CRIMSON CODEX BOOK REVIEW
The year is 1937 and a humanlike alien named Hagar stands in the Oklahoma Panhandle. What Hagar sees is not pretty. The land, which was once the heart of the Comanche empire, is now dusty and dead. Human attempts at modernized agriculture have rendered the land all but unusable.
This concerns Hagar because part of her job is to “monitor the ecological state of affairs on the various parallel planets.” If the rest of Earth is anything like Oklahoma, the earthlings (“Terraneans,” as they are called) are in deep trouble. As it turns out, this is very much the case.
The story jumps to different time periods (it is set mostly in 2013 and 2015) and even other worlds, but problems are always there. Whether it is conflict in Palestine, whale hunting quotas in the Soviet Union, or modern-day, seedy practices of big pharma, humans excel at hurting both the environment and one another. For these and similar crimes, humanity may just wind up being removed from the planet altogether.
Plonix’s book is billed as a novel of ideas and it certainly has a plethora. Whether Hagar is venturing through an alternate world where the Old Testament is literally true (it is a place ruled by deities, though Yahweh is the supreme one) or people are casually discussing the wars of Native Americans before the arrival of the Europeans, the dialogue tends to try to make readers think about things indifferent, even controversial ways.
While effective, this abundance of dialogue can grow monotonous. Although in early portions, Hagar engages in some butt-kicking when necessary, as the story progresses, there is less doing and more talking. One discussion even requires a pause so the characters can eat pizza.
Nevertheless, whether or not readers agree with the sentiments portrayed, they will certainly think about the ideas presented.
Pub Date: July 12, 2020
Page Count: 608
Publisher: Balgez Press
Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020