The Last Lumenian
S. G. Blaise
Independently Published (2020)
Reviewed by Skyler Boudreau for Reader Views (02/2021)
“The Last Lumenian” follows Lilla, a young alien princess, as she joins the rebellion against her father’s monarchy. Her goal is to protect the refugees fleeing to her planet for protection from a violent and dangerous race of aliens sweeping across the galaxy. Under her father’s rule, they are being crammed into tiny camps and treated like criminals. As “The Last Lumenian” is a science fiction novel set in space, the author has nearly unlimited opportunity to explore different species of aliens, create fascinating characters, and build a vivid, imaginative world.
Lilla is the princess of Uhna, a planet in the Pax Septum Coalition. The audience is told many, many times that she is meant to be strong, independent, and fierce. Unfortunately, she comes across as something of a caricature. She doesn’t have a personality beyond being “strong.” Many of her decisions don’t make sense and, as a result, she seems flighty and unreasonable. Arrov and Callum are Lilla’s two main love interests. The only time her motivations are revealed is when she’s trying to win their affections; this undermines the independent woman image the audience is told multiple times that she has. They could both be interesting characters, but the only thing they contribute to the story is arguing over Lilla. The main antagonist is referred to as Dark Lord of Destruction (usually abbreviated to DLD throughout the novel). He mostly serves as an otherworldly, ominous presence until the end, when he appears to face Lilla and her allies in one final battle. Like Lilla’s, his motivations are extremely vague. They are never elaborated on beyond “he’s evil.” These three characters, despite being central to the plot, add very little to the story itself. What’s more, they’re all unlikable and don’t give the audience any reason to be invested in the plot.
The story is convoluted. There are many aspects to it that seem important but are never fully elaborated on or mentioned more than once. Individual plotlines are abandoned almost as soon as they are mentioned, and the characters do not have the motivations to carry the plot forward. Part of the novel revolves around the politics in the monarch’s court. In order for the audience to be invested in these politics, they need to understand the reasoning behind the character’s actions. The few times character motivations are revealed, it’s done vaguely and their motivations change soon after. There is little clarity or consistency.
Most of “The Last Lumenian” takes place on Lilla’s home planet Uhna. As a member of the Pax Septum Coalition, Uhna plays an important political role: It’s considered the leader of this league of planets. Not much of this planet is explored, and the readers know very little about it. It’s all very vague. No description is description is written into the novel.
The writing is straightforward and does lend itself well to the periodic action sequences. It’s the strongest part of this novel and offers the most potential. While it’s a more subtle aspect than the plot or the characters, it’s also one of the most important. With another round of revisions, the prose could stand out far more. Currently, it’s overshadowed by the other issues.
The main issue in “The Last Lumenian” is the vagueness. Nothing is ever explicitly said. The setting is never described, clarification on the magic system comes much too late to matter, and the reader is constantly told things about the characters that their actions never demonstrate to be true. The story ends on a sudden and unexpected cliffhanger. While there isn’t mention of a sequel at the end of the novel, it is certainly set up to have one. This is a story with some potential, and given the proper time and attention, its sequel could become something truly unique.