I recently read Annah, Children of Evohe by Clay Gilbert. I think it’s an excellent book, and I’m eager to read the rest of the series.
The hero of the story is astronaut Gary Holder, who crash lands on a distant planet. His ship is discovered by a native of the planet named Annah, who falls in love with him while helping him recover. However, there is a history of war between her people and humanity, which creates distrust of Gary among her people.
Annah is a mysterious woman. The first thing that is odd about her is that her people do not wear clothes. According to Clay, this is to show that nothing is hidden about their culture. They believe it is wrong to cover the beauty of their bodies. Despite this deceptive image of an Edenic world, the world of Evohe is far from idyllic. Annah has a lover besides Gary named Jonan, who was her playmate as a child. However, now that he is older, he has become possessive of her, much to Annah’s chagrin. Annah is an outcast among her own people due to her physical features, which are abnormal to her kind. She is also one of the few people of her world, other than her teacher Serra, who cling to the religion of their past. Because of Serra’s influence, Annah sees herself as a Shaper, one who uses her talents to re-create the world and educate others. I asked Clay his intent, and he told me that this is to show that the people of Evohe are meant as a criticism of our present-day state of moving closer to secularism. I should also note that Clay has a blog that ties in to this series, and is written from Annah’s point of view. The blog can be accessed here, at http://childrenofevohe.com.
Earth itself has become a dystopia. While “portals” have allowed travel between Earth and other planets, it has not done away with prejudice, and has instead created new ones. Gary is soon contacted by Kale Goodman, a decorated soldier who befriends him and wishes to protect him and Annah. This unfortunately means that Gary must now participate in a conflict he does not wish to participate in to protect his lover.
This is a great book and brings to mind the works of Ray Bradbury and Robert Heinlein, two writers I rank among my favorite sci-fi writers. Annah herself reminds me of Penelope, the wife of Odysseus who waited for his return for years after the Trojan War. I highly recommend this book.