Editorial Review: Relics of Dawn by A.W. Davidson

Editorial Review: Relics of Dawn by A.W. Davidson

Relics of Dawn by A.W. Davidson is an intriguing blend of sci-fi, cli-fi, urban myth, and ancient legend that will keep you turning the pages into the wee small hours.

The book flips, chapter by chapter, between two civilizations in the climate crisis. The Jacana on Nu has reached the point of no return and must abandon their once beautiful world. The humans on near-future Earth are struggling with international bureaucracy that seeks to suppress uncomfortable truths or controversial solutions.

The Jacana story is led by Kaia who was deliberately orphaned by the Climate Council to create a tragic martyr that would unite the disparate world factions behind the common goal of planet evacuation and drastic climate intervention. For twenty years she has been the passionate advocate to save the world from the Jacana and allow it to heal.

On Earth, wise old geologist Dr. Alan Pearce leads a team of eager students seeking to locate evidence around the last great mass extinction. How many asteroids impacted with Earth? What happened to the climate before those impacts? How did the planet respond to the sudden cooling of the atmosphere?

Back on Nu, the Jacana have erased evidence of their civilizations, tunneled out asteroids, and turned them into powered ships for the long trek to the most likely planets for colonization. Kaia and her team stay behind on a star-ship capable of near light speed travel and the interlocked ability to dilate time. Their job is to oversee the initiation of a massive volcanic eruption followed by a miniature asteroid bombardment that will initiate dramatic climate change and perhaps allow the Jacana to return in twenty or more generations.

As each of their attempts to manipulate the planet fails, and the situation grows increasingly dire, Kaia must make the hardest decision of all. Near annihilation of the planet and the death of the starship captain with whom she was planning a future.

Dr. Pearce's struggle is no less arduous as he tries to combat professional ridicule, the withdrawal of funding, and the ever-increasing certainty that the situation on Earth is rapidly approaching another state of mass extinction.

While the timelines and species differ, the parallels are no more acceptable for being obvious. The behavior of the Jacana is no more acceptable for being alien. As the two storylines weave together through myth and legend the inescapability of our fate is highlighted.

Davidson's passionate hope for a future for his children and the world is a driving force in this novel. It avoids soap-box preaching while presenting a strong case for change in personal and global behaviors through a clear demonstration of "What if.....".

This is a novel with widespread appeal for any reader pondering the future of our planet from young adult upward. The sci-fi elements of Relics of Dawn are not intrusive for those who aren't typically readers of the genre. The alien aspects of the Jacana are not emphasized; the technology they use is not far-fetched in a time when we are sending civilians into space as tourists and talking about manned missions to Mars.

At times you may be reluctant to keep turning the pages and face into a dark potential reality, but read on for the hope that there is a future for all humankind.