Tuesday, March 28, 2023


This is going to be a readalong or readthrough- whatever- of a favorite series. Aldebaran (and sequels) by Leo. Hard to believe this series started in '94. Thanks to Cinebook for translating it. 

So we start out with some weird thing coming ashore and dying. The setting by the way is a small village on Aldebaran- actually a planet orbiting Aldebaran- the planet is a little bigger than Earth and is like 90% water, compared to 70% on Earth, The world was colonized years ago but then all contact with Earth was lost. 

We're introduced early on to Kim- a young girl in the village arguing with her instructor- and a guy named Mark who's a fisherman. Oh, and by the way- this village (and parts of the world) remind me of the art by Blue Turtle. Just FYI. 

We get quite a bit of foreshadowing that something BAD is going to occur. Some guy named Driss shows up- he's heading for northern islands- he's got info that a strange creature in the sea is causing the problems. He's of course discounted, and Mark has a thing for a girl in town- a sister of another protagonist. He also meets up with a journalist named Gwen who's looking for Driss. She's a hottie too. She wants to go north and find Driss, so Mark takes her, but they run into problems. The sea gets weirdly solidified and we get the scene from the cover. . 

The boat's toast. 

They run into Kim and her family as they make their way back towards town. They see a weird phenomenon at sea. Driss shows up and tells 'em that the village has been wrecked. We get a clue too about the state of things with the comment that the police have been taken over by church. Soon the group gets a sense of the total destruction that's been wreaked. What is the sea creature responsible? And who exactly is Driss affiliated with? We get a debate about journalism- Driss doesn't trust Gwen because she works for the paper, which the government controls, but Kim wants to know what Driss is hiding. Turns out he's been studying the creature for years but still doesn't know a lot. The thing changes its shape. 

Gwen decides to return to Anatolia (the capital) while Mark and the girls (Kim and sister) stay with Driss Driss is heading to Alvarado and Kim's sister wants to go with him, but that leaves Mark kind of out of sorts as he wants to go south. To Port Simon and then eventually on to the capital Anatolia. They find  a picture of a woman in Driss' things, and there's a kerfuffle about what to do- the sister (Nelly) is apparenrtly crushing on Driss, and Mark leaves in a huff. But wait- Kim stowed away. 

Two moons. 

So Kim wants to go south. Along the way they meet Eldermore Paderewsky-.Mr. Pad- but he appears somewhat untrustworthy as he steals their cart. Oh, and Mark is a jerk to Kim. 

I like that the author doesn't rush the story- we get some nice looks at how Kim wants to pick her own life- and then they arrive at Port Simon. No sooner do they get a bite to eat than Mark is accosted by soldiers and taken to see a priest in an airship. 

The view from the airship is cool. 

He's interrogated as to whether he's seen a certain Driss and his lady friend. And... they are reunited with Pad who makes amends by getting them lodging. 

The second part of the story continues with them en route to Anatolia. It's a three week trip. One thing has me curious- they're refugees from Earth (or not exactly refugees- more like stranded) and have been here a hundred years but they're on a full bore sailing vessel. Wouldn't they have something more modern? At any rate life on the ship is tough- they're being worked hard- but things go bad when the captain's wife takes a fondness for Mark. After a night of passion he's about toast when he's discovered- so Kim and him have to jump overboard. 

Kim's not happy about Mark and his passion doing a number on their trip, and he replies that there's some things she doesn't understand yet. I wonder about Leo, sometimes there are times in these stories where he seems a little misogynistic, but maybe it's just nuance being lost in translation. These are from the French, after all. Anywho- the coast is barren where they come ashore. Kim admits that her reason for wanting to go to Anatolia so bad is to be there when a ship comes from Earth. 

Kim gets her first period, they meet a little old lady who runs a neat lighthouse, and the two of them get to understand each other better. They meet a guy named Jose Cabral- where'd he come from?- and he rescues them from an octopus- a sand octopus- he has a thing for Kim although she's a little young- he's a musician and apparently the government has banned music. 

Mark leaves in a huff again but soon Kim finds him and they resume their walk to the capital city. Mark really is kind of a jerk. 

We switch over to where Driss has found the sea creature, or a manifestation of it, 500 miles at sea (and further north). Whatever happened to Nelly? Who knows. Anyway, he calls it a mantris and wonders whether they'll be able to communicate with it. Kim and Mark, meanwhile, work at a farm harvesting grapes for about a month, before heading south to Jandira Cross 140 kilometers away. From there they should be able to get to Anatolia. 

When they reach their destination they find a caravelle- creatures that produce helium (which is harvested for airships). And... Driss' friend the blonde has been arrested. They of course recognize her. 

They follow her, and Mark- who has a habit of getting in situations- helps her escape. They escape aboard a caravelle but the woman gets shot- twice- once in the hand by gunfire and then a crossbow to her abdomen. She has to lsoe the hand? That seems... unlikely. At any rate they escape, but she tells him he ought to move on. He refuses to leave her. Her name is Alexa Komarova by the way. 

Apparently there's something special about her as her wounds should have been it. 

She tells Mark that her and Driss are the only two left free of an initial eight, but she can't say more because they have a pact that they will only share their knowledge with everyone's consent. Mark has a thing for her now. She gently dissuades him, and... woah is her hand... regrowing?????

Anyway Mark gets caught and guess who he's reunited with? Yes- Kim. They are on their way now to the capital- and what befalls our mystery woman? I guess the next volume may hold the answer


  1. What a cool story! Mark does seem like quite the jerk lol.

  2. There's a lot going on in this one!

  3. Ooh! This sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow, I wish I had my popcorn ready when I started reading this! I really hope the next volume has the answer, and I also want to say that I like Blue Turtle's art, so if this reminds you of it, I think it's nice :)

  5. As cool as the story sounds, I can't get past the characters running *on the water* on the cover. Now that's a neat trick. :)

  6. I am also watching them run on water

  7. Very interesting post, I like it :)
    I invite you also to my channel :)

  8. I think I like your read-a-long posts more than I would the actual book lol

    Karen @For What It's Worth

  9. I've never heard of this one. Sounds interesting though.

  10. The poster reminds of me of a survival show or a get away flee.

  11. This sounds very interesting! Thanks for your lovely review!

  12. Oh, this one really gets going. I am sure a part of you felt it was long commercial just to get to the next part of the series. I like how its got so much adventure and yet touches on human nature too. I think it has the making for a great Chinese Drama...(✿◡‿◡) Hope your week is going well. We are having lots of winds that I think might blow the rain right by and we might get snow instead even if it did get up to 70 yesterday thanks to those south winds. Just our luck. Thanks for your comments. I hope you are getting some writing in. BTW I really love this bookcover! Such a peaceful blue in all the mayhem. Hope you have some fun and some relaxing to this weekend. It's zoopass time at the library which I don't think I'm looking forward to since I had some very strange dreams about library patrons. One Jason Sudeikis was telling me the scanner was broken because his library card wasn't valid and he kept giving me books that were falling in the floor.

    Carefully Listening
    The Book Group
    Cherry Blossoms
    Better Left Unsaid