-priest captors seek to unlock the key to her genetic makeup. She escapes captivity but ends up alone on the hostile alien planet of Earth. If she is to survive, she must work with the same Mezna-human hybrids she's loathed her entire life.
When humans and Mezna collide, will Sabaal turn out to be the genetic vector the Mezna have been searching for all along, or will she spark the flame that sets a revolution ablaze?