No one knows where the Spears came from, but they do know that the Spears of Time and Space created the universe. They know that The All Father yields the Spear of Space. They know that his planetary kingdom looms over every star, every galaxy, and every world-casting a shadow of fear and servitude. They know that serving The Black Palace is a matter of life or death.
Corrin knows this as well. Being a herald for The All Father has made him into a symbol of war and anguish. Devastation always follows when Corrin enters a planet’s atmosphere sporting The Black Palace banner. But to Corrin, enough is enough.
As rebellion against The All Father breaks loose across the universe, Corrin begins to fight an internal battle about who he is and what future the Spears have in store for him. War against The All Father seems unimaginable, but Corrin knows that if nothing changes, chaos is inevitable.
The Old Universe is the debut novel of what it intends to be an epic sci-fi/space opera saga, Forbidden Origins. Co-written by Eric Martinez and Armani Salado, it has really interesting ideas, and I enjoyed it greatly while reading it.
While the blurb states more about the rebellion of Corrin, I would divide the book into three different parts, two of them featuring Corrin as the main character, while the first one acts as a sort of introduction to the existence of the Universe and how Corrin gets conceived, narrating the story of the origin of Universe, with the two spears.
And probably this part is the aridest in a narrative sense, as the Ainundale is the driest part of Silmarion; not having a previous time makes it really difficult to embellish this part, but once the two spears and the two holders are established, we quickly jump into the POV of Nox, the holder of Space Spear. Again, it’s important to remark that all this part will also serve as a way to explain the birth of Corrin and why Nox become the All-Father; and the reason why the All-Father acts as it is.
The second and third parts are heavier on the narrative, focusing on Corrin in different moments of his life, and how the rebellion against the All-Father, his own father, starts, and it’s an interesting exploration of two realities: the all-powerful All-Father, having to deal with his own son’s rebellion; and Corrin, who is on the first time alone, without being a puppet of his father, and for once being able to choose what he has to do.
Once the first part is over, the pace is really nice, alternating action chapters with more reflexive ones, that allow you to get into the mind of the characters, and to start understanding them better: how being all-powerful feels, the rebellion of a son, realizing that you and the other holder have all the power. It’s certainly well done in that sense. Personally, I feel there is margin to improve, especially if we go outside of the main characters, but it is also true that this is a relatively short book in comparison with the standard space opera.
In summary, The Old Universe is a good debut to start a space opera saga as Forbidden Origins is. If you like high-stakes sci-fi, this one might be perfect for you.
Armani Salado and Eric Martinez
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