Over the summer, Rachel Aukes, who lives near Ames, rereleased her Colliding Worlds trilogy. She reacquired the rights to the books, which were originally published by Simon & Schuster in 2012 (while Aukes was writing under the name Berinn Rae), and took the opportunity to rewrite them so that they matched her original vision for the series. The books are “Collision,” “Implosion” and “Explosion.”
The first book of the series, “Collision,” is a fast-paced adventure story in which Sienna Wolfe happens upon two alien species when she attempts to offer aid after a catastrophic crash near her home. The two races — the Sephians and the Draeken — are at war with one another, and Sienna soon finds herself caught up in the conflict.
“Collision” is fairly short and that forces Aukes to make some storytelling choices. She focuses on the action, which she handles deftly, but which leads to other aspects of the story getting short shrift. There’s a predictable romance that flares up in a hurry into the rapid fire plot. And the book’s final twist doesn’t feel fully earned because the pace and brevity of the book don’t allow for a foundation.
Some of Sienna’s moral choices concerning her enemies may surprise Sci-Fi fans more accustomed to, say, Starfleet’s approach to war in the Star Trek universe. These moral questions could provide a rich vein for character development as the series continues, though “Implosion” and “Explosion” appear to shift the focus from Sienna to other characters.
While some aspects of the story seem rushed or under developed, the well-crafted battle scenes in “Collision” keep the reader engaged as Aukes keeps the stakes high and her protagonist’s situation dire. “Collision” is likely to entice Sci-Fi fans to binge read the series and seek out Aukes’ other work, as well.