Thursday, December 20, 2012

Edi's Spotlight: Grave is the Day by Michael Drakich

Dear Readers,
In the past days I recharged my battery and work on reviews with new verve.  Today I present you one of the reviews I promised to deliver until end of 2012.

In August I reviewed the fantasy novel The Brotherhood of Piaxia by Michael Drakich.
Recently the author came back to me with a new novel. I expected fantasy and so I have been surprised when I read the blurb of Grave is the Day because it sounded a lot more like science fiction. Anyway I have been intrigued enough to give the book a try. And that is what I think about Grave is the Day.

Book Store Information
In general my decision to read a book is mostly based on the cover and the blurb/synopsis delivered on the back cover. You do not get more information when you are in a book store. The world of books is changing which means I also will take in account blurbs and descriptions on GOODREADS and other places.
Here we go:

Grave is the Day (digital, my edition October 2012)
[Smashwords] [Amazon Kindle ASIN: B007KPS442]
[Paperback, ISBN-13: 978-0983129707]
"In October of 1957, more than Sputnik fell to Earth...Set against the back drop of the Space Race and the Cold War, both the United States and the Soviet Union have a new issue to deal with: ALIENS.The Braannoo and the Muurgu are at war with each other and Earth becomes the newest battleground for their struggle. The capture of aliens near small town USA unites three players from different quarters, Commander Kraanox of the Braannoo, First Lieutenant Way Bucknell as his captor and seven year old Justin Spence, the first to make alien contact." [Source]

My Expectations
Based on the blurb and on the cover I expected a character driven story with action and twists and turns.

The Delivery
The 225 pages of the story are divided into 46 consecutively numbered chapters.
I do not know how Michael Drakich did it but when you read the book you get the impression the story is definitely longer.
Maybe one of the reason is the time span covered in the book - one average human life.

As you could read in the description this is one more book about aliens who discover earth. Fortunately it differs from all the stories I know about aliens on earth.

Aliens - aren't they these little green men in flying saucers? I think that has been a well known imagination in the 1950s. Michael Drakich has been clever enough to ignore that picture. His aliens look like humans.
And he went further. Like the Cold War on earth the Braannoo and the Muurgu from planet Traanu are at war with each other. The difference is that they use real weapons instead of saber-rattling.
The space ship crash is the result of a space ship battle which brings the Braannoo  Kraanox to an unscheduled visit of planet Earth. Kraanox is one of the main characters. Due to former studies he knows a lot more about earth and its inhabitants than vice versa. Of course the injured Kraanox tries to escape the military but that is just a delay of his arrest. Anyway there is time in enough to introduce the next main character, seven year old Justin Spence. He is the first one to meet an alien which he can't identify as an alien. Justin offers Kraanox a piece of carrot cake. A gesture which has an impact of the rest of the story. Finally Kraanox is arrested by First Lieutenant Way Bucknell, who is the third main character. So we have an alien, a boy and an officer. What a great mix! Each of them shows an own personality and they develop within the story which revolves around these three characters.

The rest of the story we follow these three individuals and author Michael Drakich does a great job to connect the characters with the ongoing history of earth and Traanu. It is fascinating to read how events on earth are related to the Braannoo and the Muurgu.
Furthermore the story leads in a completely other direction as I expected. I can't tell you more without spoilers but at the end of the story you will know why Michael Drakich did it this way.
I admit that I have had doubts around the middle of the book but they proved to be unsubstantiated.

At first sight is Grave is the Day a enjoyable science fiction story. But there is so much more which depends on the attention of the reader to be discovered. Do you really know what it means to live in a democracy? Do you really understand the concept of friendship? Do you know why it is so important to have moralities? 
Read Grave is the Day and you get answers to these question. No, no, no, Grave is the Day is far beyond to be a handbook for humanity but it breathe values in the way the main characters act and cope with their surrounding. All this will be revealed to you when you start to think about the story a day after you have finished the book.

Grave is the Day is a pleasure to read. It delivers action, emotion, fun, character development, historical events or in one word it is entertaining. But it is so much more. While you read and enjoy something infiltrate your brain, your thoughts, like a slow burning black powder fuse. And the day after you finished the book, the democracy, friendship, moralities "bomb" explode in your head. Please excuse this martial picture. It is the humble try to explain to you what happened to me.

This is my short and handy summary of Grave is the Day:
Enjoyable science fiction with a thoughtful afterburner

In case you missed critical notes: I delivered none.

From my point of view Grave is the Day by Michael Drakich is a great gift for Christmas, Easter, Birthday and so on.


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