13 January 2019

Mythicals by Dennis Meredith



They’re real: fairies, pixies, werewolves, ogres! They’re aliens!


Drunken journalist Jack March can’t believe his bleary eyes when he stumbles onto a winged fairy! She vaults away into the night sky, and his unbelievable—and unbelieved—encounter leads to a stunning revelation that all the creatures of myth and legend are real!


Fairies, pixies, trolls, werewolves, ogres, vampires, angels, elves, bigfoot—all are alien exiles to the planet. For their crimes, these “mythicals” are serving out banishment disguised in flesh-suits enabling them to live among the planet’s natives.



Jack reveals their secret to the world, along with a horrendous discovery: they have decided that the native “terminal species” must be eradicated before it ruins its home planet's ecology.


In this riveting scifi/fairy tale, Jack joins with sympathetic fairies, pixies, and ogres to attempt to save the planet from the mythicals, as well as the mysterious alien cabal known as the Pilgrims.

Mythicals begins with A'eiio attempting to slide her "flesh-suit" up to hide her graceful fairy body in order to go incognito. I take that back, Mythicals begins specifically with...
Damn! Damn! Damnity-damn! Damnity-damn-damn...Shit!"
I clarify that only because I think that gives great insight into what you are getting inside the pages of Mythicals. Best for lovers of fantasy/SFF, this book has humor, fantastic world-building, interesting characters, AND is impeccably well plotted. 

Dennis Meredith wastes no time sculpting a magical world of mythical beings hiding in plain sight. As exiles from their own planets, all those of myth and legend are not only real, they are your neighbor, your lawyer, or even your senator! (Boy, that might explain a lot, wouldn't it?) Filled with a myriad of characters, there's never a feeling that it's moved beyond the scope of comprehension. Each character is brought in with its own introduction and story arc. They were all interesting enough that I couldn't really tell you which character was my favorite.

While the plot itself runs the gamut with various twists and turns, it does take the time to touch on more sensitive subjects, like climate change and environmental impact. Of course, to these exiles, this planet is almost primitive. They have moved far beyond the limited planetary view and have a "seen it, done it" kind of attitude, which doesn't always go over so well. Eventually, the exiles are brought into the light and we face a new threat of bigotry and racism. See? Not the usual subjects you'd expect in a book that has fairies and ogres, is it? While some authors can be heavy-handed sometimes with these social issues, it's never sanctimonious.

The only thing I can find fault in is the pacing. It started great of out of the gate, lots of surprise plot twists, but about 3/4 of the way through, I actually found myself tired of the action and just wanting to know how it all turned out.

At the end of the day, Mythicals is a solid read that blurs the lines between many science fiction and fantasy subgenres. If you are looking for a fresh perspective on SFF, I'd give Mythicals a shot. 
DIVIDER

About the Author


Dennis Meredith brings to his novels an expertise in science from his career as a science communicator at some of the country's leading research universities, including MIT, Caltech, Cornell, Duke and the University of Wisconsin. He has worked with science journalists at all the nation's major newspapers, magazines, and radio and TV networks and has written well over a thousand news releases and magazine articles on science and engineering over his career.

He has served on the executive board of the National Association of Science Writers and has written numerous articles and guidebooks on science writing and science communication. He has also served as a judge and manager for the NASW Science-in-Society Awards and the AAAS Science Writing Awards.

He was a creator and developer of EurekAlert!, working with The American Association for the Advancement of Science to establish this international research news service, which now links more than 4,500 journalists to news from 800 subscribing research institutions.

In 2007, he was elected as a AAAS Fellow "for exemplary leadership in university communications, and for important contributions to the theory and practice of research communication." In 2012 he was named the year's Honorary Member of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society.

He holds a B.S. degree in chemistry from the University of Texas (1968) and an M.S. in biochemistry and science writing from the University of Wisconsin (1970).

He is currently writing science articles, non-fiction books and science fiction novels. He also develops and conducts communication workshops for researchers seeking to enhance their communication skills, both professional and lay-level. He has developed workshops for researchers at universities, research foundations, and government agencies and laboratories.