Series: Arizel Wars 01
Read Type: Indie Author
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Fallon is just like every other Arrival brought to Harrizel—an alien planet restoring the human race after a fatal war left Earth in ruins. But once viewing the all-day work camps and the nightly, orgy-like atmosphere, Fallon suspects her hosts, the Dofinikes, might have a secret agenda of their own.
Strong language: Some
Sexual content: Some
I received a free copy of this novel from the author in return for an unbiased review
Escape from Harrizel is a novel about an alien race, the Dolfinkes, coming to Earth to rescue the last surviving humans from their self destruction through war and global warming, taking them to their own planet to live in a castle known as Harrizel. It is a haven where they can work together, day in, day out, to build a new life for themselves and repopulate. A second chance… or is it? (Anybody who needs a hint, take a look at the book title!)
There was a good mystery threaded through the story, constantly challenging you to work it out before the characters did, adventure and romance. The world building was very deep and vast, I was impressed with how it ws threaded through the story without being an info dump.
Escape From Harrizel starts with the point of view character, Fallon, waking up on the floor of an unfamiliar home with an older man present, getting the character to their feet and trying to make them remember what supposedly happened. This was where I did have a significant issue with the story what was deeply ingrained until the halfway point, but always present to some extent. It turns out Fallon is a woman, but this is not revealed until at least 10% into the story, and then only one brief mention, which I began to think was a typo. She acted very masculine, and more importantly her mind was masculine.
While feeling weak and vulnerable, the older man, Clarence, guides her into a living room and places her in a chair. He then take a chair – one that blocks all exits to the room for her without passing him. As she becomes increasingly suspicious of him – the name he calls her seems wrong, she has no memories of what he is saying is the past and he is getting very insistent and threatening – she thinks of escape, but never more feminine things, even briefly, such as rape.
This confusion of her sex left me with a different reaction to some of her actions such as running off. While all women are different I think even to have been told her sex earlier on would have been helpful. This didn't begin to resolve itself until she met a man in Harrizel.
This aside, the other characters were strong, and I particularly took to the dialogue, especially in scenes where a couple of the in the know people are talking over Fallon and she is having the worst time trying to understand what they are saying!
While many of the people on Harrizel subscribed to the lies being given to them and did everything the aliens asked, some, the people Fallon caught the eye of, weren't so naïve and learnt how to get around their sanctions and rules, if only by a hair's breadth. Just to escape the building seemingly made of marble and some kind of metal was a relief, passed onto the reader well. I looked forward to their meetings and escapes to see other more normal people, rather than the pod people they seemed to live amongst.