Prodigal Sun


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Order: Paperback/ Ebook

Details:

Published: Feb 23, 2017
Pages: 310
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Dimensions (inches): 4.25 wide x 6.88 tall

“Prodigal Sun” is the fifth book in the Quantum Series. To read more about the settings and characters of this series, visit About The Quantum Series and Characters & Plot Devices. To find out about Christina Engela’s main writing focus, read No LGBT Stereotypes Here!

‘Like’ Prodigal Sun by Christina Engela on Facebook

Back Cover:

“Something had stirred in the darkness, something ugly…

Suddenly, Sheriff Peggy-Ann Muller found herself hip-deep in strange events. Well, she admitted, stranger than usual. And skinheads too. Did she mention the skinheads? And it seemed to be getting worse!

“Something’s coming!” Vernon Carridene said, almost as a whisper. “Something bad is about to happen on Deanna!” Nobody could say when it started, or where, but something had changed – hate had come to Deanna… hate and fear!

The quirky residents of the third-rate colony called Deanna face a challenge unlike any they had seen before.

The only thing that could tell if they were up for the challenge, was Time.

Synopsis:

“Prodigal Sun” is the fifth title in the Quantum Series by Christina Engela – a writer described as “that rarest of authors – able to seamlessly blend together elements of dark horror and sci-fi to create stories that will stay with you long after the last page has been turned.” (Mark Woods, author of ‘Time of Tides’ and ‘Fear of the Dark‘). Her writing in the sci-fi genre has been described as “one of the most unique and captivating styles I’ve encountered in science fiction.” (Alex S. Johnson, author of The Doom Hippies.)

Of her characterizations, Sarah Rutledge Fischer of Focus Mid-South Magazine said “Like many of us, Engela has been frustrated with the representation of LGBT characters in mainstream fiction, where gay characters are often nothing more than superficially portrayed plot devices or worse, the object of satire and ridicule. Engela’s work breaks the trend. In her stories, a gay man may be the anti-hero or villain, but not because he is gay. A transwoman may fall in love with a cisgender straight man, and their relationship doesn’t revolve around her gender identity. LGBT characters, in Engela’s work, follow narrative arcs that occasionally intersect with their sexual or gender identity, but are more often driven by the human characteristics shared by all people—hope, fear, ambition, humor, and love.

Set after the fourth book (“Loderunner“), “Prodigal Sun” continues the saga of the ‘third rate’ Terran colony on the planet Deanna, and the diverse characters the reader has no doubt by now become familiar with. Old familiar faces rub elbows with brand new characters in “Prodigal Sun“, some heroes, and some villains. Readers will remember the crotchety old military veterans of the Skegg’s Valley Dynamite Fishing Club, and of course, Fred the Arborian.

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Although the author has demonstrated her adeptness at writing dark tales infused with humor (“Dead Man’s Hammer“) previously, she takes this ability up a few notches with “Prodigal Sun“. In this story, which is set in the distant future where human rights (and in some cases inhuman rights) has become so secure and safe under the rule of the benevolent Terran government, that they are very much taken for granted, something unusual starts to happen. It goes unnoticed at first, a steady increase in vandalism, assaults, arson and acts we today would associate with the term ‘hate crime’. Directed against minorities… the non-human aliens, immigrants, LGBT folks, diverse religions and cultures, awful things start to happen.

Readers will recall Danielle Grauffis, the younger sister of Jenny who lives on the ranch outside Atro City, who early on in this tale mistakenly attends a mysterious rally at the varsity campus that takes a bad turn for Nazi. After several unusual assaults occur on the same night in the same area, with victims all reporting having attended the same event on campus grounds – which the Atro City University Chancellor denies any knowledge of – suspicions become aroused in local law enforcement, which up until then had been completely immersed in arrangements for an imminent royal visit now only days away.

Suddenly it becomes apparent to Sheriff Peggy-Ann Muller (now the Chief S.O.D on Deanna, who is “really an okay sorta gal” according to the Mayor of Atro City – and up to her eyeballs in strange crimes and daily committee meetings) that something frightening is afoot, and it seemed to be getting worse very quickly! And – where did all those skinheads come from suddenly?

Things progress in “Prodigal Sun” at a steady and at times, blistering pace. A new set of characters is introduced, living in an underworld, a sub-culture existing within the broader human culture of Deanna – but at the same time invisible to the uninformed eye. The reader is introducted to Marla de Bris and the vampire underground, and Tracey Ferris, a bounty hunter who becomes stranded on Deanna when her only transportation is destroyed by a rival with a yen for calling himself a vampire hunter!

Brandon Carver comes to Deanna with an ulterior motive – to join a clandestine quasi-political group which has plans to disrupt all communications between the colony and the rest of the Terran Empire, as well as the imminent grand parade at the launch of the royal visit and create an independent republic!

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The intentions of the Deannan Service League are far from noble however, and suddenly the small backwater planet where almost nothing high profile ever happens, finds itself at the center of a fascist populist revolution! The situation is about to turn into a bloodbath for the various minority social groups on Deanna – including several vulnerable characters marked as ‘undesirable’ by the new regime… But wait – someone else is watching all of this unfold!

While the purpose isn’t as grandiose as saving the universe this time, the principle is the same – just on a smaller scale! In “Prodigal Sun“, Engela builds on her unique and amusing concept of time-travel, because while Time Agent extraordinaire Johnathan Scrooby cannot interfere – he most certainly can ‘help’ a little! Who should he enlist to aid him in a little time insurrection of his own, but long-standing friend Gary Beck a.k.a. Beck the Badfeller and his sweetheart and former C.I.A. agent Cindy-Mei Winter, who are both vacationing with her family on Mars at the time.

The already familiar regular characters in “the Quantum Series” continue their adventures in this latest book!

To get a better idea of what this story is about, read What Readers Can Expect In “Prodigal Sun”, “High Steaks” & “The Last Hurrah”

Reviews:

Engela’s eye for the quirky humor of even the darkest situations sets her writing apart from the masses. Her fiction combines oddball humor, in the tradition of writers like Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, with the best of traditional science fiction.” –  Sarah Rutledge Fischer, Focus Mid-South Magazine

“Engela’s latest work is packed with humour, challenging ideas, and science-fiction on a grand scale. It transports readers to a truly original world, filled with bizarre and memorable characters. It tackles social issues while reading like a Terry Pratchett, with some western and sci-fi elements to boot.” – Matthew ‘Sand-Storm’ Fick.

Reader Comments:

A Brilliant Read

“I thought ‘Prodigal Sun’ was a brilliant read. The story is tasteful and humorous in a style that reminds me of Pratchett. Christina Engela sets the scene for ‘Prodigal Sun’ on the quirky little planet called Deanna under it’s mad little moons Ding and Dong, bringing back all the characters I’ve grown to love from her previous books in the Quantum series.

The first installment of this gripping story unfolds, telling the emotive and sometimes disturbing tale of events as they unfold in Atro City. She captures the darkness of hatred and fear as she details the dangers of encroaching fascism, the daunting struggles facing her characters, and the true horror found in the segregation of various minorities at the hands of purists. She deals with these topics sensitively and intelligently, with certain familiar characters being on-hand to balance the darkness out with injections of wit and humor – and to administer required doses of karma and justice!

As this first part of the story ends, the stage is set for an epic battle on a grand scale – and as the first person to read ‘Prodigal Sun’, I was left begging for more!

I can’t wait to see how my favorite characters overcome the odds in the next installment!” – Wendy Keran Gloss

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