Posted by Literary Titan
The Cure for Stars follows Al-Khidr through a wormhole with Hatathor behind him as they land forward in time in Egypt as it’s being invaded by Napoleon. What were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this book that differed from book one?
I want to write historical fiction. It was more like an experiment for me. Al-Khidr did not have the full knowledge of botany, but he had to find the cure. Hatathor, on the other side, was well versed in technology, but his capabilities too were limited because of battery issues. I liked to show the reader that technology doesn’t help much without electricity or power banks.
Further on, the role of artificial intelligence in language studies is far more critical than the amount of research done in these areas. In my opinion, all the human languages are connected, and in the future, humans should be able to construct algorithms that can connect ancient as we as new languages together. In this journey, I explored the ancient Egyptian language and found many words still spoken in Arabic but must have connections with the ancient Egyptian language. Like alien Lyrian disease, Mumut is a word in ancient Egyptian, meaning contagion, and in Arabic, the term “Mut=Mit” is a root used for dead or dying. This shows that Arabic has connections with the ancient Egyptian language. Similarly, I found many other parallels between the two languages.
What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
As mentioned above, I browsed through ancient Egyptology dictionaries, and I wanted to construct noun-based complete sentences based on the ancient Egyptian language. I am pleased that I successfully made some lines for alien language through this. Also crucial for me to understand the medieval Egyptian view on pyramids and Sphinx (unadulterated by Greek mythology or thoughts). I do not want to call the well-known statue of Sphinx – a sphinx as this is purely a Greek idea to call the figure by this name. Neither ancient Egyptians nor Arabs call the statue as Sphinx. For Al-Khidr’s character, building such elements was necessary, as Al-Khidr had the world view primarily based on 9th century Arabia.
This seemed like a fun book to write? What scene did you have the most fun writing?
I enjoyed writing about Hatathor more than the human. Perhaps because Hatathor’s character has multiple dimensions, he first considered himself a savior, and then he thought the earth was a cursed planet. This twist in his psychology needed detailed elaboration to understand his complex personality. So right from the wormhole, I showed what he was thinking and did almost minute details. Al-Khidr did not need all of that. As he was human, and we already know how he would react.
What can readers expect in book three in The Sphere of Destiny Trilogy?
A reader would find a complex Lyra. A place with new characters, new aspirations, new politics, and a new survival struggle. It explains how advanced societies changed into superstitious cultures.
Posted in Interviews
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Posted by Literary Titan
The Cure for Stars is the second book in the Sphere Trilogy written by Nasim Odin. As the second book in the series, you must absolutely read the first entry if you want to be able to follow the story. The Cure for Stars starts off right where we left at the end of The Sphere of Destiny. Our hero, Al-Khidr, has escaped the Hall of Stars on planet Lyra and has been flung through time and space via a wormhole back to Earth. However, he soon discovers that this is not the same Earth he left behind. Time has jumped forward and the Egypt he arrives in is being invaded by Napoleon. To add to Al-Khidr’s troubles his nemesis Hatathor has followed him through the wormhole. His own sphere is lost and now Hatathor is hunting him down not just for revenge but also as a means to get back home to Lyra. However, Al-Khidr is a man of his word. He made a promise to the Lyran’s to help them cure the Mutmut disease and he will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. This time round he is assisted by Estelle, a beautiful naturalist who may just have the botanical knowledge Al-Khidr needs to achieve his goals.
The Cure for Stars has everything I loved about the first book, but it feels like Odin has grown as a writer this time round and writes with more confidence. Al-Khidr is a hero who prefers to use his brains over brawn. The book includes much more dialogue than the first as Al-Khidr uses his knowledge of religion and politics to talk his way out of trouble. This does not mean there is a shortage of action, however. Hatathor is the antithesis Al-Khidr, he kills first and asks questions later. The book utilizes multiple narrators and the parts following Hatathor can be a violent fever dream. Hatathor isn’t always the immoral monster he first appears and diving into his twisted psyche is one of my favorite parts of the book. If anything, Hatathor is so well written he makes Al-Khidr feel a little dull and puritanical. I also much preferred Nefertiti to Estelle. Unfortunately, Nefertiti doesn’t make an appearance here. Al-Khidr’s fledgling romance with Estelle also feels out of character when not long ago he was mooning ever Nefertiti.
Once again the writing itself is descriptive but simple, creating an engaging adventure that is easy to follow. The story moves at a quick pace, and there is a lot of story to tell and no time to waste, but I would have enjoyed a bit slower pace. Odin’s dedication to research and world building however steal the show. This is still a refreshing mixture of Arabic culture/history and science fiction unlike any other book I have read.
The story is exhilarating, the setting is captivating and the addition of Hatathor makes this entry a little darker, violent and fun.
Pages: | ASIN: B099DGLWWN
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