The Outworlds: War Torrent
Reviewed By: Editorial Board
The Editorial Board of The Columbia Review selects new books and films of interest, as well as sponsored submissions from authors, publishers, directors, agents and producers.

“The Outworlds: War Torrent” by Daniel P. Douglas (“Truth Insurrected”) is a short novel with a big punch. The author indicates that it is the first installment in “The Outworlds” series – “a series of science fiction adventure stories set in the early twenty-fourth century at the fringe of human civilization” — “in which unlikely heroes will be called upon to join extraordinary and mysterious struggles.” (An excerpt from the next installment, “Resurgence,” is provided with the novel.). We find that the author successfully delivers on the promise.

To summarize “War Torrent” would do injustice to its complex and creative nature, but we’ll try. It is a classic sci-fi novel with advance technologies, human pioneers in distant space colonies, ancient reptilian aliens out to destroy humanity, an interstellar war between good and evil (involving other players of questionable origins, morality, and intentions), and old secrets from ancient Earth times that must be reckoned with. In short, humanity’s past and future are on the line, and the struggle is complex, intense and wonderfully explosive.

The novel is written with a deft, reportage-like style that feels at once realistic and innovative. For example: “A stream of plasma rounds from multi-barrel turrets showered Zy’s path. Sekkalan gunners tracked the blue streak across the battlefield, pouring fire in its direction. One of the bolts found its target, slipping through a crevice between armor plates underneath Zy’s raised arm. It burned its way through his under gear and skin to strike his muscle.” As this short excerpt aptly demonstrates, the author’s battle descriptions throughout the novel are highly realistic, successfully combining futuristic technologies with multi-sensory combat experiences that would be wholly familiar to readers who had the misfortune of personal battlefield experience.

In summary, this is a fast-moving and exciting futuristic novel with dramatic human-alien conflict, fully fleshed-out characters, solid and innovative techno-thriller elements, and a fresh, thought-provoking concept. For fans of this exhilarating genre, “War Torrent” will be a blast. Excellent!