25 August 2019
3ZEKIEL is another Cawdron masterpiece, it follows the lives of an eclectic group in a small village in Africa following the arrival in orbit of an Alien Space Craft. The story is mainly seen from the point of view of Josh, the 16yr old son of the local Missionary at the small village. Josh is friends with a local African girl Jana when a party arrives to set up for the arrival of the Aliens. The Aliens have built a ‘Space Elevator’ in geosynchronous orbit over Earth, and the ladders drop point is not far from the village. As such, the village becomes a focal point.
The team that arrives is made up of US Navy Seals and US Scientists. Josh is assigned a ‘Watcher’ a Seal named Garcia, being the US Missionaries Son, but he also becomes interested in two Scientists on the team, an Indian nicknamed ‘Pretzel’ as no one can pronounce his real name, and an American named Angela.
The story follows Josh and this group of Garcia, Jana, Pretzel and Angela as they go to set up some sensors at some nearby bat caves that Jana and Josh know of that can provide some valuable information for the scientists.
The story is a combination of hard sci-fi with some incredibly detailed research on the jungle, the creatures within, the possibility of Alien contact, Astronomy, and a myriad of other topics. Each step of this story has been meticulously researched so that as you read, you get to enjoy some incredible facts as well, making this an utterly fascinating story.
Without giving away spoilers, the group come across African Gorillas as one stage, and this part of the story is utterly mesmerising in its detail, Cawdron creates so much power and beauty in his story telling, you really feel like you are there with these incredible creatures.
Of course, the real bonus in any Cawdron story is the exceptional Character work. Cawdron has become a true master at creating powerful Character driven stories, and 3ZEKIEL is another example of his superior work. The Character of Josh is not just a typical youth as you would expect from a Missionaries son, who has been dragged around the world to different places, by a Father with a colourful background. His Character is engaging, intelligent, and yet, as all 16yr old boys are want to be, flawed at various stages. Jana is a vibrant young woman, who is fascinating, and totally enchanting, and yet, there is a lot of mystery about her. Pretzel is an enigma, hilarious, he is like a walking Google, but he is also wise, knowing how to implement that knowledge. Angela is just brilliant, a total genius. Garcia is as tough as they come, but under the hard shell, there is a gentle soul.
Each of these Characters has so much detail, so much depth, you feel like you know each of them personally.
Added to this is this amazing landscape. Cawdron walks us through this world that most of us will never have seen, and makes it like we are sitting there, reading the book from the grass at the front of the village, feeling the heat, with the canopy of the trees overhead, and the soft breeze tickling our skin. As the story moves along, we move with it, and we understand every bit of terrain that the group crosses, or touches, we are there, feeling it, smelling it, the world building is stunning.
I don’t want to give too much away about the story, I don’t want to give away any spoilers, the story is breathtaking, wondrous, exciting, powerful and at times, terrifying and heartbreaking. But at all times, you will be utterly engaged, unable to but down the book. This is not just a book about Alien First Contact, it is about a Journey of Discovery, Knowledge, Understanding of Hope. It is one of the best stories I have read this year, and is very thought provoking and powerful, I highly recommend it for anyone who loves a Good Sci-Fi story, a Good Adventure, or just a Good Read.