Tribulations by Ken Shufeldt
Fleeing the destruction of Earth by an asteroid, the remaining survivors are aboard starships searching for a new planet to inhabit. Billy and Linda West are the genius couple responsible for the ships and saving those they could. In attempt to improve their chances, Billy has an idea for light-speed travel. But accident occurs, leaving the Genesis stranded from the rest of the fleet but near a livable planet. But the planet is already inhabited by two kingdoms at odds. The Wests and the rest of the Genesis’ crew must find a way to survive, as history may repeat itself again as a looming meteor is headed for this new planet.
Tribulations is the sequel to Genesis, which I have not read. Thankfully, there is an intro that summarizes everything that happened in Genesis. And I was able to easily catch up. Shufeldt’s dark future follows the remains of humanity on a wagon train to the stars. The Wests are the protagonists of the story, unique human/alien hybrids with special gifts besides their genius intellects.
I was hooked on the story as soon as they landed on the alien planet. The inhabitants are oddly human-like, with cultures that mirror ancient ones from Earth. These fascinating cultures, with little technology and too much superstition, are brutal with a thirst for revenge. And this time, humanity are the alien invaders – albeit somewhat peaceful invaders. The only thing that gave me pause was Shufeldt’s choppy style when it comes to the passing of time. Days, weeks, months, would pass in briefs mentions that didn’t seem to flow very well. Yet it was convenient to move the story along. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed this science fiction adventure and found it completely enthralling. Complex and full of adventure, action, and suspense – I will definitely be following this series.