The Pandoran Age Chronicles by Dante D’Anthony [Book Review]

Great Ideas but Flawed Execution

This is an omnibus version of The Pandoran Age: The Rise of the Taloned Sire and The Pandoran War written by Dante D’Anthony. I have had mixed success with self published stories before but I liked the blurb on this one so I decided to accept a review copy from the author.

I almost felt sorry for accepting when reading the first part about this psychic and his art deco brass android. He researches this nuclear wasteland of a planet and I didn’t understand what that was about until far later in the book.  Then it continues with a passenger space liner that eventually leads up to something more engaging.

Not meeting the main character in the beginning of the book is something doesn’t work so well for me. Thing is that when we eventually meet the main protagonist on page 61 I like him and in general the rest of the story. It is somewhat implausible like most space opera and the plot is sometimes not as coherent as I should have liked. I suspect some parts might have been short stories the author tried to tie together.

The plot that caught my interest is about Vince and how he finds an old Cyborgian warship and names it The Taloned Sire and how he then tries to make a living out of it. But it is also about a threat to all sapient races in the galaxy from extra-dimensional beings that feed on fear. They were drawn to our galaxy when the Cyborgian Central Command nuked all Arcturian worlds killing billions in minutes. Now they are about to attack in force and Vince learns about them piece by piece. Will they be able to fight back? Unfortunately that is something we have to wait on book three to find out.

The world building is a bit sketchy and the only character that really worked for me was Vince. I think the author wanted to have multiple point of view characters but I didn’t catch that with Sal the psychic or any of the other ones.

I am not saying this is bad. It was quite entertaining after the first 60 pages and I would love to know how it all ends but it has flaws that might put off readers. I like the Big Ideas and the mixture of genres here. The illustrations were okay but I could have survived without them too.

The Pandoran Age Chronicles is entertaining space opera with some flaws. The ideas are great but I am afraid it is lacking in execution. I would recommend it if you like the ideas in the blurb and can survive the flaws. I am not a writer or editor but I think this could have been a great book with some reshuffling, added segues and editing.

Book Information

The Pandoran Age Chronicles (Omnibus The Rise of the Taloned Sire, The Pandoran War) by Dante D’Anthony (Chronos Production 2010) – review copy from author – Amazon US | UK (1,2)

An adventure across galactic civilization in the 4000’s. Since the interstellar gateways have been created, they have been both a marvel and a curse. They are a marvel of technology, a curse of political contention.

Plethoras of governments have been established throughout nearly a quarter of the galaxy since the advent of hyperdrives, yet only two truly matter. Firstly, the Transhuman Cyborgian Central Command Economies-CCCE. Mankind’s oldest civilization, CCCE is centered around Earth with their capital world at Deneb 4. Secondly, the Arcturian Republics: a few dozen worlds and worldlets. The Arcturian Colonials defined the aspects of their era more than any of the galaxy’s societies to that point; optimism, technology, and benevolent order. It shone in their architecture, which soared, their economies, which roared, and their sense of life with its easy freedoms. They achieved it without the all-encompassing grip of the Imperials and their Transhuman Overlords, the continual strife of the Oligarchies and Kingdoms, or the horrific mysticism of the Marauder Cult at the galactic core

And then, there is War. Refugees form desperate communities in the Sagittarius Spiral Arm of the Galaxy-the Outworlders. The Galaxy then is in the midst of a strange Dark Age.

A young Outworlder smuggler chances upon a derelict starship.

A psychic Historian empath sees visions in the ruins of a spaceport.

A fleet General finds inexplicable deletions from deep space logs.

An upscale Art Dealer wakes from a cyberspace sentence to find her sentience inserted into a clone of herself-a thousand years after convicted for spying- the authorities this time want her services on a mission, offering full pardon.

Star Trade Guildsmen, Wildcat pilots, Transhuman Imperial Overlords ruling a hive mind, Syndicate Warlords-the usual suspects of Spacers and Art Deco androids. Hauling heavy-metal Star yachts through mysterious nebula, and dark Herculean stations-none of them expect to be pulled by fate into the center of an impending intergalalactic conflict seventy million years old, least of all with each other. Yet the haunting evidence of extradimensional beings has been mounting for centuries. Now they are arriving in force, and a divided humanity is ill prepared.

The Pandoran Chronicles is a mix of genres with nods to some of the greats of Science Fiction. Asimov’s Galactic Empires and robots. H.P. Lovecraft’s extradimensional horrors. Stephen R. Donaldson’s grimy spacers in the Gap series, and Samuel R. Delany’s poetic mix of the mythological and Space opera.