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About this Book

As preparation for the first star-mission continues, the new crew members begin to interact with one another, new relationships form, old ones continue to evolve, and life on Earth moves forward. Capt. Nikalishin’s wife persists in disrupting his life no matter how he tries to discourage her. Cmdr. Glencrosse remains under psychiatric treatment for his delusions about an entity out to destroy the mission, but nevertheless his Captain continues to support his appointment as Chief Engineer of the Ariana. Too many complexities exist in their relationship for either of them to cast the other aside.At last the mission’s destination and date of departure are set. Ian Glencrosse attempts to reconcile with his father, with ominous consequences which he reveals to no one. Furthermore, on the eve of departure, the High Feather makes another unexpected appearance … It’s too late to alter history …



“Merlin,” is the sixth book in The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars series by Lorinda J. Taylor. I have read and reviewed part one, “Eagle Ascendant,” HERE and part two, “Wounded Eagle” HERE and part three, “Bird of Prey,” HERE, part four, “Survivor,” HERE, and part five, “Phoenix Rises,” HERE.

I’ve read this series from the beginning onward. In book six, “Merlin,” Robbin Nikalishin (Captain Robbie) is deep into the Phenix Project interstellar program preparing for the Big Mission to the Eridanus, or Epsilon Eridani, a wandering pathway of stars.

The captain spends most of his time assembling his crew and building his team of space farers. There was an extensive amount of technical information shared which I could follow easily. In science fiction, the technical jargon matters and Taylor knows her quantum physics, or at least enough to make it all sound plausible. However, don’t worry. Her explanations made perfect sense. She dedicated much of the book to the training and testing of the ship and crew to prepare for their voyage to the stars.

Ian Glencrosse, the Chief Engineer and another survivor of the Darter disaster, continues to struggle with mental health issues. He hides most of this apprehension from Robbie and Dr. Winehandle, who hope he is ready for the voyage. Deep down, Ian’s convinced the mission is doomed, unless he takes some drastic action to ensure everyone’s safety. I picked up some dark vibes from Ian. Only time will tell how his story unravels.

Meanwhile, Captain Robbie hits another snag with his estranged wife, Fedaylia. When he went through terrible times before, she was the first to throw him under the bus. Now that things are looking up, the status seeking communication’s officer wants to be part of his life again. All I can tell you is that she is a real piece of work!

Then, there is Captain Robbie’s relationship with Linna Katsopolos to factor into this equation. Robbie’s conflicted feelings about Fedaylia and his views regarding religion and marriage add to his difficulties. As the time grows closer for the launch, tensions build into a crescendo.

Since this book is the sixth in the series, I suggest you begin at book one and work your way through to understand the characters and the dynamics behind the series.

The author’s attention to detail both in her characters and in the motivations behind their decisions really makes this series shine. I’m so emotionally invested in the characters that I can’t wait to find out what happens next! Onward and upward to book seven.


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About the Author

Lorinda J. Taylor, author of “The Man Who Found Birds Among the Stars” Series

I’m a retired librarian who worked in academic libraries as a cataloger, and I live in Colorado Springs, CO.  Besides my MLS, I have a BA and an MA in English, and some work toward a Ph.D.  As a child, I was always making up imaginary worlds, but I didn’t start writing fantasy until I read “Lord of the Rings” in 1969 and discovered that even serious scholars like J.R.R. Tolkien can continue to create such worlds far into their adult lives. I never was successful in getting published in those early days, however, and then family considerations forced me to take a hiatus from writing from 1983 until 2000. Since then, I’ve written a novella and several novels, and have begun to self-publish since I doubt that I can live long enough to go the old-fashioned route!

My interests include almost anything literary, scientific, or speculative — science fiction and fantasy, mythology, language (I write conlangs for my books), poetry, cosmology, astrophysics, anthropology, archaeology, entomology, ornithology …

Philosophically, I call myself a spiritual humanist.

Among my favorite authors are Ursula K. LeGuin, Tolkien (of course), Evangeline Walton, and many poets such as Robert Graves and Dylan Thomas.

How to Connect with the Author

Blog – Ruminations of a Remembrancer at http://termitewriter.blogspot.com
(You can find free chapters on her website of Volume I of the Termite Queen).

Twitter – Lorinda J. Taylor @TermiteWriter

Facebook – Lorinda J. Taylor (Termite Writer)


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