Monday, January 14, 2013

The Learner 

                                                               The Learner

 An alien from the dark side of the universe is sent to Earth on a mission. She’s called a Learner. When she falls in love with a human—which is against her species' covenants of exploration—her rulers order her to leave him. She refuses, risking not only the successful outcome of her mission on Earth, but also her life as well as the life of the man she loves.

Author: Alan Nayes

Alan Nayes has an excellent turn of phrase and is able to give vivid, compelling descriptions of the world in which his characters exist, and the alien worlds beyond.  A nicely-paced love story with enough intrigue and danger to keep my attention, and enough romance to keep me reading without feeling smothered or embarrassed.   A good read, with engaging realistic characters.  While this is the first in a series, it tells a complete story, but still leaves plenty of room to grow.

Spoilers: This was hard for me to read because of the consistent use of the Šumayin pseudo-language.  The intermixing of Greek and English letters with phonetic and mathematic symbols was confusing and distracting, and impossible for me to render phonetically even in the silence of my own head.  While the glossary at the was very helpful, I still had not learned what the words meant by the end of the book because I had no basis or context for them.  This may be worse for me because I read three alphabets (including Greek and Hebrew), and I kept trying to translate the words rather than just making up sounds for them.

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