Paw Prints of the Gods is truly excellent science fiction. The author has not only created a unique and riveting tale, but has also set it in a seamless future world complete in all its details. The scientific details of this world are impressive, at least to me.
Ravana, who I first met in Hollow Moon, book one in this series, has gone missing, and when her father finds out, he gathers his team around him, makes hasty repairs to his old ship and flies off to find her. Meanwhile, she escapes captivity and meets a woman who agrees to help her get back to the archaeological dig she’d been working on. The planet she’s on is a little like Dune and is populated in one area with giant spiders, other than that, there’s just the archaeologist’s dig and an abandoned scientific research centre, both under plastic domes to protect from the toxic atmosphere.
The archaeologists have uncovered something that looks like an alien temple, and a shady religious sect wants to take control of it. They have kidnapped a young boy, believing that he is the one mentioned in a prophecy as being able to open a portal into another realm. The star shaped labyrinth beneath the sand is supposedly the portal in question. The story takes several death-defying twists and turns and ends up in the temple where the mystery is finally solved and a satisfying conclusion reached.
I’m glad to say that this book has all the excellent qualities of the first and not a sign of the head-hopping that weakened it. This story really sparkles. The characterization is strong, the plot interesting and original, and the pacing is spot on. The interactions and dialogue are believable, the prose excellent and the copy editing spotless. All in all, it’s a jolly good read that would appeal to sci fi and fantasy fans. It would make a terrific movie.
Although it’s the second book in a series, it stands alone very well, so you don’t need to feel that you need to read number one.
This book warrants the Awesome Indies Seal of Excellence.