Murder on Marawa Prime (Pole to Pole Publishing) by talented award-winning author, Vonnie Winslow Crist, is her latest science fiction novelete, full of action, adventure, intrigue, and mystery on the planet of Marawa Prime. It showcases Crist’s skills with characterization and dialogue, and crosses over genres, combining elements of a traditional mystery thriller with romance and science fiction.
The plot of Murder on Marawa Prime follows what happens to the male protagonist of the novela, Flynn, after he takes over a dangerous bus route on Marawa Prime, giving tours for well-heeled tourists. The person he takes over the route from, Spider Varley, was garroted to death by an assassin, possibly somebody who wanted to take over the route.
Flynn worries that whoever murdered Spider might also be plotting to murder him. But, it is a profitable bus route, earning him a lot of credits, the monetary unit on Marawa Prime. And, Flynn, at times, transports people a bit more interesting, and more beautiful, than the norm on his route.
Not very long into Murder on Marawa Prime, readers get introduced to two other main characters, who happen to be on Flynn’s tour bus one fateful day. They are a lovely young woman with a secret, Natsu, and her pet singing opossum, Hoshi.
After giving his tour spiel, Flynn announces to the bus passengers that they will be stopping at The Wayfarer to have refreshments and spend the night. Though Flynn does not like, at first, the “unpleasant trilling” of the opossum, he is attracted to the young woman who has decided to make the animal her pet. As the novela progresses, Flynn finds himself also liking Hoshi, almost despite himself.
At The Wayfarer, Flynn enters into a conversation with Natsu, one that turns into something much more, blossoming into a romance. Natsu seems too innocent, too trusting, too childlike, almost as if she was not used to being around people very much.
Flynn does not question why Natsu seems to have fallen for him. Rather, he takes advantage of the situation, and they end up making love. Over dinner at The Wayfarer, she tells him about her history, that she was a part of an experiment, as was Hoshi. They are both on the run, and Flynn offers his help to them.
I will not reveal any other spoilers, because I do not want to ruin the joy readers who love science fiction will experience as they read Vonnie Winslow Crist’s Murder on Marawa Prime, other than to mention that two people die by the end of the novela. That is not exactly a “spoiler,” as the author’s publisher also mentions this in a synopsis of the novela at the Pole to Pole Publishing website.
Murder on Marawa Prime is a tale about people who do not seem on the surface to be who they are underneath, and a life-and-death race across the planet, as Flynn and Natsu, also known as Nadia, try to make their budding love and lives together work, without getting murdered in the process. Vonnie Winslow Crist is a well-known fantasy author and poetess, who has written two short story collections, Owl Light and The Greener Forest. She has also written the novel, The Enchanted Skean, and a children’s book of collected short stories, called Leprechaun Cake & Other Tales. Crist has published two collections of poetry, River of Stars and Essential Fables. Highly Recommended; you can get this novela at Amazon and other fine book retailers. For more CDA News, follow our tweets on Twitter and like us on Facebook.
By John Samuels
Photo Courtesy Pole to Pole