Friday, August 12, 2011

Iron Rose Bleeding by Anne Azel

Publisher:                 P. D. Publishing

If you care about the Earth, this is a difficult story to read.  It's classified as science fiction, but too much of it is true to be ignored.

Courtney Hunter has more curiosity than is good for her.  For the past two years she's been working as an archivist at TAP International, headed by Taylor Alexandria Punga, a mysterious woman with powerful contacts all over the world.  The facility where Courtney works has the highest security possible, which doesn't make sense since she can't see that the company makes anything, so she steals a special clearance ID tag so that she can snoop around.  When she is caught she's offered an opportunity that she can't refuse.  She can become Punga's protégé or be terminated.  The training requires a lot of reading about economics, environmental issues, weather patterns, and politics, with one inescapable conclusion.  The Earth is in trouble.  Eventually, Courtney discovers that TAP represents an alien race that is studying the planet and may have an answer to save it, but the cost will be high, possibly higher than humans should pay.  Courtney can't decide whether cooperating with the other race will make her a hero or the planet's biggest betrayer, but she finds herself with unexpected ties to TAP and comes to realize that cooperation may be the only way to save all of them.

Azel has done a tremendous amount of research about what is happening to the Earth for this story.  As TAP keeps saying, all of the information is available to anyone who wants it, but, like TAP's organization, Azel brings it together in one place to create an alarming and very depressing scenario.  It's the type of book that makes you want to run out and join every type of organization devoted to environmentalism that you can find.  A lot more could have been developed about this issue, but Azel rushes the story to an incomplete conclusion.  There is also a story involving the aliens that is hasty and not explained well.  The characters are appealing, but what motivates their actions is often unclear and there is an issue between Courtney and TAP that is shocking and definitely needed more exploration.  This is a good story that could have been much better with detail and elaboration.

Iron Rose Bleeding tells a distressing story that is, unfortunately, all too real.  The reader should be prepared to be bothered by what is revealed about the Earth and its prospects.  However, maybe the reader should be bothered and that way something might be put in motion to try and reverse these trends.  Azel provides aliens who come to save the Earth.  One could wish it was going to be that simple.

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