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Tears of the Stars by John Aridi

Tears of the Stars by John Aridi is a superbly crafted collection of short stories that will take the reader’s imagination from Earth and beyond. The stories weave a future for Earth as imagined by Aridi. Each story gives insights into this future with every page. The reader will learn why the corrupt government body called the Terran Stellar Nations was overthrown and how the prosperous fair Union was born.

Aridi even takes the reader to the middle of an alien battlefield in “Born for Battle” where the warmonger race known as the Galtharians totally vanquish their enemies in mere minutes. Reading that particular story lets the reader feel the immense pride and strength the race has in battle, even when near death. Aridi creates believable races and describes them in such detail a picture could do no better. The reader will be astounded and amazed with the many unique races described perfectly by Aridi.

All of the stories immerse the reader into imaginative places full of well-rounded characters. A character is introduced in one story, and then more about that character’s past or origin will be revealed in another. The plots thicken in each story with talks of corruption, secret government projects, and relations with other races. The big picture becomes clear as the reader delves deeper into the book. No doubt one might read the book twice to better understand the timeline of the stories.

The most prominent aspect of the book is the intense battles that spring to life on the page. In the story, entitled “Hunt,” Aridi places the reader right in the breathtaking gun battle between two highly trained assassins. The engaging narrative and thrilling action keep the reader riveted as much as a movie would, if not better.

Aridi even manages to add some aspects of a thriller in the horrific story, “Setul“. Everything is written fast-paced and with a refreshingly distinct style. The order of the stories may seem archaic at first but are, in fact, tightly knit in many ways. Every story is like a piece of a much larger puzzle. After reading the book, the reader will be able to see these connections and the method behind the book’s order.

Tears of the Stars” is a must read for science fiction and action/adventure fans. With the spectacular battle narratives and engrossing plots the book cannot be put aside. After reading the book, many questions the readers had at the beginning will be answered. But a whole new set of unanswered questions will arise after finishing the book that will only be answered with Aridi’s upcoming work. This seems to be only the beginning of a series. Aridi proves with this collection that he is a master of crafting action scenes and stories of epic proportions.

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