Nexus Point- The Fall of the Altairan Empire: Book One by Jaleta Clegg is a jaunty science fiction novel mixed well with a little romance, a little wit and a few skewed medieval legends; at times I half expected someone to show looking for the Holy Grail.
The plot details the trials of Captain Dace after her spaceship explodes and she makes a crash landing on the planet Dadilan, a world off-limits to outsiders. Right off the mark she is embroiled in the internal struggles of the planet and manages to get herself enmeshed in a mass of trouble. Along the way, she finds allies, a love-interest of sorts and several villainous types trying to kill her.
“I could stand where I was and wait for Ky to find me or I could follow Tayvis. I didn't want to walk barefoot through the forest. Tayvis offered me a better choice than Ky and Leran.”
This book could easily be subtitled The Misadventures of Dace on the Planet Dadilan as the main character gets into one scrape after another. The author mostly pulls off the plotline, preventing it from evolving into one big clichéd mess, and turns it into amusing, impudent fun. It does sag a bit in the middle with a few too many coincidental capture and rescue scenarios, with the heroine turned into a target too often for my taste. Still, the cheeky tone saves it from any true disaster and the book easily gets back on track for the showdown against the villains that spirals into an entertaining free-for-all ending.
“A group of men charged up the hill. I snatched the blaster. They kept going over the hill. I lowered the blaster.
I raised it again when I saw the man hiding by the boulders, Flago, the dirty little sneak who had sold me out to Clyvus. I slithered out of the bushes to crouch behind a rock.”
The book is an engaging little hybrid sci-fi novel and a nice lively read.
Her day job involves an inflatable planetarium, numerous school children, and starship simulators. Her summer job involves cooking alien food for space camp. She writes a regular column in Abandoned Towers Magazine–fancy dinner menus for themed parties.
Jaleta lives in Utah with her husband, a horde of her own children, and two ancient, toothless cats. She wants to be either Han Solo or Ursula the Sea Witch when she grows up. If she ever does.
Her first novel, Nexus Point (www.nexuspoint.info), is now in print from Cyberwizard Productions. She has stories published in Bewildering Tales, Abandoned Towers, and Darwin’s Evolutions. Links are available at www.jaletac.com