Title: The Protocols of Uma
Author: John Brage
Publication Date: Jul 12, 2015
I received a copy from the author for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way.
The Umae teeter on the brink of extinction. Their blood rivals, the Hek, have mysteriously made huge leaps forward in technology and are now poised to exterminate them. Their godlike protectors, the Journeyers, have not been heard from for centuries. Just as their society is poised to collapse, the Journeycraft Starshine returns to them from deep space. Prohibited from using advanced technology by an ancient set of laws known as The Protocols, the Starshine’s terminally ill Command Agent must lead a ragtag group of exiles on an overwater quest to investigate a clue to the Umaes’ ultimate salvation. But the Hek stalk them at every turn, and a would be dictator plots his own ascension to power. Can the Journeyers restore the faith the Umae once had in them? Can the key to the Umaes’ survival be found in time? And what is the Starshine’s Command Agent willing to sacrifice in order to have the only thing he ever truly wanted?
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The Protocols of Uma was a fun, sometimes intriguing and somewhat fast-paced Sci-fi read that left me wanting more and is light enough for those readers who aren’t die-hard Sci-Fi fans.
The world of the Umae is fascinating and well thought out with a cast of well-developed main characters. These characters are drawn from the two predominant groups of people mentioned, the Journeyers and the Chroniclers. The Journeyers are on a search for a new planet called Haven which brings to mind issues of sustainability. They are the more technologically advanced of the two groups. Or are they?
After returning from their latest journey, they find that the society has advanced in ways that they had not expected and this is cause for worry especially since The Protocols, a set of rules which governs both groups, seem to have been corruped by the present Chroniclers. With the Chroniclers not being exactly forthcoming, they have to figure out what has changed and what is the connection with the Journey ship that landed some ellipses ago without any word from the crew. There is also a discovery of an alien lifeform having been on the ship at some point. Where is it now and what is it’s purpose?
The Chroniclers are very mysterious and almost cultish in the way they govern the rest of the society, with the help of their guards who appear almost robotic. They seem to be very rigid in the way they enforce The Protocols. Why were these Protocols derived? That’s a question I hope to have answered in the sequel.
I liked the mystery surrounding the Chroniclers, and the alien life form whose agenda is slowly being revealed. The plot was suspenseful and moved along a good pace. The tone of the book felt authentic for the Sci-Fi genre and the main characters were interesting even though lacking in back story. A lot is left up to the reader to put the pieces together and while I appreciate this, I felt that The Protocols of Uma read more like an introduction, setting things up for other books in the series. How did Uma come about? Why were the protocols created? How do they know at which rate the Umae and the Hek should be developing? These are just a few of the questions I hope to see answered in the sequel.
Overall, I found The Protocols of Uma to be an intriguing character driven Sci-Fi read revolving around societal survival and advancement. I recommend it to fans of Science Fiction.
About The Author
After earning a B.A. in History during college, John went on to attend law school at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has a strong interest in the “wheels of history” and in how different systems of government work (or don’t). This is reflected in his writing. Science fiction, fantasy, and speculative fiction are his favorite genres to write in as the only limit they impose are the boundaries of his imagination.