The Drakos Effect
by Joe Sharcoff

"Fighting, resisting its fevered anger and growing destructive drive, and in the effort to understand, it held on to this being named Shana."

Astrobiologist Dr. Shana Savarino is the only one who can stop a deadly alien weapon that seeks to destroy all life on planet Earth. The weapon has awakened after eons of dormancy near the site of an asteroid crater in Mexico. The origins of the weapon are complex. Understanding the weapon requires an intergalactic history lesson from the Cephians, an alien race observing and aiding humans and oftentimes filling in large gaps of knowledge about the world outside the familiar planets of Earth’s solar system. The weapon is part protector, part destroyer. Shana believes the weapon is Earth’s guardian, and she taps into those tendencies; but, when the weapon takes its battle form as a dragon, destruction is unleashed across the planet.

Sharcoff’s seamless plot with no gaping holes of absurdity moves effortlessly from beginning to end. The futuristic world is filled out with a deep, connective origin history that holds everything together. The story soars with fierce action, believable technology, and intelligent cosmic philosophy. The elements of the author’s science fiction feel out of this world but not unbelievable. The conflicts, both physical and philosophical, that arise as aliens and humans co-exist are fascinatingly plausible. Sharcoff’s story explores humankind’s potential responses to aliens in our midst. Some see them only as a threat; others see opportunity and collaboration. But nothing in this tale is as simple as good versus evil.

As the alien crisis builds to a crescendo of consequences in a heart-pounding finale, Sharcoff’s fully realized human and alien characters must make difficult decisions to save the world. Satisfying and ultimately optimistic, the story’s vision of the future will linger long after Shana’s final sacrifice and the alien weapon’s humane response.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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