Crystal and Flint: Book 1 of the Journey Missions, by Holly Ash: A mini-review

A fast-paced sci-fi adventure with competitive, clashing female leads. The story isCrystal and Flint well-crafted and delivers all the tension expected of this genre, moving both the main plot and subplots along nicely to the explosive climax and a denouement that leads into the next book in the series

So why not five stars? The setting is an earth colony, 300 years in the future, where humans have interbred with the local hominid species. Why, oh why, does almost everyone have a British-derived name? Grady. Flint. Thompson. Stiner. Cummings.Wolf.  I’m happy to suspend disbelief to accept alien abilities to exchange oxygen through skin underwater like frogs, or to blend almost invisibly with surroundings like octopus. I’m not able to accept that all the settlers, scientists, engineers and military personnel in the future don’t have names from all over the world. The cultural homogenization may have changed the expression of ethnic background, but I can’t believe everyone’s adopted Anglo names.

I see this as a failure of not just imagination, but of not extrapolating current reality into future world-building, and one that is not restricted to this book but has been apparent in other books of this genre. It doesn’t reflect either the world I live in, or the one I project for the future.

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