The Chosen by Shay Fabbro
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Shay Fabbro's Portals of Destiny trilogy is off to a great start with her first release, The Chosen. There is a lot to be excited about in this science fiction adventure as multiple genres are intertwined to create colorful settings with a solid plot pitting the mindlessly evil `Mekans' against the entire galaxy. Of course, the only thing standing between galactic annihilation and salvation are the Chosen, a collection of characters from four distinct worlds, each bearing unique abilities and individual depth along with personal complexities.
From birth four Gentrans were isolated from their benevolent society and rigorously trained to become Guardians and Masters. After years of seclusion and secrecy the Guardians are split up and sent to four worlds where they must find and protect their assigned Chosen until a sign out of prophesy signals the time for return. They will use the time in between to prepare the Chosen by honing their natural skills and traits for the fight that is to come.
On Astra a human-like species expand their magical powers as mystics in a world much like earth during the Middle Ages. The humans of earth live in a post apocalyptic Wild West where they are battle tested and committed to the ideal of sacrifice to protect the helpless. Similarly the Volgon's are also embroiled in a struggle for survival that has manifested in their evolution to become the perfect warriors with a mastery of sophisticated weapons technology and design. The Chosen on planet Kromin come from mysterious roots. They are clones devoid of emotion and passion but possess unique psychic abilities and incredibly advanced technology.
If they are able to make it back to Gentra, all of the Chosen will undergo final preparations to meet the Mekan threat but first the Guardians must do everything in their power to protect their Chosen from danger and the truth. Revealing their purpose or losing any of their Chosen before the sign comes could have disastrous consequences.
Fabbro has set the stage for a unique combination of fantasy and epic science fiction. Each world is given significant detail and danger to match the great depth and conflict she creates in her cast of characters. Fabbro establishes a fast pace from the outset with by quality dialogue and action that drives the plot and character development. At about the 60 percent mark things slow down with some dialogue seeming unnecessary to the central story and subplots. It's worth pushing through because once you emerge from those couple of chapters you're back to a brisk pace as events on each planet culminate to either thrust the Chosen through the portal toward prophetic destiny or galactic ruin before they ever learn the truth.
This is an easy four-star read because Fabbro is a very good writer who crafts complicated settings and characters into an easy and enjoyable story and she clearly spent the time editing to make sure it is smooth. This first installment, The Chosen is very good with a ton of potential as the rest of this series rolls out.
Tom Clementson (Kindle Book Review)