Monday, September 29, 2008

R.E. Bartlett's The Personifid Invasion ~ Reviewed

The Personifid Invasion
By R. E. Bartlett
Marcher Lord Press
ISBN: 978-0-9821049-0-3

Review by Michelle Griep

You can live forever in your new artificial body...but are you all alone in it?

In the future, you can transfer your consciousness into an artificial body—known as a personifid—and cheat death indefinitely. But human beings aren’t the only ones who want those bodies. Interterrestrials have found that personifids will house them very well, too.

Ashley is trapped in San Edhem, a city where Interterrestrials and humans struggle for control of the personifids. Can her siblings, Aphra and Antha, rescue her before she is lost to them forever?

The Personifid Invasion is one of three debut books put out by Marcher Lord Press. The goal of this press is to produce quality speculative fiction from a Christian worldview. After having read one of their books, I’d say they not only meet but exceed that ambition. The Personifid Invasion held my attention from first to last page, imparting Biblical truths in a futuristic story format that didn’t whap me over the head or bore me with theological monotone.

Interesting how an imaginary world of the future can bring conviction to a reader in the here and now. One scene in particular made me reflect on some of my own biases. When Antha is looking for his sister, he is confronted by a group of angry people waving banners and proclaiming the evils of personifids. They’re so focused on hating the wrong they see in others, they don’t realize their violence is just as bad.

My favorite character is Antha. His protective loyalty toward his sisters attracted me most, but I also enjoyed his sardonic humor. Roguish and unpredictable, he hides a big heart beneath a layer of sarcasm. He’s a charmer.

One of the highlights of Bartlett’s writing is her mastery of dialogue. Swift banter between the characters flows throughout the story. I also like how she incorporates reality into the plot by not tying up everyone’s problems into a tidy, ribboned package at the end. Without giving away the story, let’s just say each character still has a few things to work through.

Fans of spec fiction, this is your chance to glory in the offerings Marcher Lord Press brings to the market. The Personifid Invasion is a great novel not only for your bookshelf, but a fabulous way to support this new publisher.

If you’re not sure what speculative fiction is all about, then this is your opportunity to give it a whirl. Personally, I look forward to reading more from R.E. Bartlett and Marcher Lord Press.

No comments: