Reviews of the Science Fiction Novella Corr Syl the Terrible
“In this sequel to Corr Syl the Warrior (2013), Rogers’ (Arizona Wildlife Notebook, 2014, etc.) hero takes on East Asian militants to save his best friend.
“Still reeling from the violence of his first mission as a warrior, Corr Syl returns to his family in the Wycliff District. He’s a member of the ancient Tsaeb race, all of whom are descended from various animals and capable of living harmoniously with the Earth. Corr and his friend Rhya Bright are descended from rabbits and can use their fur as camouflage and think in multiple “thoughtstreams.” As they travel to the Continental Center to work on human psychochemistry research, agents of Ya Zhou, the Imperial Minister of the Taoso nation, capture Rhya. Her duplicitous traveling partner, the lynx-descended Able Remington, facilitates the kidnapping, which will lead to a confrontation between Corr and Zhou—and with his warrior training and advanced senses, Corr is prepared for the challenge. He heads after Rhya in the miraculous IOZ-1899 airship, a Tsaeb creation that interacts with a pilot’s mind. However, Zhou has teamed up with the foul Lactella, a power-mad black widow from the previous novel whose venom allows her to control human hosts. Corr must not only save his friend, but prevent Zhou from raising an army that could dominate the world. In the slim second volume of Rogers’ YA series, he continues to develop his idea that humans should emulate animals, who live better within the bounds of nature, in order to ensure the prosperity of all life on Earth. The author doesn’t mince words on this subject; for example, Ryha mentions helping “humans overcome their mental limitations.” Environmental awareness remains at the plot’s forefront, as when Zhou serves water that is found to be a “stew of lead, arsenic, antibiotics, and hormone disrupters.” Most intriguing, though, is when Rogers merges science fiction with animal facts; Tsaeb warriors hold a discussion, for instance, by “using projected scents, sounds, movements, and thoughts, the electromagnetic fluxes generated by brain and body.” Swift pacing and an action-oriented plot quickly conclude this second Corr adventure, although not before setting up an intriguing third. A riveting entry in an environmentally aware YA series.” –Kirkus Reviews
“Corr Syl the Terrible by Garry Rogers is an exciting sci-fi novella with a very intriguing setting, a unique plot and a fascinating collection of characters. Imagine a world where the animals are a hundred times more advanced than humans, both intellectually and in their military skills. A world where human civilization is way behind that of the animals. Unbelievable, right? Well, this world exists in Corr Syl the Terrible and Garry Rogers makes it so easily believable through his flawless story telling. This intriguing tale comes to life right before your eyes, evoking all kinds of emotions. Some scenes gave me goose bumps, others sent a chill down my spine, while others made me smile and my heart soar, further demonstrating how Garry Rogers is a master at bringing out the right emotions in his readers.” –Faridah Nassozi, Barnes and Noble, Readers Favorite.
“Corr Syl the Terrible is brilliant in its creativity and imagination. Technology and animals that are both alive is an interesting idea and presents thought provoking questions about what being alive really means. Corr Syl was a compelling character and I found that I really liked him. He had the heart of a hero and it was fun to see him interact with the various foes and companions that he encountered along the way.” –Katelyn Hensel, Barnes and Noble, Readers Favorite
“The Corr Syl series is set on Earth in a very distant future, where all surviving intelligent animal species (Tsaeb) have evolved and become humanoid. They keep humans in check (preferably through non-violent means) to ensure the preservation of the planet, which had previously seen a long era of war and had been ravaged by pollution. Tsaeb are far superior to humans in intelligence and physical characteristics, and, most importantly, they are in tune with nature and each other.
“The aim of the series is undoubtedly to raise awareness about current environmental issues. The author is a very active environmentalist and he is very clear in expressing his opinions on the current situation on our planet from the offset:
“Rhya left for the Continental Center to help correct a Human defect that limits intelligence.”
“Rhya scanned the food and ate the items containing the fewest toxins. The water was a stew of lead, arsenic, antibiotics, and hormone disruptors, but she drank and spent a few minutes isolating the poisons.”
