I will be quite honest and admit right away that Sci-Fi isn’t really my genre. Sure, sometimes I delight myself with it, but I am not a hardcore reader, I rarely pick up a Sci-Fi themed book, and if someone asks me what my least favored genre is I always point out Sci-Fi without thinking twice about it.
Thus, you might think that I am conceited, that I’m going lightfooted into it, even reluctantly but this really isn’t the case.
Note that I said Sci-Fi isn’t among my favorites: I didn’t say I disliked it.
Surprisingly – even to me – I found loads of Science-Fiction I happened to enjoy. On my reading list, you might only find that it is represented as 5-6% of my entire book experience, but they are there and I won’t ever refuse to read something just because I happened not to like something similar or of the same category.
Everything I read, I read with the forethought that I am going to like.
Furthermore, while I might favor Sci-Fi less than any other genre, my heart is Whovian. Really, I am a huge fan of Doctor Who! Talk about contradictions.
What’s more, though, is that Sci-Fi has a million different connotations and it doesn’t always mean the same thing. You cannot look upon Science-Fiction as a genre that exclusively features robots, intergalactic/time-travel, or futuristic setting and company. It is mostly the case, but there are exceptions and, I am sure of it, even “haters” (read, people that aren’t fanatically enthusiastic or even those narrow-minded ones that think it’s only something geeks are into) are eventually bound to find something Sci-Fi-ish that they might enjoy, if only they would look harder for it.
Thing is, you might think “Origins Rising” is just another Sci-Fi, Post-Apocalyptic (I remind you: a meteor did hit Earth) Young Adult (literature’s new black), but it isn’t.
You barely notice it’s Sci-Fi.
You barely notice it’s Post-Apocalyptic.
What it is, is plainly EPIC!
Eric Andreas creates an astonishing new world, giving it a foundation based on a crafted legend that had me smiling in delight.
Read it in the Excerpt section!
For lack of different words (not because they don’t exist, I just can’t think of any better ones), I thought this to be beautiful.
It somehow reminded me of some Ancient African myth I once read. As it is, the whole story has a Prehistoric Africa feel. I do not know how to properly describe it. Obviously, I do not have firsthand experience of Prehistoric Africa. What does that even mean? I don’t even know how the whole “Prehistoric Africa feel” popped into my mind. It just did.. All I can discern is that I thought of dinosaurs, cavemen, and survival. Disclaimer: there are no dinosaurs in here, and cavemen aren’t really cavemen. However, there is a theme of survival. So, we have the “Prehistoric” part down. But why specifically African? It might be that Africa is the cradle of humanity, it’s where we all originated from. The title of the book is “Origins Rising”, thus the association of origins of humanity, thus the whole Prehistoric Africa feel.Hey, turns out I can explain it after all.
Be it as it may, I might have had that feeling, doesn’t mean it is an actual fact in the book. We do not know where “Origins Rising” is specifically set – though I would bet a brownie that it’s on Earth (I’ll never jeopardize my claim on a brownie, if nothing else remember that about me!) – but wouldn’t it be ironic/significative if the whole cycle of humanity – as different as they might be then and now – would start over in the same place?! You know, like, we are given a second (more likely, a bazillionth) chance, originating in the same way – though with obvious differences, since it would make no sense to start in the same way over and over again – but developing differently, thus avoiding to make the same mistakes.
If there’s actually cosmical justice, this setting will eventually come to pass. Because we, One People as Eric Andreas calls Humans in “Origins Rising”, are pretty shitty beings and, more often than not, I think that we do not deserve to dwell on Earth, we do not deserve to be. We are selfish, almost oblivious to one another, we are destructive towards what and who nurtures us. We are supposed to go forward but all we do is retrocede, going back to what we claim is prehistoric, barbaric, antiquate behaviour. We criticize narrow-minded, closed societies, we criticize violence, we preach that we are all brothers. But then we proceed in our selfish ways, stepping aside when we are called to act, behaving like Cain towards Abel, closing ourselves off to others, pointing our fingers instead of tending our palms, slapping others on the cheek instead of offering our other side when we are wronged, embracing violence instead of peace, preferring to clasp a gun, to attack, to conquer what doesn’t belong to us just to say “that’s mine! I did the right thing by doing so”. Right? Right in whose perspective? Ours, never that of other.
That, and so much more, I read into “Origins Rising”.
Now, I don’t know that that was Eric Andreas objective, but to me books in general are a means to trigger thought. Every which way you read a book, there’s always something you can take from it, if the author intended to give said message or not.
Books and their messages, if not specified explicitly, are relative, as are so many things in life. That’s a good thing and that’s a bad thing, depending on what message you extract from the book.
That said, Eris Andreas crafted a story unlike any I’ve ever read and that guided me to some deeper thoughts.
