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Kiyama by Diana Kemp-Jones

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Book Information  
AuthorDiana Kemp-Jones
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Alan Brooker
(Nov 24, 2000)

Kanuwe wakens into a world she can neither comprehend nor control. She is torn between visions of a peaceful past and a tormented future, unsure about her purpose or origins but assured by the mystic Badarou that she is about to embark on a journey that is vital importance to her people.

Kanwue's memories tell her that she is a child of the Omoro; the visions she has of the future show the destruction of her people at the hands of the evil Sikoth who come as refugees from a dying planet only to overrun the world that offers them succor.

As Badarou guides Kanuwe through the history of her people she realizes that she is unlike the other Omoro that she meets in her visions. She has been brought into existence as an adult, assured by Badarou that this is essential because there is no longer time for the innocence of childhood on her world. She, together with her sister Januka and brother Malaru are psycho-genetically created empathic neurosynths who have the responsibility of saving the Omoro from extinction.

Badarou, the spirit of an ancient Omoro tribal leader, guides Kanuwe, Malaru and Januka as they start on a perilous voyage in search of the twin to the Omori homeworld, Omori-na, where they must start the seeding of a new race.

Intrigue, danger and death confront the progeny at every stage of their exodus. For Kanuwe, the emerging leader of the new Omoro, the journey is especially profound as her consciousness evolves into a higher state under the influence of Badarou's guiding spirit.

Through a fated meeting with an enigmatic sage known only as Doniros, the surviving neurosynths encounter their destinies on a remote desert world and enter the awesome gateway, a conduit to Omori-na and a joyful renaissance waiting in a distant galaxy a hundred millennia in the future.

Diana Kemp-Jones writes with an obvious joy in the use of language and an understanding and belief in the worlds that she has created. She also uses an intriguing mix of POV, looking at the world through Kanawue's eyes in the first person, but when involved with the other characters she moves into third person perspective. While some people might find this confusing, I find it more clearly defines the central character in each specific situation.

I also liked the various nefarious characters Kanwue and her siblings meet on their quest. Love them or hate them, they are distinct and unlike anything you are ever likely to meet in real life - but they are believable in the context of this story. The Sikoth, the Uhtians, and others, don't inspire love and respect from the reader but they are essential to building up suspense in the story as you follow the impact they have on the Omoro.

I would like to give you an example of Diana's style, but if I did I would be growled at for taking up too much space. However, I can promise that you will find it refreshing and easy to read as long as you like science fiction laced with fantasy. If you are not a scifi/fantasy nut, then why are you reading this review?

A recommended read for all age groups from 16 upwards. For your information, Kiyama means resurrection in Swahili, an appropriate title for a book that looks at survival and resurrection of a dying race in deep space.

--Alan M Brooker Midnight Scribe Reviews

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