Monday, November 30, 2009

Alien races

Dark Stranger introduced us, the readers, to a few new alien races. We met the Kril, Denthera, Asi and the Hajim. Each of these races had distinct traits and cultures, some more attractive than others. The Hajim are an almost felinoid race of fighters and refuse to negotiate regarding the war. The Hajim also force the Kril, described by Zoe as timid crickets, to run the prison camps. The Asi appear to be the most violent in the prison camp and start the book by being embroiled in an internal power struggle. The Asi are an armoured species that have an eye-for-an-eye mentality. They also have the lovely trait of eating flesh (yuck). Later, we meet the Benso who provide relief supplies to the camp. They are like alien hippies that look like a Praying Mantis- promoting peace, love and joy throughout the empire. They do not appear to take sides in the war but Zoe and Doc speculate that their actions mask a deeper, darker intent.

I have always found futuristic novels to be compelling because we get the chance to try and relate these alien races to our own world. I also welcome the chance to use my imagination when trying to visualize the characters because to some degree I need to understand them, otherwise my brain stutters each time I come across them in the book. If not done well the addition of alien races can be like reading a foreign language.

How do you react to these new races? What do you find the most interesting? Which alien creature in Dark Stranger did you like the most? The least?


Cyd said...

I took the alien races in stride but I am/was a huge Babylon 5 fan.

I liked the Asi the best, pass the butter please. (and I'm kind of wondering what a V would taste like with butter) I didn't like the Benso I kept thinking that given a chance they would eat someone.

Anna Dougherty said...

These aliens were really well done- the amount of description let me really picture them in my mind. The Asi were creepy but it worked. And I agree that the Benso might have an agenda- too nice always hides something. Does that make me a cynic?

Susan sizemore said...

I don't trust the Benso, either, and I know that they truly are as altruistic as the seem to be. We humans are cynical, aren't we?

The Asi are honest cannibals and don't see anything wrong with eating other intelligent beings. Meat's meat to them. They think we humans are just plum crazy for reproducing so much.

I do not like the Denthera. They're an arrogant bunch.

As for the Hajim, I'm looking forward to doing more with their culture. Why do they keep prisoners? I know, but I didn't explain it in Dark Stranger.

Anna Dougherty said...

Oh cool. I'd like to know more about the Hajim because they seem to be the most complex of the alien races.