Sam Bledsoe has an amazing mind. The Last Senoobians is a complex, yet accessible tale spanning centuries of time and light-years of distance across the galaxy. There are multiple alien races - some nefarious, some benign. Then, of course, there are the humans. I put it that way because, unlike so many other “first contact” type stories, this one centers from the point of view of a race other than the human one. The Senoobians find themselves on Earth (which they call Karyntis) because their own world was doomed to destruction by a cataclysmic event beyond their ability to stop or control. The plot around all of this is intricate and involved. Following this plot is part of the joy the reader experiences as the story unfolds. I won’t spoil any of that with more details here.
This is a story of perseverance, dogged determination and a struggle for survival that crosses yawning canyons of daunting uncertainty and hurtles the reader through thrilling scenes of conflict, desperation and despair. The characters are richly detailed and emerge from nothing to personalities you can almost touch and feel as events progress. Bledsoe does an excellent job weaving the tapestry of his characters’ portraits into the story itself. By the end, you feel like these characters are a part of your life. It would scarcely surprise you to run into one of them on the street as you make your way home from the market.
Adding to the suspension of disbelief is the inclusion of so many unexplained and mysterious phenomena found on Earth today. The presence of the Senoobians is interleaved into discoveries made throughout human history, making the story seem entirely plausible, even though you keep telling yourself it just can’t be. This is what a great sci-fi story does. It causes you to question your own perception of reality – to entertain in your mind the taking of the story at face value. The Last Senoobians is a wild ride. As wild as it gets, you will still find yourself believing it could be possible.
I also loved the inclusion of a brief pronunciation guide and some additional information about the native language spoken by the Senoobians. During the first part of the book, I found myself referencing this material so that I could learn to mentally pronounce the names of people and places correctly as I traveled through the story. The fact that this became important to me is a testament to how deeply this story draws the reader into Bledsoe’s incredible universe. I actually cared about how to pronounce “Karyntis”!
The Last Senoobians is a well-crafted story. Continuity is flawless – a genuine feat considering the vast arcs the story covers. The story stands firmly on its own, but I am left wondering what happens next. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series, The Bintorga Tree, to find out.
Tilmer Wright ~...