24 Following


A Teen Struggles With Alien Changes to His World

The Tinker and The Fold: Part 2 - The Rise of The Boe - Evan Gordon, Scott Gordon

The first mark of an exceptional trilogy lies in the introductory book's ability to lay the foundation of a compelling story that's worth carrying forward into a series. Part 1 of 'The Tinker and the Fold', The Problem with Solaris 3, performed admirably in this regard, creating a superior work hard to put down; but the meat of a three-volume series lies in its ability to continue an exceptional approach past the first introductory volume and into later books.


The Rise of the Boe performs admirably in this respect, and opens with a foreword that places the story in perspective (for newcomers who have not previously imbibed of Solaris 3) so that all readers enter on an even playing field of prior knowledge. The saga begins where Solaris 3 left off, in a world changed by aliens, Ten Laws, The Fold's miracles and dictates, and a humanity at odds with their newly managed lives.


After his father's disappearance, Jett ("The Tinker") and his family is relocated for his own safety, and Jett is sick at heart for all the changes he's helped introduce to his life and everyone around him.  Jett decides to rescue his father from The Fold's rehabilitation base on Solaris 3, but faces new challenges when a miscalculation lands him in the middle of another alien force; this one scheming to bring down The Fold.


The story doesn't open in this sci-fi scenario, however, but in the rehabilitation center on Pluto where Dweller Jett Senior is being tested in a rehabilitation simulation that places him back in the Iraq War where his life-or-death decisions will reflect whether his destructive impulses have truly been changed.


The efforts and purposes of this brainwashing and retraining session are made startlingly clear,  reinforcing the underlying methods and purposes of The Fold's presence on Earth.


Betrayal, alien monkey-cats, a god powerful and feared by the Boe, and twin brothers on a mission makes for a gripping story that doesn't limit itself to a single aliens species or galactic setting, but continues to expand the boundaries of worlds introduced in Solaris 3.


As Jett and his brother face a deadly 'blood mist' and a force that rivals The Fold, they must make some terrible choices and face their consequences in a story line that is satisfyingly complex and an astounding piece for a middle-grade author, even given a father's collaborative participation in the process.


It's the stuff of movies (one can only hope a screenplay will come next); but if these two volumes are any indication, Book 3 will be well worth waiting for - especially since the Boe are not done here, despite Jack and Jett's best efforts.