Remnant By Roland Allnach

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This is a three part anthology.  All three parts in the same binding each can be considered a novella while the whole thing is only about two hundred pages.  I was intrigued by the tag line “When all that’s left is broken, which piece do you pick up first?”  The kind of question that makes you curious to figure out how it will be answered which is one of the reasons that I love science fiction.  We get answers to questions that I never thought about before. 

The first part “All the Fallen Angels” focuses on Jansing Stohko who is trying to make ends meet.  He has an outdated ship and trouble finding customers.  He has been in jail and wants to leave that part of his life behind him.  Only no one else wants to forget that he is a criminal.  He takes the job offered to him which is shady and dangerous.  He ends up stranded and meets people that helped put him in jail.  Stohko has a chance to re-evaluate his choices and actions.  His questions are answered as he unravels the conspiracies.  I think it deals with what happens when other people break everything you have and Stohko is in that position.  He has no way to change what happened to him and has to find a way to live with his altered circumstances.  I was surprised a little with the outcome but Stohko earns his ending.  You might not realize that you internalize other people’s attitudes towards yourself.  I am slightly more aware of this after reading.

The second part “Enemy, I Know You Not” follows a platoon with two men capable of leading them.  Hovland is surprised that he is not in charge of the new recruits.  Ellister is.  Yet, when everything turns to the chaos of war leaders can’t fix it.  This part deals with the completely broken, what can you do in a situation with no winner?  Can you survive such an ordeal? Hovland may have experience but it only takes one challenge to erase all you know.  I have a slight military/action bias, but this took place in a simulator which is a nice twist.  A good insight into what it might be like to survive under the conditions of war created chaos.  The problem lies with the aftermath there is a story unfolding even at the end of the book but with a sense that things will work out well.  

The third part “Remnant” is the struggle of Peter Lowry.  He has survived a pandemic plague killing most humans.  After surviving on his own, he is faced with visitors.  How will he deal with a broken world?  How can you live when you are broken?  He has a past to deal with and must decide on his future.  This was my favorite of the three.  I always like survival stories and this one changed it by having the single person doing well on his own and deciding to trust others.  Plus I can picture myself in his shoes acting in a similar way when being completely alone for a long period of time.

I would recommend Remnant to those that also like science fiction.  The main theme is to deal with situations you can’t escape from and figuring out how to adapt.  The narratives are compelling as the main characters are complex living in extreme circumstances.  Allnach’s style truly is conversational to the point that I got in the zone.  I didn’t necessarily notice I was reading.  Another unconventional book to add to the pile which leaves me as a satisfied reader. 

Author’s Bio: 

Roland Allnach, after working twenty years on the night shift in a hospital, has witnessed life from a slightly different angle.  He has been working to develop his writing career, drawing creatively from literary classics, history, and mythology.  His short stories, one of which was nominated for the Pushcart prize, have appeared in several publications.  Writing aside, his joy in life is the time he spends with his family.  

You can find out more at his website:
We’re also giving away a copy of Remnant.  To enter leave a comment below telling me why you like reading science fiction books.  To get a second entry, just follow the blog.  :)  Contest will run through April 8. 

I was given this book to review.  All opinions are my own.

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