From Goodreads: Fresh out of jail and hopeful his troubles are behind him, Valentine Slade returns to his hometown of Lott, New Mexico. But for Val, his troubles are just beginning. His girlfriend’s State Trooper brother comes after him with a shotgun, his mother Caroline has been diagnosed with a mysterious form of terminal cancer, and a mutilated corpse is found on the road outside his house.
And there’s something more…something…unnatural out in the desert…something that is not human watches and waits, luring Val deeper and deeper into a terrifying mystery that may very well be tied to otherworldly intelligence…and tied to Val himself. To find the truth Val must delve into nightmares he’d rather forget, horrors he’d rather not know, and into places where there is nowhere to hide.
We are not alone. There is no escape from the truth. No escape from…TRINITY.
I don’t recall reading any novels about aliens in the recent past, so I suspect that’s one of the main reasons I was drawn to this debut novel. I’m always looking to read something different than the norm—first it was wizards, but then everyone began writing about them. Then it was vampires, and then zombies, faeries, fallen angels… but I really haven’t come across aliens. Until now.
Dearborn has created a very enticing story. With a hero fresh from prison, a dying mother deemed the town nutcase, and a police force ready to lock him up at the first sign of trouble, Val has a lot on his plate. Throw in the mysterious deaths of his enemies, a panther like alien prowling the premises, and two alien races vying for Val’s attentions, and you’ve got a very intriguing story.
I really liked the idea of the different alien groups, but I did find it a little difficult to keep them straight. Though they aren’t similar in appearance, they both tend to do and want the same things, so I kept forgetting who was the “good” race and who wasn’t. We learn about them from a story being transcribed into a novel named Trinity, and though I found this very interesting, it confused me when it first picked up. Let’s see if I can explain it clearly. Trinity (as in the novel we’re reading, not the novel referenced inside this novel, which is ALSO called Trinity) begins with Val leaving prison, and the subsequent chapters that follow focus solely on his story. But then there comes a chapter referencing an interview between a doctor and a female who claims to have been abducted by aliens—this is a chapter from the book Trinity (which is the “book” inside the book). As the doctor is transcribing his findings with “alien abductees,” he doesn’t give real names, so it took me a bit to figure out who the woman was, what she was talking about, and how Val related to it all, because all of a sudden the story wasn’t about Val at all, but a woman with boyfriend issues. Of course, once I did figure out the reason behind the random-like interjections of the transcription, it all began to make perfect sense, but it was such a jarring way to bring together two separate stories that, originally, I was extremely confused. So, keep that in mind when reading this book. There is a “book” within the book that references different chapters, focusing on a woman who is quite important to the story. I won’t tell you who she is, but you’ll probably figure it out right away, unlike me, as you now know that there is what seems like random stories throughout the novel.
This novel is definitely otherworldly, as it should be, but even so, some of it seemed really weird to me, and I definitely wanted more background of the two alien races pinpointing Val. I think perhaps that would have made it a little more understandable, but it’s also completely feasible that I just missed something important about the two groups, and so found them too mysterious (as in, not knowing enough about them).
I liked the characterization a lot, but did find that Val’s girlfriend was a little daft, as it were. Her solution to everything, like all the dead bodies popping up, drove me crazy, and the fact that Val just went along with it made me want to smack him upside the head, but then again, I guess, having just gotten out of prison, he wouldn’t be too eager to have the police all over his yard due to the many deaths taking place around him…
Overall, Trinity was a good read and I’m excited to see what’s next for Dearborn. I’d recommend Trinity to any sci-fi buffs out there, or to anyone looking for something completely different. This is it. Three stars.
DarkFuse has been extremely gracious in allowing me to read a copy of this novel, via Netgalley.