Review of "The Cataline Downfall" by Shane Ward

Ellie-Soma, a young teenager is enjoying life to the fullest on her beautiful home planet, Cataline. That is until her world is invaded by an ancient alien race called the Krainers. Intoxicated by the telepathic bond that all Cataline posses, the Krainers begin a rampage through her world with a deadly campaign of terror and mass murder.

In the face of losing everything and everyone she has ever known and loved, Elli-Soma will do what she was destined to do-save her race. 

Let me begin by saying that this story is jam-packed with action and adventure. So packed that it leaves the reader feeling rushed. As Ward zooms from one hair-raising event to the next, the reader barely has time to comprehend what is going on. The short story format simply does not work for someone with as complicated a vision as Ward has for this piece. There is so much to describe that the author ends up rushing through the whole story, glossing over each scene in order to get to the next, rather than taking the time to develop them fully. Ultimately, this leaves the piece feeling more like a storyboard than a fully formed piece of literature.

Beyond the tilt-a-whirl execution of the story, the ideas remain interesting. Ward has created a complicated alien society. However, the compacted writing does not allow the author to expand on this world fully, and the elements that give it originality are not as well developed as they could be. As a result, from cover art to conclusion, the reader is left feeling like they’ve seen it all somewhere before: blue aliens that have telepathic connections with their surroundings, living spaceships, ignored prophecies of warning, time traveling offspring wishing to save their parents...all borrowed elements from other science fiction series. Ultimately, Ward’s originality is hampered by an attempt to squeeze his vision into an improper format (personally, I think a serial format would do wonders for it).

3/5 stars
Reviewed by Aubrey Bennet


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