Friday, April 4, 2014

Surfing the Human Wave: Cedar Sanderson's The Eternity Symbiote

For this week's review, I got to indulge a little more in my alien kink with Cedar Sanderson's The Eternity Symbiote, in which the main characters stumble across an alien parasite that enhances their strength and endurance -- after which they consequently discover that Earth has now become a focal point for a larger intergalactic conflict.

The basic premise here is good and the characters are likable, but to be honest, I wish this book had been longer. While I've always been a sucker for alien takeover plots, the execution here felt very rushed. In one scene, the Ghis offer help to the president; shortly thereafter, they've successfully conquered the entire planet. What happened in the meantime? Why was the president so eager to accept Ghis support? And why did the other countries fall into line? Cedar has limned the basics here - and has done so in an entertaining and well-written way - but there's no detail -- and I think said missing detail contains a good deal of story potential that, as it stands, has been left unfulfilled. Why would some human leaders willingly sacrifice the freedom of the human race? Exploring that question in a gradual fashion, I feel, would've made The Eternity Symbiote a great story rather than a pretty good one.

Final Verdict: Recommended, But With Notes.


  1. Thanks for the review, Stephanie! I'd like to point out two things: one, it's a novella (well, maybe short novel, 50K words) and second, a sequel is planned that will expand. I debated re-writing this story, but felt that it would alter it too much to do that, ten years after the fact. So this is the opening of a much longer saga.