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In the very near future, the ravages of a warming planet have worsened, driving a new era of climate refugees. Rohini Haakonsen, a young Indian-American woman, attends a UN conference on the problem when humanoid aliens materialize. Known as the Elders, the aliens present themselves as benign, even offering to help us solve our climate crisis. Can they be trusted?
Rohini is chosen to join a group of ambassadors to the aliens' world, but when masked gunmen attempt to kidnap her, it becomes clear not everyone on Earth is willing to go along with the aliens' plans. Eventually, along with Agent Jane Smith, Rohini is forced to flee, accepting the help of a Daoist secret society. Rohini's search for the truth takes her around the globe and into the deepest recesses of her own mind. Before she can make it to the Elders' world, she must survive her own.
Pure escapist fare, Voice Of The Elders proves a highly entertaining spin on eco-catastrophe and a fine fiction debut for Ripley who will get even the most meteorologically challenged among us onboard. More often that not novels in this genre swing between the disarmingly pulpy and dull survival melodrama but Ripley strikes an equitable balance which science fiction fans will likely appreciate. Underpinned by a clever plot and strong character development he is quick to build momentum but that’s just the start of it and as a first contact novel Voice Of The Elders fares equally as well. Whipping along at a cracking pace as Rohini finds herself in a search for the truth, Ripley demonstrates a gift for making each and every chapter quiver with a new discovery. Writing in crisp prose and only lingering in the detail when it isn’t to the detriment of his storyline, Ripley has a good eye for detail. It is evident in the characters he creates and the authenticity he brings to his shadowy world, demanding our attention and giving us something totally absorbing to read as converging plotlines come nicely together.
An intelligent and thoroughly entertaining read, Voice Of The Elders makes for a notable fiction debut from an author who deserves your attention.
It is highly recommended!
2018 Reader's Favorite Award Finalist and 2018 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist
Greg Ripley is the author of Tao of Sustainability: Cultivate Yourself to Heal the Earth (Three Pines Press, 2016) and Primal Energy: An Introduction to Qigong. Greg began writing while working as an acupuncturist in an effort to present people with more tools for maintaining their own health. He soon realized our modern disconnect from nature was at the root of many of our individual health challenges as well as our society's unhealthy and unsustainable practices which are damaging our environment. Healing this rift was the catalyst for writing Tao of Sustainability. In the process of writing the book, Greg quickly discovered he had a love for storytelling and when the book was published, he thirsted for more. He has since turned to fiction, recently finishing his debut novel, Voice of the Elders (Calumet Editions, 2018) a sci-fi novel with strong environmental themes.
Greg lives in Minnesota with his wife, daughters, and two huskies where he writes, gardens, and walks the trails of the local nature center. Before devoting his time to writing he worked as as acupuncturist in Minnesota, an organic farmer in New Mexico, and a barista in Tennessee, among many other things.