Heroes of Earth – Martin Berman-Gorvine
Heroes of Earth is set in a traditional science fiction world and then blended with fantasy, making it so much more. A tale of parallel universes riddled with dragons and mechs, alien invasions and networks that fry your brain. It is a story unlike anything I have read in recent years, with political agendas, anti-Semitic prejudices, bullies and terrorists lurking around the next page. Just add a dash of classic literature and historical twists and you got yourself a full-bodied narrative of flavors.
If you like it all, meaning if you love thought-provoking, intellectual and alternative reality mash-ups then this story will probably be right up your alley.
The main characters were well-rounded and extensively developed. Berman-Gorvine created a protagonist that is at the same time the antagonist in many ways. A highly complicated character that you at one time feel for and at the other end want to imprison. A masterful character creation that I haven’t seen in a long time.
A new author for me (though not new to many others), Berman-Gorvine is a solid writer, a strong storyteller and owner of an extremely original and creative mind.
However, having offered sincere praise for this story, it was a bit concept heavy and offered me a somewhat unsatisfying ending. Being a YA novel, I personally prefer something a little more uplifting, not that it was exactly sad, just not quite what I needed/wanted as a reader. But that is just a personal reading style preference. Regardless of these minor quibbles, it was an excellent story and I know that many readers will enjoy it.
Synopsis: Moving to Chincoteague has been hard for Alison Grossbard and her younger brother Arnold. When Dad lost his job as a reporter in Baltimore after speaking out against the High Ones – big, blue starfish from space that now rule the Earth — he was lucky to get a job at the local fusion plant. Sure, the High Ones brought wonderful technology — tri-vees and interplanetary travel and nuclear fusion — but the High Ones and their human flunkeys punish anyone who questions their rule, including teenagers like Alison and Arnold. With the help of Gloria, an alien who can bridge dimensions, and Jo, a girl from an alternate universe with real, live dragons, Arnold and Alison decide to fight. But the High Ones aren’t the only enemies. Can Arnold and Alison become Heroes of Earth without sacrificing themselves?
THE MAN BEHIND THE STORY:
Martin Berman-Gorvine is the author of six science fiction novels: Heroes of Earth (Wildside Press, 2015); Ziona (as Marty Armon, Amazon/CreateSpace, 2014); Save the Dragons! (Wildside Press, 2013); Seven Against Mars (Wildside Press, 2013); 36 (Livingston Press, 2012); and The Severed Wing (as Martin Gidron, Livingston Press, 2002), which received the 2002 Sidewise Award for Alternate History (Long Form) at the International Science Fiction Convention in Toronto in 2003.
His short stories include “Of Cats’ Whiskers and Klutzes,” which is appearing in the forthcoming anthology Brave New Girls; “Palestina,” which was published in Interzone magazine’s May/June 2006 issue, and was a finalist for the Sidewise Award (Short Form); and “The Tallis,” which appeared in Jewish Currents magazine, May 2002. He is a professional journalist, currently serving as a reporter for the Bureau of National Affairs newsletter Human Resources Report.
He lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. with his wife, a teenage son, three orange tabby cats, two shy kittens, and a sort of Muppet dog.
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*I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.