- Title: The Termite Queen: Volume 1, The Speaking of the Dead
- Author: Lorinda J. Taylor
- File Size: 998 KB
- Print Length: 404 Pages
- Publisher: Self Published by the Author
- Publication Date: January 2, 2014
- Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007RFYSWC
- Formats: Paperback and Kindle
- Genres: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy
*I won a copy of Volume I and II of the Termite Queen in a contest and enjoyed it so much that I am providing an honest review which follows.*
IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:
“In the 30th century, an off-world expedition returns to Earth with a specimen of giant termite whose behavior suggests intelligence. Kaitrin Oliva, a strong-willed and ambitious young linguistic anthropologist, is charged with finding a way to access its unique form of bioelectric communication. However, the insect dies, and the team members realize too late that they have unintentionally murdered an intelligent lifeform.
A second expedition is mounted with the purpose of making first contact and reparations. Griffen Gwidian, the entomologist heading the expedition, is a complex man with a dark personal secret. He falls in love with Kaitrin, and against her better instincts, Kaitrin responds. The result is a love story by turns turbulent and funny, passionate, tender, and troubled.
Meanwhile, civil discord is brewing on the termite planet. Mo’gri’ta’tu, the Queen’s Chamberlain, resents the power of the Holy Seer Kwi’ga’ga’tei and plots to assassinate her. She has engaged the services of an outland Champion, Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head, to fight this terrifying entity which has descended on them from the skies, murdered one of the fortress’s citizens, and abducted another. This alienates the aging Commander Hi’ta’fu the Unconquered, who is lured by the word-crafty Chamberlain into joining the conspiracy.
At the very moment that the murder is about to be committed, the second expedition arrives at the planet…”
The Termite Queen is the first volume in an epic science fiction fantasy series that begins in the 30th Century on planet Earth. The story centers around Kaitrin Oliva, a xenolinguist (linguistic anthropologist), who is called in to examine a specimen of termite who appears to display intelligence, retrieved during an off-world expedition.
Kaitrin examines the insect and witnesses the creature’s attempt to communicate with her by touch. The termite is in bad shape and dies in her arms during the time frame when a recording of its brain wave activity was taken. Shaken by the encounter, the young associate professor Oliva has a hunch that the creature did indeed communicate with her.
Katrin surmises the language of the termite is transmitted to humans much like that of radio wave frequencies. By examining the brain wave recording at the time of the giant termite’s death, she establishes the beginnings of a rudimentary language. The discovery is so fantastic that Kaitrin insists another off-world expedition should be taken back to the termite planet to learn more about the species and their amazing language.
Professor A’a’ma (a bird-like alien) the head of the linguistic department at the University where Katrin works, and xenoentomologist, Professor Griffin Gwidian agree to embark on another mission to unlock the mysteries of the termite language.
In the meantime, while preparing for their trip, Professor Gwydian falls head over heels for Kaitrin Oliva. Their early relationship results in moments of humor that will have you laughing till you cry. But give it a moment, and you will feel the deep abiding love and passion that erupts as their relationship transitions to marital bliss.
There is much to learn on the Termite planet, and the insects prove to be strange and exotic. Yet, there is a mystery that revolves around Katrin and Griffin, and also between Katrin and the Holy Seer, Kwi’ga’ga’tei. The two story lines intertwined and drew me deeper into the machinations of the story. The writing was propelled forward by the dialogue which I found to be fitting since Katrin studied languages.
Of particular interest, were the skillfully written chapters that dealt with the termite kingdom, written to read like a play. The termite characters were easier to relate to when presented in this manner. I couldn’t help but notice how similar the politics of the insects were to those of their human counterparts. At times, I had to cringe at the thought of “bugs,” but the termites were portrayed in such human terms, I grew to appreciate their differences.
Ms. Taylor has created a grand scheme for the future of humanity by her creation of the Mythmaker Precepts. She does occasionally pause to discuss past Earth history to bring the reader up to date with the time frame portrayed. Be prepared to be emersed into a future culture of an entirely different world than we live in today.
I loved this novel and have added it to my “Me Time,” category. The book is long, and some of the Termite language is tedious, but the story was so engaging I couldn’t put it down. I took my time and immersed myself in this future world created by Ms. Taylor. Stay tuned for my review of Volume II:
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars
About the Author – Lorinda J. Taylor
“A former catalogue librarian with two graduate degrees, Lorinda J. Taylor, was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and worked in several different academic libraries before returning to the place of her birth, where she now lives.
She has written fantasy and science fiction for years but began to self-publish only in 2011. To this point, she has published twelve science fiction/fantasy novels, including seven volumes of a series retelling myths in terms of her intelligent termite civilization. Her writings combine many aspects of science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, future history, off-world adventure, psychological fiction, and even a love story. She always strives to engage readers emotionally and give them something to think about at the end of each book.”
WHY BUY TERMITEWRITER PAPERBACKS?
If you buy a paperback from Amazon, you can get the Kindle version FREE! And the paperback gives you several bonuses, like a full-color cover, plus extra illustrations on the back cover and (for the Ki’shto’ba series and Children of the Music) maps!
Blog – Ruminations of a Remembrancer at http://termitewriter.blogspot.com
Twitter – Lorinda J. Taylor @TermiteWriter
Facebook – Lorinda J. Taylor (Termite Writer)
Google+ – Lorinda J Taylor
Thanks for stopping by to meet Lorinda Taylor. ❤
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Posted in: Book Reviews