________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 40. . . .June 17, 2016


Europa Journal.

Jack Castle.
Calgary, AB: Edge/Hades, 2016.
263 pp., trade pbk. & e-Book, $19.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-77053-104-8 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-77053-091-1 (e-Book).

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.

Review by Ronald Hore.

** /4



TWINKLING STARS PINPRICKED the stark lavender sky and watched like spectators as one of their own arced gracefully across the darkening hemisphere and fell from the heavens.

The U.P.C. deep space transport plummeted from the upper atmosphere in its own decaying path; it slowly and delicately began to glow, its color changing from off white to rich gold. The glorious blaze expanded into a burning sphere that resembled a shooting star.

Flames and sparks trailed from every engine and wing. Heat shielding plates flew off the underbelly by the dozens as the space transport began breaking up, a thousand mile long jet stream of clouds and debris in its wake. The nosecone began to crumble under the onslaught of the burning winds. Unbelievably, the occupants in the cockpit still fought for their survival.


Commander Mac O’Bryant and co pilot Leo Dalton are dispatched to a mysterious five sided pyramid discovered on the floor of an ocean on Europa, a moon belonging to the planet Jupiter. Inside that pyramid is the body of a missing WWII pilot, one of the pilots of the five famous missing Avenger pilots supposedly lost in the Bermuda triangle. The pilot is carrying a hand written journal. Just to make things more complicated, Leo is romancing Mac’s daughter.

     Then everything goes very wrong, and Mac and her crew are swept through a worm hole into what appears to be an alternate universe where they crash land on a strange world filled with unusual inhabitants. While Mac reads clues in the journal which strangely includes their names in the pages, they search across the countryside to try and find out what is going on. One of the individuals they finally encounter is the missing pilot from the pyramid, still very much alive. They eventually come face to face with a powerful creature, Atum Khaos, who has a serious god complex and a bad habit of demanding and enjoying regular sacrifices.

     Europa Journal consists of 263 pages divided into 31 chapters. Each chapter is titled with headings such as “Final Descent” and “The River”. There are six pages from the author’s next book, Bedlam Lost, and the final two pages in the volume include his picture and bio. Some of the characters’ rash actions at times grated on me, but they didn’t go too far beyond the believable. If the reader is looking for an adventure in the depths of space, that includes aliens, gods, and ancient Avenger aircraft, this may be the tale for them.


Ronald Hore, who has been involved with writers groups for several years, dabbles in writing fantasy and science fiction in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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