Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review of The Message by Yan Vana

Falcondale Press, England, 2015, 198 pages.

This book by Vana tackles the very serious problem of human population. But it is most unusual and interesting, because it does so as a science-fiction novel. Various aliens, superior to Earthlings, are having an inquiry to decide what to do about a myriad of grim difficulties that have arisen on a nature reserve called Retha (Earth in actuality). The inquiry shows conclusively that these problems are extremely serious and are, in fact, destroying the planet. The cause is humans and specifically their out-of-control population growth.

The author is to be commended for penning this book and, especially, for taking such a fresh and bold approach. The topic of human overpopulation needs to be addressed; it’s astonishing how it is largely ignored.

However, The Message falls short of being a good read. It needs a proper title and subtitle that give some idea of what’s inside; the characters are not developed in enough detail to make the story interesting; the environmental and resource problems arising on Retha are named but little discussion or definition; and the love story is shallow and clumsy. Most bizarre is that no information is provided about the author either in the book, on the website, or when you Google the name. It’s not clear who the author is, or even whether male or female.

A bold effort, indeed, on a crucially important topic. With some solid upgrading, it could be an outstanding book.