Maz’hura: Book One of the Twelve Dimensions
Maz’hura, the first book in Paul L. Centeno’s Twelve Dimensions series, is a rip-roaring space opera that combines classic science fiction tropes with rich mythology and magic more commonly seen in the fantasy genre to create an action-packed adventure story filled to the brim with intriguing characters, deadly danger, and plenty of twists and turns.
The book begins with the momentous birth of a protostar in the Copia Deiga galaxy, as witnessed by Captain Shirakaya, the loyal crew of the spaceship Celestial, and a host of alchemists, engineers, and physicists who are along for the ride. What should have been a phenomenal experience, however, quickly turns into something that all those present will remember forever for all the wrong reasons. Black spots begin to materialize on the still-forming star, indicating that something is terribly amiss. Oracle Jedalia, a member of the crew who is gifted with clairvoyance, quickly determines that an ancient species known as the koth’vurians have returned to the galaxy and are currently consuming the protostar, draining its energy to fuel their own power.
A group of koth’vurians break off from devouring the protostar to launch an attack on the Celestial. Captain Shirakaya and her crew have heard tales of the aliens but believed them to have been defeated long ago by the all-powerful Order. They are taken by surprise by the koth’vurians’ ability to fly through space without ships or spacesuits as well as by their savagery once they board the Celestial. Luckily, despite being weakened by the sudden loss of her powers of sorcery, Shirakaya survives the battle and pilots the ship to safety. Unfortunately, her troubles are far from over. Even discussing the koth’vurians is considered near blasphemy, and the Order authorities, the Ruzurai, have no desire to hear they’ve returned. Captain Shirakaya will have to find a way to restore her power, maintain relations with the Order, and defeat the koth’vurians…
Action and adventure are at the forefront of Maz’hura from the very beginning. The story starts with a bang and then proceeds at a cracking pace as Shirakaya and her crew travel the galaxy, visit alien planets, and investigate mysterious happenings, all the while aware of the looming threat of the koth’vurians. Centeno has clearly put a lot of thought into his worldbuilding and mythology, and the story is accompanied by star charts and a twenty-two-page glossary of new terms. The planets and alien species are very well defined, and the space battles are both thrilling and tense. Centeno sometimes strays over the fine line between providing an admirable amount of detail and overwriting certain passages, but that’s a minor quibble in the overall scheme of things and it doesn’t detract from the flow of the story.
Maz’hura is a highly entertaining science fiction thriller laced with magic and mystery, and it’ll be interesting to see what Centeno has in store for Captain Shirakaya in the next book in the series.
|Author||Paul L. Centeno|
|Page Count||299 pages|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|
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