Milleniad Book #1
by Rod Kierkagaard, Jr. and Kris Carey
340 pages, Curiosity Quills Press, ARC
Review by J. S. Colley
As with previous Kierkegaard novels I’ve read, this book is replete with interesting characters, out-of-this-world imagination and subtle humor. Set in the far distant future, The Flight to Mecha begins on the planet Eden, where Adam Wetherall has taken his captives, Eve and Gracious. But Eden isn’t a paradise; it’s a mold-infested Yurth-like rock plagued by constant solar storms and radiation, where Adam fights imaginary demons and the very real Nephilim. After Adam’s death, Eden is left to his wives and children: Eve, Lilith, Cain, Abel, and their children. Soon, the Family escapes the fungus-infected planet and the sponge-like Nephilim. Cain laments, “Everything on this planet tries to kill you. […] You just have to stay a step ahead...”
The Family commandeers the deceased Adam’s starship, the SV Golddigger, and ventures into the Beyond, but soon discover they are radioactive and are “toxic to others and only safe around each other. […] Maybe they’d escaped Eden, but they could never escape each other.” (Rather like all families, don’t you think?) On their journey, the Family meets Yumans and Xterrans, and all manner of life. Everyone wears smartsuits that are capable of communicating with the wearer as well as other “comms.” The Family’s suits do double-duty and block their Eden-inflicted radiation (the stain of their “original sin”?) so they can safely interact with others. All smartsuits and machinery are named when they are “born,” mostly “chosen from random comms chatter” — which leads to some interesting nomenclature.
The Family eventually lands on Spartak. As the rest of the Family settles into their new home, Lilith and Cain become elite Starwolf agents. Meanwhile, Awan, Cain’s fragile sister-wife, survives by hooking herself into their starship and it becomes the SV Awan Golddigger. His now sister-wife-ship helps Cain on his missions. His newest assignment is to find a smalltime Xterran gangster and possible plague-carrier, while Lilith sets out on her own tasks.
Cain’s mission leads him and SV Awan Golddigger on a wild adventure to several exotic planets and into unimaginable dangers. After apprehending their target, the motley group that has accrued end up on Mecha, a dry, dusty planet used by gamers as a virtual reality playground. There they battle against the gamers in real-time, with the help of Mechs and human mercenaries. There are spectacular action-packed scenes that will appeal to sci-fi adventure enthusiasts.
While Cain is fighting for his and Awan’s survival on Mecha, Lilith confronts the Eden Plague — the embodiment of the vengeful Adam as a radioactive spore contagion, which threatens to take over the entire galaxy.
Kierkegaard is a seer — a prodigious evocator of future technology and social norms and mores. The reader can imagine the places, technologies, and complex societies he creates on the page are real, or will be one day. Many of the futuristic elements and social norms in his earlier novel, Obama Jones and the Logic Bomb, have already come true. The humor is smart and subtle. As with his other novels, I’m sure I missed many of the inferences, but the ones I did catch made me chuckle.
Beyond the more obvious, broader metaphors about religion, myths, and society in general, I sensed Kierkegaard might have been reflecting on his own life — his own mortality. How death slowly invades us like a tenacious fungus, with no chance of escape. Of course, this was co-written with Carey, with whom I have no previous experience as a reader, but Kierkegaard’s style shines through.
This is an exciting first book in the Milleniad series.