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The Vanity of Hope

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The Vanity of Hope is a unique sci-fi series opener that asks big questions and has a lot of potential that it doesn't quite live up to.

The Vanity of Hope (Apostle #1) by Graeme Langdon has so much potential as a brilliant science fiction series opener. It didn't quite manage to live up to my overall expectations by the time I reached the end for a variety of reasons, but it still has quite a few cool elements that I enjoyed. In this story, Thomas Ryder, a gamekeeper from Medieval England, and his wife Sarra get kidnapped from their home world by aliens. These aliens take them to the planet of Heyre, where they train Thomas to become a savior against a villain that is bent of destroying worlds upon worlds. Understandably, his world changes forever once his knowledge begins to far surpass anyone in the history of Earth. The aliens have opened his eyes to the point that he truly begins to question his life and his role as a part of this new world, as well as his now ever changing relationship with Sarra. Thomas has a lot on his plate survive the oncoming war and live up the destiny laid out in front of him. If that doesn't sound like an intriguing premise, I don't know what would. There's so many fascinating places that the story could go


My favorite aspect of this novel are all of the thought provoking questions that Thomas (and Sarra, too) have no choice but to answer or to at least consider. It's fascinating to see Thomas grappling with everything being thrown at him - from aliens, new worlds, the prospect of destiny, and all of these incredibly high tech items that are part of regular life on Heyre. As you might expect, it's a lot for him to reckon with and all of his newfound knowledge weighs on him. I also found myself intrigued by how the author portrays the life Thomas and his wife left behind back on Earth versus their new found life, especially when it comes to these alien beings. It isn't often that we have a sci-fi story that features incredibly bleeding-edge high-tech aliens plus Medieval humans. Like I said earlier, this story mostly hit the right notes for me but there are somethings that didn't really work for me. The first thing which was an ongoing issue for me was that I always felt somewhat out of the loop. It was like I missed a key part of the story right from the first couple of chapters. I also would have preferred the perspectives not to switch back and forth as often as they do throughout the novel. I honestly would have preferred that the story was either fully told from the perspective of either Thomas himself or one of the alien kidnappers. Or, at least, I would have preferred story shifts that were somewhat less jarring than necessary. 


Overall, I do recommend The Vanity of Hope (Apostle #1) by Graeme Langdon to fans of sci-fi that asks big questions and has a wide scope. If you are also interested in Medieval English history, this could also be fun to see how characters from that time period react to technologically superior beings. I haven't decided if I'd like to continue this series or not, but I'm glad I decided to give this unique novel a try. 

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I am completely addicted to reading and I particularly enjoy fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and YA. I love the fact that being a blogger (and a librarian) helps feed my addiction and allows me to interact with other book lovers on a daily basis.

Chapter 1

About the author

I live in Ashburton, in the middle of the South Island of New Zealand. I’ve always had a wonder for the beauty in Nature and when combined with a love of knowledge and science fiction then, looking back, I guess I was destined to write this series. Regards G.W. Langdon. gwlangdon.com view profile

Published on November 11, 2019

Published by

100000 words

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Science Fiction

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