Thursday, 22 August 2013

The Dreams of the Chosen

The Dreams of the Chosen by Brian Caswell (University of Queensland Press)
PB RRP $22.95
ISBN: 978 0 7022 3605 1
Reviewed by Beverley Boorer

Brian Caswell has done it again with this third and last book in the Deucalion series for young adults. This far-flung planet has had time to recover from the Black Crystal Death (CRIOS) that decimated the human population in the second book of the series and life is now sanitized and a bit stagnant to many of the population. Telepathy has become accepted and greatly enhances their way of life.

New – but untried - technology means spaceships should now be able to reach Earth in one year, but the CShips from Earth stopped coming hundreds of years ago and no one knows why. Did the mother planet suffer so terribly from CRIOS? Has there been an Apocalypse or some kind of meltdown? It is time to use that new technology to find out. A team is chosen and sent, still using cryogenics for the year’s travel.

But things go terribly wrong for the team that finally lands on Earth. Their lander is wrecked and they only have minimal contact with the Mother Ship. They know that something is terribly wrong on Earth, but they don’t know what, how it happened or who they can trust out of the various people groups that are left.

This story shows that new technology is not so very useful when the rest of the planet has been plunged back into the new Dark Age. However the skill of telepathy is very useful, even though anyone who has it is regarded with the utmost suspicion. Without it, the team would be lost.

Most technology has disappeared from Earth due to the meltdown that occurred centuries ago and no one knows anything about what is left. Knowledge – and anyone who has it - is viewed with distrust and suspicion. Most books from the past have been burned but there were some who worked to keep the knowledge safe and hidden for future generations, even though they did not understand it themselves. The team from Deucalion gradually finds out what has happened, but now they must devise a plan to save themselves and their friends from the few Families who control the world in this new and dangerous era. They must also ensure that enough knowledge remains to guide the enlightened few into a new Renaissance period when the time is right.

There are many heroes and heroines in the story, some of whom give their lives for what they believe. The Dreams of the Chosen makes a satisfying ending to this brilliant series.

Beverley Boorer is a published children’s author. Details of her sci-fi books for children, the Jeddon Series, are available from her website

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