The Bottom Line: Fans of A.G. Riddle’s The Origin series will be happy to discover J.A. Davis’ engrossing blend of swords and sci-fi.
If the term “ancient alien artifact” piques your interest, then you may want to pick up J.A. Davis’ The Razing, which imagines an ancient civilization in possession of technology that far surpasses our own. The millions who read The Atlantis Gene will find comfort food in Davis’ novel, which begins with a letter from one present-day academic to another detailing the composition of a newly discovered artifact as follows: “I believe the atmospheric conditions required to process the metal do not exist on the earth.”
This first installment in Davis’ series details the transformation of an agrarian civilization into one that achieves celestial travel and pursues immortality. It’s a world where religious temples coexist alongside unimaginable scientific knowledge, and slaves and philosophers mingle with space travelers. While Davis’ gift for mythic storytelling unfortunately does not extend to dialogue, which is often quite stilted, it’s hardly a showstopper, and the plot is easily engrossing for most readers to keep turning the pages.
The beating heart of Davis’ story – and the lens through which the tale is experience – is a nobleman called Prince Aaranon. During the early chapters, Aaranon himself is less interesting than the world he inhabits, but that changes as the challenges he faces become increasingly daunting, effectively sculpting his character and overall plight into one you won’t easily forget.