Lex TalionisLex Talionis by R.S.A. Garcia

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 “”What are you?” she whispered, but the shiny black orbs of its eyes held no answers and no voice acknowledged her question.  Instead, it sat, radiating well-being and eventually, a thought began to go round in her mind.  A flowing, melodious phrase that sounded as calm as the alien made her feel, but that she somehow knew was her own thought.     A  thought that had nothing to do with peace.

Lex Talionis.”

This is the first book by R.S.A. Garcia, and is better than most first tries.  It is well edited and published by Dragonwell Publishing.  I don’t know why a Chapter of Contents was deemed necessary as it literally just gives the page number for Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, etc.  but for those who like them, it is there. 

Let’s see, having finished the book the first thing I wonder about is the way the book was composed.  The first portion of the book was the most confusing.  Each chapter jumped back and forth primarily between a females story taking place in the now, and a males story taking place in the past.  This was used as a suspense builder to keep the reader intrigued, but in the end his story wasn’t relevant in the slightest.  In fact, in Part 2 when the past story is told in full his story becomes even less relevant.  I am left to wonder if the female lead story was simply too weak to exist without the false suspense built in.  

Once I had reached part 2 of the book in fact I felt that this was the section that the author had completed first, and had the strongest grasp on.  Part 2 reads much more quickly and makes so much more sense than Part 1.  And Part 3 is a sad little pasted together ending that was really just a quick tying up of loose ends to end this book and set things up for the sequel. 

Which leads me to a complaint.  Why do authors seem to be caught up in this need to have a trilogy?  What happened to writing a great novel and having it stand alone?  Is the money really worth it?  Is there pressure from publishing houses to do this?  And I am really tired of reading these  trilogies and finding that book 3 is such a huge letdown that I regret spending the time on books one and two.  Personally I feel like Part 1 could have been pared down so that a proper Part 3 could be written and voila!

Back to the topic at hand.  As far as complex ideas are concerned there is some genetic modification that is used in the story that leads to some interesting moral issues.  If you grow a human in a test tube do they deserve rights as human beings?  Or are they your property to own and use and destroy as one wishes?  These concepts are in the underlying motivations of the characters, and I think that the author could spend a bit more time exploring the ideas, and who knows maybe she will in the sequel. 

There is a bit of a love story going on.  I can’t say that either of the matches really feels like a good fit to me, but I know whose team I would be on if I decide to read the sequel.  Oh yea, which reminds me, I would only recommend this book to adults.  There are scenes that are complicated and graphic which I would not feel good about younger audiences reading.  In the end – this is definitely a book I would feel good passing on to other readers, and I have high hopes for future books from this author.