Jade Mahelona is a member of the Solar Defense Force, and she possesses the extraordinary ability to sense electrical fields. Now an interplanetary federation called The Entanglement wants her to go on a mission to find out what happened to a lost colony, and she is going to need all the help she can get. A horrifying blob-like creature called Umlac and his empire of Immortals are looking for worlds to conquer, and they too have taken interest in the lost colony.
Jim Meeks-Johnson’s ENEMY IMMORTAL is a very strange book, a fact evident from the very first sentence: “Umlac oozed his glistening, ten-ton body through a slime-lubricated tube deep in the bedrock of planet Morb.” From there, things only gets stranger: there are horse-like people that communicate through dancing, alien robot Hindu gods, weapons that shoot blue goo, and a sentient plant that shoots lasers out of his eyes. And to top it all off, Jade and her team of human crack commandos have superpowers and play in a rock band, and they end the novel with a concert. While ENEMY IMMORTAL is most definitely not a farce, it doesn’t take itself too seriously either, and that is greatly to its benefit.
Much of the comedy comes from the characters themselves. Ironsides, a sentient plant with a mind for procedure and a slavish devotion to an ancient book of religious teachings, is a great foil for Jade; and Quist, a cyborg insect-like creature with a comic lack of understanding of human emotion, provides comic relief. Ironsides and Quist have truly alien personalities, and their pairing is exploited perfectly throughout the novel, making them have sort of an R2-D2/C-3PO dynamic. But while Meeks-Johnson excels at writing interesting, quirky characters, he does sometimes fail to set the settings effectively. Many of the fight scenes, especially early in the book, fail to give the reader the proper sense of where the characters are in the physical space and in relation to each other.
Strange and fun, full of unique worldbuilding and characters, ENEMY IMMORTAL is an exciting read, a book full of suspense with a little bit of camp sprinkled on top. Riveting and bizarre, its quirky space opera that’s hard to put down.
~Charles Baker for IndieReader