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I have been an avid reader from as early as I can remember. Since becoming a Christian in my early 20s, my passion for reading led to specifically Christian fiction and this has developed into reviewing them on this blog. I love reading debut author's novels or those author's who have not had many reviews thus providing them much needed encouragement 
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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Seberian: The Hidden Battle Revealed (Book 1 in SEBERIAN Series) by J. R. Dahl.



Seberian: The Hidden Battle Revealed

An enormous army of mysterious supernatural Leviathan is marching across the galaxies taking entire planets captive. Lonan, a brilliant young engineer of the planet Helion, fears that his home will be next. In an attempt to protect his family and people he sets out to find answers about this seemingly unstoppable army. His quest leads him to the Seberians, a small force of humans who are the only warriors capable of defeating the Leviathan.

The Seberian leader, Armon, informs Lonan of the immense demonic power behind the Leviathan pawns and of the battle that has raged for millennia in a hidden spirit realm. The people of Helion and the Seberians are about to experience the sinister plot of Satan, the chief of all demons, who is gathering his forces for the largest battle ever waged on any spiritual plain. The Seberians and their unseen allies are the only hope for humanity as the hidden battle is revealed.

The Guru's Review:

 

I came across Seberian when it was offered free a few months ago. What made me download it was the mixing of the different genres that it contained and I wanted to see how well he could pull it off. The other reason was that I love Christian science fiction and spiritual warfare so to have these two genres amidst space-ships, soldiers, romance, suspense, angels and demons was very intriguing.

I understand that this is Dahl's debut novel and I must say it does not for the most part read like it. I don't consider it only to be due to the fact that he writes well, but mainly that his experience as a screen writer lends itself well to this novel and how it is constructed. While reading this, I found it playing out in my mind as if I was watching a movie and this just added to the sense of the plot flowing well and the action and suspense rolling off the pages without slowing down or being disjointed.

I wondered how Dahl would introduce the spiritual aspects of this novel and it seems that his strategy was to create a solid world building in the galaxy he describes with its back story as to whom the various races and peoples are together with the organisation that is a cover up operation for what is really happening and then introduce these spiritual aspects against this backdrop. Up until the Seberian Commander explains who the invaders are and the reason behind the Nemaron Corp, Dahl successfully keeps the reader on the edge of their seat wondering about these invaders and what their purpose really is. Just when you are getting desperate wondering, Dahl introduces the Seberians (who, until they are introduced formally, the reader only has hints of this mysterious warrior group fighting in the background against these invaders). It is they who reveal the identity of the invaders and through a very simplistic biblical account concerning the angelic rebellion in Heaven outlined in Genesis, the reader sees how well the demons fit into this science fiction backdrop together with who the Seberians are and why they exist as well. 

Dahl uses this development to further the plot and the pace. Everything revves up from this point on and the enjoyment of this novel also rises to the next level. 

Speaking of this spiritual side, it seems that Dahl may have been limited to the length of this novel (182 pages) in including more of this spiritual background but he has succeeded in laying a good foundation for expanding on this in subsequent novels and I can see that if this is so, this series would really come into its own and really pack a good punch. One has only to research the supernatural and Ufology from a Christian worldview to see that what Dahl has begun in this novel really does live up to that saying that truth is stranger than fiction. There are many more Christian authors who have treated their novels in a similar manner that also reveal the spiritual/demonic deception that even unbelievers are agreeing with and revealing more and more evidence that back this up.

One spiritual warfare aspect that I enjoyed was where one of the Seberians outlined to Lonan where the Leviathan army acquired their supernatural power and what he needed to do to not contribute to it and how to deal with it. I was not expecting this and I applaud the author for including it as it is an obvious spiritual lesson for the Christian to adopt or have reinforced.

I loved the relationship between the Seberian characters and Helion characters. In a novel like this that is mainly plot driven, having characters that are relational and developed is essential to a plot that is well balanced and that does fall flat by lack of character development. However, I would like to see more character development of these characters in the next and subsequent series; I feel that Dahl had just got there with these characters. This may have been hindered by the length of this novel. I am sure though that most readers would gravitate as their favorites toward Lonan, Sevran and Averine of the Helienders and Ahren and Cloin of the Seberians, and Tekel of the angelic force.

I would love to see a prequel novel to this series that outlines the background and history of the Seberians. This would increase the spiritual aspect of this entire series and add more depth overall to it. The other alternative way to do this would be to include this at various parts of plot lines in future novels but I would prefer a separate novel for this. I have mentioned this in my interview with the author.

I intend the following comment to by no means be uncomplimentary to the author, but I guess most readers of science fiction will liken this novel to either Star Wars or Star Trek. I wonder how much influence both of these icons have had on Dahl and the world building he has created so successfully in this new series. I don't however, see his novel as a copy of one or the other or a blending of the two. One has only to listen to the trailers on his website to see this. Hmm, this is a question I now realise I did not include in my interview to the author!

I was very captivated by this novel and really loved it. I look forward to more of what this author has to offer and seeing more character development, expansion of the spiritual warfare elements and developing world building. All the basics for this are in this novel.

Strongly Recommended (4/5 Stars).

World Building 5/5

Characterisation 4/5

Story 5/5

Spiritual Level 3/5

Enemy Spiritual Level 3/5

Average Rating 4/5

To read a sample from this novel or to buy it, click on the cover image below:

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