Reviewer Dr. Wesley Britton: Dr. Britton is the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in literature and the media. Starting in fall 2015, his new six-book science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted via BearManor Media. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio’s Dave White Presents where he contributed interviews with a host of entertainment insiders. Before his retirement in 2016, Dr. Britton taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College. Learn more about Dr. Britton at his WEBSITE
Author: Mary Louise Davie
Publisher: Brighton Publishing
Remnants of the Dome was preceded by Sanacion: The Black Hole Mission (2012) and Sanacion II: We Are the Aliens (2013). Fortunately, author Mary Louise Davie crafted her opening sections in Senacion III in such a way that we know there’s a backstory to the new events but our understanding of what’s going on doesn’t depend on having read the previous sagas. In other words, Remnants can be appreciated as a stand-alone volume.
Sanacion III can be easily divided into two parts. For roughly the first 120 pages or so, Davie sets up her chessboard centered on Admiral Steve Jensenn and his skilled crew on the spaceship, Sanacion, as they peacefully lay out communication satellites in space. At the same time, Jensen and his officers are seeking a new planetary home for the 34 thousand civilians on board. During this stretch of the novel, life on the Sanacion is pretty good. There are no traitorous spies in the ointment, no political power plays, no space battles. Jensen spends his time roaming around the ship showing himself to be a dedicated administrator. He happily demonstrates his fatherly skills to his adopted daughter, Lucy, and is delighted to learn his wife, Lenora, is pregnant. The only slight crack in the tranquility is the presence of Rufus, a tall cicada who’s a native of the planet Sana. Not that Rufus is a bad guy—far from it. It’s just that he doesn’t easily fit into human spacesuits, has difficulty communicating with humans, and finds some crew mates are uneasy when he’s around.
Then, the tone of the yarn abruptly changes. After visiting one asteroid, and then discovering a moon where they can replenish their stores of the mineral, deuterium, the crew encounter swarms of mechanical bats that are, at first, helpful. But other humans have already begun changing the atmosphere to fit their needs, which results in armies of bats attacking everyone with murderous intent. Once this battle gets underway both in space and on the moon, the second half of Remnants of the Dome is pure non-stop action with deadly consequences for the Admiral and his spacers.
Fans of similar series by the likes of Jack McDevitt, Kristine Katheryn Rush, or Orson Scott Card will find themselves in comfortable, familiar territory with this yarn. Nothing wrong with that. No new ground is broken here, but their was clearly no intent to do so. Virtually every character is painted in warm, positive colors. Even the killer bats can’t be fairly described as villains as their motives were to simply save their home from the human invaders. Judging from the “Epilogue,” the journey of the Sanacion was designed to be completed with the third part of this trilogy. But in science fiction, you can never be too sure. I suspect there may be interest in possible Sanacion: The Next Generation outings. We shall see—