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Electric Wolves
John Paul Archer
CreateSpace, 166 pages

Electric Wolves
John Paul Archer
John Paul Archer's other work includes the novel Pegasus.

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A review by Sandra Scholes

This is what it is like to be on your own in deep space -- six colonists wake from being cryogenically frozen to find that they are the only survivors on board. This would be a daunting thing for anyone, but for these intrepid people, life is going to get a lot more serious, and very dangerous indeed.

Kurt Pruitt is off for an expedition to "Visit the frontier" in order to "extend the reach of civilization," and seems full of his own self-importance even if he is out to enjoy the ride to Keller Seven-Three on the Willow. Katy Felice is the ship's doctor who everyone she has ever met thinks she is a Solar agent, but only has an interest in making Keller Seven-Three habitable. While they think everything will be alright, and their intentions of what they want from the expedition could be sound, they find they cannot land their ships, and a strange electronic warfare attack has already happened, leaving them vulnerable to a hostile code within the computers.

When we watch space movies or read novels about space travel, we think it must be great to go out there and survey the different planets and what it is like to be an interplanetary explorer, but John Paul Archer tells us what it's really like for the six colonists in this new novel. Being in cryo sleep isn't this man's idea of enjoying space travel as once they wake up, they feel awful, disorientated and sometimes sick to the stomach from the effects of the wake up drugs. As I also review anime, I found it interesting that this story is similar to King of Thorn, though the similarity ends when they wake up out of cryo sleep; their ship is infested with strange monsters rather than an electronic attack.

For seven months the Willow has been trying to repair itself after the electronic attack, but doesn't know how it happened or who attempted to sabotage it, or who it was could have killed the rest of the crew. As they are all straight out of cryo sleep, they are still groggy, and start to feel paranoid delusions, finding it easier to blame each other, rather than be rational. For those who enjoyed watching the Alien movies, this novel reads like the script versions of the movies with its well developed characters, in deep space feel, and also has the senses of paranoia and despair associated with the general lack of sun people would have if they were in space for long periods of time. The cover art does it justice by showing what one person feels while being in a terrible situation where they could be killed at any moment by an unknown source. Who would have thought you could get so much emotion from looking at a single eye.

Copyright © 2013 Sandra Scholes

Sandra has had her work published in many magazines for different genres; The British Fantasy Society, Active Anime, Love Romance Passion, Love Vampires, and The London Vampyre Group.

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