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Arwen Elys Dayton
Roc Books, 369 pages

Arwen Elys Dayton
Arwen Elys Dayton was born on the west coast of the USA in 1974. She was named after an elf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. After finishing high school at 16, she moved to Europe for 2 years to work as a tutor. She returned to the US with a scholarship to Stanford, but instead took a job writing magazine articles which led to writing for a PBS show called The Eddie Files. She began work on her first novel, Sovereign's Hold, during this time.

Arwen Elys Dayton Website
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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Lisa DuMond

Easing into the worlds of Resurrection may be a bit unsettling at first. There are flashbacks, flashforwards, several flashsideways, and, I think, a flashdiagonal. But persevere; once you find your way, it's well worth the momentary confusion. This tale of planets, civilizations, and alternate histories offers some theories you probably never considered. It's a look into past, present, and future that seems strangely... probable.

Pruitt is the only hope of her dying planet, but in order to find the answer that could save her people for extermination she must journey across time and the stars to find a revolutionary technology, lost millennia ago. If she succeeds, her people, the Kinley, have a chance against their mortal enemies, the Lucien. If she fails, all is lost. That's not much pressure for a lone warrior on an "alien" world, but Pruitt is not ready to contemplate defeat -- not with victory almost in her grasp.

Of course, Pruitt is not the type to give up, even when the inconceivable happens along the journey. Dayton has created a heroine readers can believe in and care about -- strong, intelligent, brave, but vulnerable and fallible. In other words: a human being. All of the characters in Resurrection appear in three dimensions. The author has taken the time to move her cast beyond mere silhouettes employed to occupy space and roles, into genuinely interesting people.

Good guys. Bad guys. Everyone in the novel has a touch of both. "Good" people are willing to do bad things in order to triumph. Even the despicable villains have reasons for their dark desires.

Character development is not the only area of Resurrection where Dayton's careful attention has paid off in this strong sophomore novel. There is romance, but just when the reader is starting to worry that aspect may overpower the rest of the narrative, Dayton pulls back to maintain the balance. Intrigue never overshadows action which holds its own against the science fiction and alternate history elements without forcing action out of the picture.

"Balance" is as apt a word to describe this novel as "resurrection." Imbalance threatens the survival of the Kinleys, the Lucien, and the people of Earth. The missing technology is the weight that is going to tip the scales irretrievably in one camp's favour. Balance is the directive behind the Kinleys' interaction with the Earth people, then and now. A balance of information appears to be beyond hope. Without a balance of power, no one is coming out of this battle alive.

It's an engaging story, intriguing speculation, and a lively style. Altogether, a very welcome surprise from a new author with the stuff to be around for quite a while.

Copyright © 2001 Lisa DuMond

In between reviews, articles, and interviews, Lisa DuMond writes science fiction and humour. DARKERS, her latest novel, was published in August 2000 by Hard Shell Word Factory. She has also written for BOOKPAGE and PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. Her articles and short stories are all over the map. You can check out Lisa and her work at her website hikeeba!.

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