“Origins Rising” it’s not the usual Post-Apocalyptic plot, this time there are no surviving humans starting over on their cycle, no over-developed technology, no space travel. Everything has to start anew.
Humans are no more. In their place there are three species: Erdwons, Skywons, Feshwons. The People of the Earth, the People of the Sky, the People of the Water. And obviously the world in which they live is quite different from what we know (after all, millions of years have passed).
New People, new wildlife.
Yeah, I had a few “huh?” moments because of the wildlife, I got a bit confused by it because there’s so much to take in. I had the passing thought of dinosaurs, as I said before – there aren’t any though, and my fantasy was given free reign.Tor was my favourite character and I enjoyed going on this journey with him. Yeah, I know there were more characters, but I loved him the most. He seems like the kind of guy you’d want in a new world.I love it when a book features imagery – it’s a much appreciated guide-line to my fantasy. So, extra thumbs up for that (yeah, I only have two, but pretend there are more available).A great book by an undoubtedly talented author.
Origins Rising Synopsis:
An asteroid almost destroys life on earth, erasing technology overnight. The few survivors must adapt to survive a harsh new world, and they do. As the planet heals over millions of years, humanity’s descendants evolve into three distinct species.
The erdwons are plains people, sprinters with cheetah-like legs and long tails for counterbalance. The skywons are flyers, split into the feudal dayflyers and the reclusive nightflyers. As for the feshwons, they returned to the water.
Three separate human species, each with its own culture, religious beliefs, and internal politics, nonetheless maintain an uneasy, long-standing peace.
A mysterious force, however, threatens erdwon, feshwon, and skywon alike. Erdwon clans are disappearing, leaving no trace of their passing. Something is taking them…but why?
For Tor, a young erdwon, the disappearances are troubling, but they pale against the challenges of adolescence. The fourteen-year-old must cope with constant bullying from his cousin, and has just been surprised with a dangerous traditional rite of passage.
Tor doesn’t need more problems, but a chance encounter by the edge of a steep cliff pits him against the force behind the disappearances. Tor has a chance to save erdwon, skywon, and feshwon alike, but first he needs to survive.
Purchase Origins Rising:
Origins Rising Excerpt:
“They say… that in the beginning… there was only one kind of people.”
(Skarn put the palms of his hands together and folded his fingers tightly.)
“They say… that no people had wings… that no people could fly… that there were no skywons.”
(He unlocked his fingers and flapped his hands like the wings of a bird.)
“They say…that no people lived in the water…that no people had fins…that there were no feshwons.”
(He moved his arms like he was swimming.)
“They say . . . that no people could run as fast as the wind… that no people had tails… that there were no erdwons.”
(He patted his feet quickly on the ground.)
Mio suddenly grabbed Tor. “No erdwons! Tor, were there really none like us?”
“Mio, shh,” Jade warned her sweetly, “just listen.”
Mio had heard the story several times already, but each time this part came up, she just could not accept the idea and hoped that Tor would tell her otherwise.
He never did.
“They say,” Skarn quickly resumed, “that the One People ruled the world… that they were all the same.”
(He lifted his arms to the sky.)
“They say that the world was never dark… that the One People forgot the stars… that the One People banished the night, banished the Darkness.”
(He crossed his arms in front of him.)
“They say that the Darkness grew angry… that the Darkness planned revenge on the One People.”
(He shook his fists.)
“They say that the Darkness choked the world with smoke… and the sun did not rise… it did not rise for many, many seasons.”
(He put his hands to his neck.)
“The One People no longer saw the day… and perished from the earth.”
(He placed his palms on the cool ground and bowed his head.)
“But the Earth Mother was sad. The Darkness had taken her children. The Darkness had taken her light. Furious, she scolded the Darkness.”
(He raised his head and clenched his fists.)
“Fearful of the Earth Mother, the Darkness agreed to let the light return… but only if she promised never to give birth to the One People again.”
(He put a hand on his heart.)
“The Earth Mother promised… but she tricked the Darkness.
She would not make the One People. Instead, she would make many different peoples. With this, she was happy… and the light returned.”
Meet Eric Andreas:
Eric Andreas is an environmental and natural resources attorney who works in Washington, DC. Before becoming an attorney, he worked as a marine geologist in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
Andreas holds an undergraduate geology degree from Boston University, a master’s degree in geology from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a law degree from Pace University School of Law with a certificate in environmental law.
Passionate about the natural sciences, Andreas lives just north of DC in Montgomery County, Maryland, with his wife, three children, two dogs, cat, and rabbit. He is the author of Origins Rising, a young-adult novel inspired when his younger daughter asked if humans could evolve. In addition to writing fiction, Andreas plays guitar and writes music, and he occasionally can be found on the tennis courts or ski slopes.
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