First Contact by Dawn Chapman (Review)The Secret King - First Contact by Dawn Chapman, Jaime Bengzon
Genres: Alien Contact, Science Fiction, Space Opera

With their journey from planet Letháo fraught with peril, the Aonise finally arrive at what they hope will be a new home. Earth offers a new start for the displaced race, and Kendro, King of the Aonise, desperately seeks a peaceful end to their voyage. However, once they make first contact, not all is as expected.

Some humans are not as welcoming to the alien species, and their resettlement onto Earth is faced with resistance from splinter groups determined to drive the Aonise away from their planet. Coupled with internal strife, can Kendro appease all, or will greater misfortunes come to pass?

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First Contact is the second book in Dawn Chapman’s science fiction series, The Secret King and continues to chart the progress of the Aonise as they search for a new home. Their journey – so far – has been fraught with danger, and at times, some close calls, but salvation is in sight.

Planet Earth could offer the Aonise a chance to resettle and put the trauma of their escape from Lethao behind them. Their ships aren’t in the best of shape, food is running low, and as if that wasn’t enough, secrets are becoming harder to conceal.

If you’ve read Lethao and thought it a fast-paced, action-filled ‘ride’, then you had better make sure you are buckled in for First Contact. It is an exciting read, exploring not only the politics and power dynamics of the Aonise but the hierarchy of power we are more familiar with on Planet Earth.

First Contact is a soft sci-fi/space opera, focusing on the lives of the characters we met in Lethao as well as introducing some new ones. The writing, as always, moves the story at a good pace, using a balance of narration and dialogue to keep the reader up to speed with events.

Events are alternated from two perspectives in the early stages of the book. The reader is given a chance to catch-up with the Aonise’ progress while introducing Earth-based characters. The question of whether they are alone in the universe is finally answered, and more to the point, how they intend to deal with the uninvited guests.

I really enjoyed this book. For me, it had all the elements of space opera that I like – distinct characters, lots of conflicts, twists and turns, and a scenario I could never get bored of reading. My only criticism is that it does have a sharper ending than Lethao, but if I’m honest with myself, at this point, I’m wholly invested in the characters so shall await book three with eager anticipation.

About Dawn Chapman

The Secret King

Dawn Chapman has been creating sci-fi and fantasy stories for thirty years. In 2005, her life and attention turned to scripts, and she started work on The Secret King (TSK), a 13-episode science fiction television series, with great passion for this medium.

In 2010, Dawn returned to her first love of prose. She has been working with Coach EJ Runyon, who has encouraged her away from fast-paced script writing, to revel in the world of TSK and Letháo as an epic prose space journey.

This year, her experience of working with producers/directors from the United States and Australia has expanded. From drama and science fiction to action, Dawn has built a portfolio of writing, consulting, and publishing.

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