I’m dredging up some old articles that I think still have some decent merit. This is my review of “Key To The Stars” by Kevin Domenic, originally posted two years ago (wow, how time flies!)
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I’ve talked about author Kevin Domenic before, and I’m a huge fan. Why? Because his stories are fun, active and engaging. They are very well written, and so vivid, you feel you are right there in the mix.
The first book in his Fourth Dimension series, Key to the Stars, is an amazing start. In order to consider Key to the Stars, you have to look at this novel as a part of the whole series.
Arus, a young warrior on a distant planet. At fourteen, he and his best friend, Vultrel, study to protect their village under the great Master Eaisan. Their culture discovered that technology nearly wiped their kind from the planet. As a resolution, their entire planet vowed to disassociate themselves from any form of higher technology. If it involved electricity, computers or electronics, it was taboo for fear that mankind would once again try to blow itself off the planet.
The Vermillion Mages — a group of aliens also known as the Kyrosen that crash landed on the planet many years ago — declared war on the citizens of the planet, and the Masters of each village had been successful at keeping them at bay, even with their limited technology. The Masters were the epitome of art, love and war.
When Arus stumbles into the Vermillion Mage headquarters, he is kidnapped and altered into the perfect weapon; a combination of living being and machine. As such, he is forced to kill his own people. He is rescued by Damien, the leader of the Aeden Alliance. His right-hand-girl, Kitreena, isn’t very old, but is the most skilled warrior that Arus has ever seen. She is a wonder to behold. And she finds Arus interesting as well.
This entire story is an amazing study in love, life and ethics. It is written in manga style, with the standard themes of honor and feudal chivalry. But there’s so much more than that. It’s an incredibly in-depth story. Each character is full-sized and alive. No one character is a cardboard cutout, and every single personality plays a vital part in the overall end story.
There are four factions to keep an eye on throughout this adventure: The Kyrosen, The followers of Sartan Truce, the Vezulian Armada led by Kindel Thorus, and the Aeden Alliance led by Damien. Each of which have their redeeming qualities. Each of which have their dark sides. And each of these sides play out across an adventure spanning three entire novels.
And although the story is long, it doesn’t ever get burdensome. You don’t feel yourself trudging through page after page of dull writing. In fact, the pages fly by, taking you deeper and deeper into a story so full and rich that you are nearly sad when you reach the end of the novel.
The only con to this novel is that it ends. It is the major launchpad into the full series that explodes in a climactic finale that would take Star Wars to task… and I love Star Wars, so that’s saying something.
If you enjoy manga, space sagas, or just a great weekend adventure into the unknown, this series is well worth the price. If you ask me, it’s too cheap. I can’t stress it enough — you won’t be disappointed with this series.
But in order to really get the whole effect of this brilliant story, you really need the all three books. You need the whole story before it all comes together revealing the genius that is The Fourth Dimension.