Kadamba of Gentle Humilaith (Cosmic Library #2) by Mirti Venyon Reiyas (CreateSpace, 2012, 132pp.)
This second stand-alone installment in Reiyas’s Cosmic Library series deals with the effects of the malicious Thorn Virus spawned by the mischievous kinkas, a malignity which is gradually suffusing the universe—both people and things—with ill-will and unscrupulous behavior. On planet Ethera, Kon Fu-Zed, the ambitious director of an aerospace travel company, has plans to develop the previously untouched continent of The (pronounced “thay”) into an animalline-hunting theme park. He also can’t wait to try out his brand new invention, the “Whe-pin,” a devastating weapon which would be the nightmare of any endangered species. He appoints Tahdi Bellevue, an employee, to lead a surveying expedition. But when Tahdi lands on The, he meets Neelaiyahay, a half-tiger, half-human being who opens his eyes to the ecological consequences of Kon Fu-Zed’s plans. In the end, Tahdi and Neelaiyahay must defeat not only the physical manifestation of the thorns (which are clogging up inter-dimensional gateways), but convince Kon Fu-Zed that razing everything green to the ground is not beneficial to anyone in the long run.
As I finished Kadamba, my initial reaction was: “Well, that was okay. Things certainly happened, but at the same time, the events weren’t very...dramatic.” Then I remembered seeing something on the author’s website about the name she has assigned for this particular genre: “Positive Young Adult Romantic Adventurous Fantasy.” Ah, I thought. That explains it. The Cosmic Library series is one that keeps the conflict on a juvenile reader’s level while exploring interesting ideas. There are no cars and trucks exploding, nor people massacring their families and then setting themselves on fire. The series shuns violence, and instead choses to focus on the importance of choosing the path of positive thinking over that of negative (if you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you’ll know what I’m talking about).
Now, some of the best psychological fiction has no “action,” but instead mediates on the characters’ internal struggles. In this regard, however, Kadamba loses some points. Although I liked the relationship between Tahdi and Neelaiyahay, I didn’t feel like I got to know them, or the other characters, as well as I could have. Recommended for Ages 12-14, and for adults who are tired of the graphic violence in the media.
Click on cover for image source.