Ah, how to describe this one? Chris Fox’s The First Ark is an… interesting novella. It’s certainly creative. However, it makes a vital mistake. It isn’t a full story.
It takes place in a time before written history, during an ice age. The main character is Isis, a shaman of an ancient human tribe. It is implied that this is the same Isis as the Egyptian god, and the other characters from the story seem to share the same names as other Egyptian gods. It comes across essentially as an origin story for this pantheon, but with a sci-fi twist. It is, unfortunately, incomplete. I understand that it is a prequel novella, meant to lead into a series a books. But being a prequel novella is no excuse for being incomplete. If you’re offering something as a book, novella, or short story, it shouldn’t feel as though it stopped in the middle. Sure, Meta and Earthman Jack had small teases of what’s to come, but they felt like complete stories. This one did not.
It was well written and interesting. And at the end of the day, it was still good enough for me to ultimately decide to pick up the first book in the series, but only because it was free. If it hadn’t been, I wouldn’t have picked it up. Let this be a note for aspiring writers: writing a short story or novella is a great idea to give folks a taste of what you have to offer, but please leave them satisfied with an ending.
I like books that have endings too.Even if not all the questions are fully answered, at least the main plot thread needs to be tied up and the characters accounted for 🙂
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