If George Lucas and Ava DuVernay had a baby, T.O. Burnett would be their child. Like Lucas, Burnett creates entirely new worlds that we’ve never seen before and like DuVernay, his work bursts with heart, humanity and empathy. Burnett’s Sapien: Days of Deception, the tour de force sequel to his debut novel, Sapien: Dawn of Oblivion, left me awestruck. After reading the jaw-dropping opening to the book, I knew I was in for a treat, and Burnett didn’t disappoint.
Although a novelist, Burnett’s writing is reminiscent of a seasoned screenwriter. He paints vivid, colorful, and vibrant pictures with his words that tell a story that you cannot only see, but smell, taste, hear, and feel. His use of metaphors and similes will give you pause while you wonder to yourself, how did he come up with that? His writing is so crisp, I swear at times while reading the book, I could hear the words crunch.
The action-packed and riveting chapters, propelled me forward into the story that centers around planet Neutralia. It’s trying to restore the innocence it once enjoyed—an innocence that it was robbed of in the first installment of the series: Sapien: Dawn of Oblivion. With that in mind, the Solar Alliance has implemented a new justice system enforced by The Mayhem Marauders. It is their hope to convince the inhabitants of Neutralia that all is well. But when the barbaric and brutal Bastillians, who are running wild throughout District County, go on a murdering rampage, their objectives are compromised. The Supreme Council fears that if the people believe the Bastillians are still wreaking havoc--all the Supreme Council's efforts to appear to be in control would be for naught. Desperate to maintain the appearance of order, Chancellor Aldrich, the leader of the Supreme Council does the unthinkable. This act unleashes a series of events that cause the solar system to change forever.
Chancellor Aldrich is only one of the numerous, colorful, dynamic, interesting, three-dimensional characters in this page-turning sequel that we’re initially introduced to in book one. There’s Judas Benedict, Aldrich’s archenemy, once himself a Supreme Council member, that has been arrested for treason and his scheduled to be executed. Will the execution take place? Rokuro Onishi, the defacto leader of the DOD, a ruthless Asian swordsman is a force to be reckoned with who senses his relevance is waning. Is he right? Are his days numbered? Then there’s the crew of the Starship Whisper that is carrying out a secret mission called the Genesis Project—Mulati, Sampa, Bjorn, Corto, Ean, Francois, and Beth. Will they be successful at their mission or will one of them, some of them, or all of them, come to an untimely demise, as they fight one bloody battle after another? The answers to these questions and Burnett’s suspenseful writing kept the swiping my screen.
The aforementioned individuals and various other characters navigate throughout the planets in the solar system that are a testimony to Burnett’s creative genius: Neutralia, Evropa, Asia, Albin, Hades, to name a few, the most interesting of which is Planet Albin, home to the Albinos and unfortunately for the Albinos, home to condors with wingspans the size of a bridge, who feed off of anything moving, including humans.
In conclusion, if you’re a sci-fi lover or not, you will enjoy this read. I highly recommend it. Bravo T.O. Burnett!