Title: Through the Abyss
Author: Sidney Son
Genre: Science Fiction
Through the Abyss is an exceptionally far-reaching science fiction epic where a small team of humans tries to stop a sect of powerful beings from destroying Earth for their own greedy purposes. The first in a series, it sets up what is sure to be a spectacular showdown between mortals and the divine beings known as Dimerians.
It tells the story of Jonathan Hawthorne, a highly decorated elite soldier whose skills and experience in black and clandestine military operations mean he has knowledge of massive secrets unknown to regular folk. Jonathan is privy to a monumental conspiracy: that humans are not the only highly civilizations species on the planet. Indeed, there are a number of other beings, some from other planets, and some from deep within Earth, that coexist in a secret underground world connected by vast subterranean transportation systems. Brought into this world is oceanographer Ariella Marcon, who must contend with world-shattering revelations while being suddenly swept up in the forces of fate.
It turns out that this secret of human history has been present since the beginning of civilization in the Middle East and Egypt. As such, the scope of this story is simply jaw-dropping. It deals with different dimensions, different planets, and different hidden places on Earth, within Earth, and in Earth’s oceans. Bits of the story leads back to the creation of humans in the image of a powerful binary, bipedal, roughly human-shaped being and interweaves major – and minor – historical and semi-historical events. The action in the present day also moves globally: to Syria, Iraq, and Egypt, but also to South America and the United States. A major focus is deep in the abyssal seas and trenches, where the danger to the earth lies in the form of otherworldly crystalline objects.
Amazing detail is provided on military and black ops equipment, theoretical super-modern spacecraft, weaponry, and other scientific and technological wonders only found in this underground world.
Given the amount of detail involved, the actual narrative is surprisingly cohesive and easy to follow. This is largely due to the book’s structure of rotating viewpoints but also to little contextual reminders from the author, which in some books can be annoying, but here are quick, concise, and very welcome.
The narrative is also rooted in the here and now through the description of clothing worn, tools used, food and drink enjoyed, and the characters’ senses.
The complexity of the story continues in the characters. Humans and nonhuman species, as well as individual characters, have realistic internal conflicts. Within every species involved, some are kind and some are not. Some lead peaceful lives while others seek to dominate.
Some readers may struggle with the level of pure detail in every aspect of the story, setting, multiple species, and character background. However, as indicated, the author has included quick reminders in strategic places. As well, judging from the popularity of large epic stories heavy on world-building, this should not be much of a deterrence.
Through the Abyss is an excellent addition to the tradition of stories of misfit bands saving the world in secret while everyone else goes on with their day. It is highly recommended to those who love intricately created worlds, who like to question reality, explore the origins of human existence, and stories that experiment with ideas of hidden forces at work in our reality. It would also doubtlessly appeal to readers who gravitate to stories of secret societies, conspiracy theories, aliens, government cover-ups, interspecies politics, and alien lifeforms.
Through the Abyss seeks to answer the question of what could really be going on that regular folks might be oblivious to. But it’s also about the – in this case literal – universality of loyalty, love, politics, duty, truth, and lies. It is a creation myth, a story of suspense, a story of faith and fate, and a love story, all in one.
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