Exclusive book review by Andy Simons
Astra: The Gaia Chronicles (Book 1) By Naomi Foyle
Published by Jo Fletcher Books (2014)
Through this remarkable travelogue to another world, one realises soon that the folks strutting about are as shoehorned into their own collective myths as we are in the non-fictitious world today. Some dystopian Sci-Fi markers are there, with humans having to walk between the consequences of climate change and the aftermath of war waged for power and resources. But this is just the stage set.
The real actors here, inhabitants of “Is-land,” are madly clannish communities flaunting the unfortunate, eternal talent of demonising the others of the world. The 20th century saw nations who fell for this nonsense, and it’s still hiding in the wings if you really look. Astra can be seen today as an allegory on Israeli Settlers’ messianic beliefs and their fear of Palestinians. And society’s self-censorship too. The good news is that we can rise up to oppose it, each in our own way, as the author has done with this encouraging novel of novel encouragement.
‘Astra’ (2014) is the first episode of ‘The Gaia Chronicles’ by Naomi Foyle. The next installments of her planned quartet are ‘Rook Song’ (2015) and ‘The Blood of the Hoopoe’ (May 5, 2016)