The Ice Wars of Dominia
By Hylton H Smith
Over a 100 years have passed since the annihilative events of 2045 and the world is a very different place. With the earths climate raging out of control and ice spread across much of the globe humanity is forced to survive in nomadic pockets around the narrow band of the "Temperate Zone" near the equator.
The resulting societies are forced back into a medieval level of technology but with some twenty second century advancements unevenly distributed through the different colonies.
Regular readers will be aware that I have a fondness for post apocalyptic stories and I'm glad to say we have another great example here. What makes this novel a bit different is that it's actually the third in a series with the last novel ending in a quite spectacular fashion. At the time I actually thought that may be the end of the series and I am glad to see the author continue the story with the earth a very different place indeed. The mixture of medieval like survival with the odd bit of advanced technology is very effective and quite plausible while this is further complicated by past events (I won't spoil it by saying more).
Characterisation is handled well and the very minimal back-story is told through short descriptive narrative - just enough to provide an insight without slowing down the pace. The story is a nice mix of survival of the human race and miss-use of technology along with alien intervention all complicated from the harsh conditions of the earth and the warring factions of the survivors. As with the previous novel there isn't really one central protagonist, instead it's the journey that takes centre stage with the characters more a supporting cast. As such this is a plot led rather than character led story and as a plot led story it works very well.
I would recommend reading the first 2 novels The Sacred Protocol and Divine Extinction before reading The Ice Wars of Dominia as it does make a lot more sense that way and there are a number of references to past events.
There are some great ideas presented here - the biggest of which is humanities pre dereliction to self destruction, I loved the way that earth is completely unrecognisable from the way it was at the very beginning of the story in The Sacred Protocol. The journey through this post apocalyptic wilderness, the struggle for humanities survival along with the manipulation of others keeps you hooked to the story. More than any of the author's previous novels this book has a feeling similar to the classic author Arthur C Clarke, a voice that has a classic style while still retaining a 21st century edge.
As with most of the authors novels, this book goes much further with the story than I imagined it would and there are some genuine surprises contained within while the plot twists and turns like a twisty turny thing.
The Ice Wars of Dominia is a fitting finale to a great series and one that leaves you with in a reflective, thoughtful mood, recommended.
Written on 7th December 2011 by Ant .