EDITOR: Sarah Kolb-Williams
COVER ARTIST: Megan Mahan
Harboring genetics perfected over generations, Toch has been prepared since birth to be his race’s savior, but when the ruling Spidon get word of his powers before they’ve matured, the fate of humans hangs in the balance.
In Windsor Harries’ post-apocalyptic society, each member of the human race, looked upon as ants by their alien rulers, is bred and destined for a specific lot in life. Prime, a dystopian novella, follows two young boys hardly old enough to truly understand their destinies; one with the perfect genetic coding to allow him to defeat the Spidon, Toch, and one destined to protect him, Luqas. Best friends, Toch and Luqas are inseparable for more reasons that either ever thought, with destinies irrevocably intertwined in Harries’ cleverly twisting plot.
As the Prime and to-be hero of his race, Toch’s genetic coding is the revival of the long since massacred and exterminated Defender gene code. Hundreds of generations ago, the Spidon eradicated all persons with the genetic coding that might be harmful to them, but some Defender genes were preserved and stored, lying in wait for the perfect genetic match.
Following the hundred-generation-old Plan, the human Councillors must wait for Toch to mature and for his Defender genes to become active before they can successfully call a rebellion attack on the Spidon, who rule the planet from their hovering spaceship and keep the humans in line with on-the-ground guards patrolling the streets. As the members wait for Toch’s genes to mature, a traitor in the council reveals Toch’s true nature to the Spidon commander in order to save his own skin, and the boy must face his destiny before he’s ready.
At times Prime feels more like a novel idea in a novella package: a little jumpy in spots that could be fleshed out with more scenes to develop some of the more minor characters and plotlines. That being said, with a fast-paced and an original storyline, Prime is a solid debut for Windsor Harries, with a writing style that falls on the classic literary side, offering beautifully detailed imagery of the ruined society and alien Spidon without being overly flowery or detracting from the story. Though limited to the shorter confines of a novella, Toch and Luqas both show depth and roundness of fully fleshed out characters, with Harries’ polished and fresh hand guiding them to their destinies.
Prime offers a quick and engaging read to fans of sci-fi, action, and dystopian genres in particular, along with those who might want the book just for its striking cover art. Though it might ultimately be more successful as a longer novel that could give Harries the room to expand his ideas even further, the novella does a fairly good job at holding its own with an original take on the old literary trope of the lone savior. Harries’ strong writing makes for an exciting and entrancing read.
Buy Prime on Amazon
Visit Windsor's website: windsorharries.com
Genevieve Shifke Ali is an Assistant Editor with an independent publishing house. She writes occasionally on her blog genevieveshifkeali.wordpress.com and can be found on Twitter @GShifkeAli.