Book Review: The Shattered Gate (The Traceverse Saga #1) by Eric Swanson | Lone Star Book Blog Tours

THE TRACEVERSE SAGA
The Shattered Gate &
The Two Gates
by
ERIC R. SWANSON
Categories: Science Fiction / Genetic Engineering
Publisher: Eric R. Swanson, LLC.
Date of Publication Book 1: March 22, 2020
Number of Pages: 394 pages
Date of Publication Book 2: May 1, 2021
Number of Pages: 402 pages 
The Shattered Gate
They selfishly pillaged Earth and made him a hybrid. Will his split nature spell the end of intergalactic abduction?

Half-human, half-Ceran, Micah Trace yearns for something more. Though the repetition and isolation of living as a body double for the King of Ceres is crushing, he’s grateful to be treated better than the other genetically engineered humans. But when he discovers the ailing plight of his ancestors, he heeds the calling and cleverly insinuates himself into a dangerous mission across the galaxy.
Fearing their plan to repair a failing transportation gate might lead to disaster, Micah uses his experience mimicking the king to steal the forbidden authority he’s assumed for so long. But with ulterior motives darkening the depths of space, he may not survive to see the centuries-old connection between the planets repaired.
Can the royal mimic win control of the ship before they’re lost to the vacuum’s void?
The Shattered Gate is the thought-provoking first tale in the science fiction Traceverse Saga. If you like character-driven action, high-tech military defense systems, and intriguing political powerplays, then you’ll love Eric R. Swanson’s interstellar adventure.

The Two Gates

Born to serve. Trained to lead. Can a man of two species bridge the critical gap between his peoples?

2454. Micah Trace’s half-human heart races as his expedition approaches Earth. Taking leadership of a one-way-trip from Ceres, he fears the memory of a centuries-old mass abduction means they’ll face a hostile reception. And his desperate claim of a shared ancestry falls on deaf ears when the traumatized Earthers greet them with suspicion, capture, and interrogation.
With relations treading a knife’s edge, the offworld ambassador finally proves his genetic roots and convinces the nervous population to repair the stargate and reconnect their worlds. But some resent alien interference in the planet’s affairs, and Micah suspects that they may be willing to kill to ensure his mission’s doom.
Can the hybrid herald unite his two species before the past destroys their future?
The Two Gates is the thrilling second novel in the science fiction Traceverse Saga. If you like complex interplanetary politics, stunning character revelations, and pulse-pounding action, then you’ll love Eric R. Swanson’s galactic tale.
CLICK TO PURCHASE
THE TRACEVERSE SERIES!
The Shattered Gate, Book 1
Amazon

The Two Gates, Book 2

Amazon

The Shattered Gate starts in a not-too-distant future on Earth. A man is attending a sporting event with friends, staying in touch with his girlfriend by phone. Everything goes pear-shaped when an attack of some kind begins and he finds himself enclosed in an unbreakable pod, being pulled away from Earth. Aliens have arrived…and they aren’t here to help.

Fast forward 400 years to the planet Ceres. The 144,000 people snatched from Earth were taken there, to serve as a source of genetic material for the Cerans so that the Cerans could continue to survive on their home planet. Micah Trace is a descendant of the humans brought to Ceres. He has never seen the planet from which his ancestors hailed, and he is overwhelmed with a longing to travel there. But the people of Earth have never forgotten the Cerans’ visit 400 years earlier. Can Micah reach Earth and open up communications with the people there before they shoot the expeditionary ship out of the sky?

The book raises interesting questions of bioethics and how we treat those different than us. The Hybrids, the ones taken from Earth, are viewed by some as worthy and vital to Ceran survival, and by others as little more than cattle, to be used when the Cerans have need. The Hybrids themselves are divided in what they want. Some want to be fully integrated into society on Ceres, and others feel the Hybrids should be separate, their own society on the same planet. There are Cerans who are favorable to the Hybrids, such as the king and queen, Artax and Hanani. Others, like counselor Sanballat and barrister Tobiah, are open in their disdain for the Hybrids. Both Sanballat and Tobiah are included in the mission to Earth, which made for some interesting reading. I’m curious to see if both maintain their unfavorable stance on Hybrids and on Earth in book two!

I love the characters in the story. Sanballat and Tobiah are just so deliciously nasty, you can’t help but despise them. Garreous, the young scientific genius, is delightful, and his relationship with the princess Susa is sweet. Aquis, the hulking former sports star, is just a joy to read, and the relationships between Micah and his best friend Wes, and Micah and Eaton, another Hybrid who has traveled to Earth to observe, are well crafted.

One thing I’m not entirely clear on (and that may be my misreading rather than the author’s lack of telling) was whether the humans pulled from Earth interbred with Cerans to strengthen the Ceran gene pool, or whether they bred only wtih other humans and served literally as replacement parts for the Cerans. I think maybe the latter, since Micah is described as half human. But if it is the latter, I’m not sure how there would be any half-humans after 400 years had passed. That’s a relatively minor quibble, though.

All in all, this was an enjoyable sci-fi read with a premise I’ve not seen before. I’m looking forward to book two and, as Paul Harvey used to say, “the rest of the story!” This is a solid four-star read for me.

Eric Swanson was born in September of 1981 in Chicago, IL and his entire life has been spent engrossed in stories. Growing up in a Minneapolis, MN suburb, Eric developed a deep appreciation for stories with a wide scope. From being frightened by Stephen King’s IT to being enthralled by Orson Scott Card’s Ender Wiggin stories, the written word of others grabbed Eric and often refused to let go… Even after he finished the first reading of a book. Several of his personal copies of favorite novels have endured many many readings. From an early age, Eric was a fan of all things science fiction with a leaning toward the dystopian and post-apocalyptic. The future fascinates Eric to no end, be that a realistic or wild-eyed and farfetched future. While he annually binges Battlestar Galactica (04), he dreams of worlds, people and happenings yet to be written. Eric lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, two children and a pair of Goldendoodles. They sometimes Tweet for him…
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3 Responses to Book Review: The Shattered Gate (The Traceverse Saga #1) by Eric Swanson | Lone Star Book Blog Tours

  1. Thanks for the review!

    To answer your question (which is more deeply answered in Book Two), the Hybrids were the result of an extensive genetic engineering program and were only allowed to live more ‘full lives’ within a few decades of the start of Book One.

  2. Hall Ways says:

    Enticing! Thanks for a great review — and given you want to read book two, I’m even more interested in getting started on this series.

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