Where Honesty Never Ends.
Paralan’s Children by Katharina Gerlach
Greetings, No Labels here!
Ladies and Gentleman, I proudly present the solo debut of Nikki Vision as she discusses her thoughts on Paralan’s Children.
I wasn’t too sure about this book to begin with. The idea of giant teddy bears on an ice planet left me feeling a little apprehensive about reading it.
However, once I did, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Katharina Gerlach is an excellent writer and her easy to read style, kept me engaged throughout. I thought the beginning a little bit slow, but once the story kicked in, I was hooked by the murder and missing wee-ones plot.
The author uses plenty of futuristic words and techno speak to keep the narrative energetic and interesting, and it made the alien planet and futuristic timeline more believable.
The story takes place on the ice world of Paralan, a forbidding cold planet, home to the Paralans, described by the human settlers as little more than fury bears. They are by no means barbaric animals though, and the writer shows us how tender and intelligent they really are. A stark contrast to how the humans are portrayed, as racist, sexist creatures out to use and abuse the Paralans for their own greed.
When several female wee-ones go missing, Vera, the only female human police officer, is teemed up with Jarolen, a male Paralan cop,to discover who took them and why. They develop an intense relationship and Vera learns from him that the Paralans are far more advanced than their human counterparts believe. Cue the science bit. I confess that the portal aspect of the story confused me somewhat.
Katharina Gerlach has created two very engaging characters in Vera and Jarolen, both strong and vulnerable at the same time. Their growing relationship is described through some tender scenes between Jarolan and his extended family, and I almost wanted them to become an item at one point. But that would have been a bit weird.
Although at the centre of this novel there is a story of abduction and murder, I felt the author was trying to show a parallel with our own civilisation. As a social commentary I think she has done rather well using this other world and its inhabitants to show up societies’ prejudices and fear of other cultures.
Dialogue: I did think that some of the dialogue was a little forced, and used to explain a lot of the technology and plot twists.
Place and character descriptions: Also, I would have liked more actual physical descriptions of place and character.
Confession vs. Discovery: I felt that the disclosure from the villains at the end was a bit contrived. Getting all the explanations out in one go put me off. I would have liked Vera and Jarolan to uncover all the clues and work it out between them, rather than the perpetrator confess it all in one go.
On a technical note, there were quite a few typos towards the end, and some misspelled words.
Overall, I rate this a 9 out of 10 stars.