“Katydids weren’t food. Even though unintelligent animals were sometimes eaten, calling them food was horrid and stupid. Anyone who ate creatures with feelings should themselves be shot”
“Corr Syl the Terrible” is the second book in the series, and its story continues from the previous novel, “Corr Syl the Warrior”. Author Garry Rogers goes to great effort to allow readers to enjoy this piece as a stand-alone novella by providing us with|:
- “What Came Before”: one paragraph to set the scene;
- “If You Haven’t Read Corr Syl the Warrior”: a short catch up of the series premise, settings, events and protagonists;
- “Appendix. People and Places: a full list of all characters and locations, with Mandarin Chinese pronunciation tips.
- “Afterward”: a short article that ties his fictional future world to current environmental issues and concerns, and the author’s own “Rebel Mouse” climate news newsletter.
“The third person narration follows the various main characters: Rhya, Corr, the human Ya Zhōu and the black widow Lactella – some bugs are also very intelligent in the future.
“The story is very imaginative and fast paced, with political intrigue, the quest for power, treachery, mysterious technology, humour and friendship. As well as AhLatin, a simple made-up language!
“The main characters are well developed and likeable, being very noble of spirit. Although there are clear pointers to a sequel, this episode concludes fully and satisfactorily, with no cliff-hangers.
“I really loved the two location maps that were included for the Wycliff District and Ya Zhōu Island.
“I would suggest you familiarise yourself with the Appendix beforehand.
“I also feel that, in order to fully appreciate the world created by Garry Rogers, the series should be read in order, as all of the main characters were in the first book and a lot of their development would have happened
“As a point of interest the author took inspiration from and paid homage to Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ “Tarzan the Terrible” (1921), the eighth book in the series, where Tarzan embarks on a journey to Pal-ul-don (“Land of Men”) to rescue Jane from her kidnappers. The indigenous people, who capture Tarzan, are so impressed with his skills and resilience that they name him Tarzan-Jad-Guru (“Tarzan the Terrible”). This book also contained a detailed map of the valley and a glossary of the local language.
“Finally a spaceship in Donald A. Wollheim‘s “Across Time: Quest in the Year One Million” (published under the pseudonym “David Grinnell” in 1957) and its EPL (“Ever Perfect Lieutenant”) were behind the very special sentient ship Z99 featured in Corr Syl the Terrible.” —Bookschatter (http://bookschatter.blogspot.com/p/about.html)
“Corr Syl the Terrible by Garry Rogers is a very interesting tale about characters descended from animals who are living with humans on earth. It is a great story told more in a narrative way with intermittent dialogue. It is fast paced and treats the reader to an exciting warrior tale. I keep forgetting this is a young adult book. It will be enjoyed both by lovers of animals and warrior fantasies. Overall, the reading is interesting and full of action. It is a great combination of sci-fi and medieval ideas merged together. It reads a bit like the Redwall series and is a great read for the whole family.” –Anna del C. Dye Barnes and Noble, Readers Favorite
“Having already read the first part I was waiting for this sequel with anticipation. Thank goodness the author didn’t take too long in releasing the same, thereby offering me some relief. 🙂 Just like the previous book this is also about animals that are much more intelligent than us humans. Stories like these often remind of Aesop’s fables. Imagine living in a world like that! I am quite sure if animals were to rule the earth it would be a whole lot better than what it is. This book runs in the same vein as its predecessor with a number of twists and turns. There is something for everybody in this ebook: politics, betrayal, romance, friendship and then some more.
BTW, I wonder if I am the only one who is reminded of Satan’s temptation of Eve after reading this passage:
“He does have a secret. He hides it behind a simple shield that I could burn through in a second, but I won’t. Let him have his little secret, Rhya thought.”
Likewise, the following passage describes Zhou’s tyranny and paranoia at the same time:
“Zhōu’s interest soared. After many years of deception and betrayal, Zhōu was himself incapable of trust. He insured the loyalty of his generals and ambassadors with bribery, blackmail, kidnapping, and, when necessary, assassination. The one thing he needed most was better knowledge of his generals’ intentions. He had them watched, but he couldn’t intercept all their messages or anticipate their plans.”
“Overall, I suggest you definitely check out this book (as well as its prequel). The ending has a simple and positive message for the readers. See if you can say what comes next.” –Lanka Roo for Amazon
“I liked this quick short novella. It was a nice paced read not to fast and not choppy or fragmented. It has definitely whet my appetite for more of the series. I am going to pick up the first book Corr Syl the Warrior soon so I can see what happened to the characters previously. Thankfully with this novella you don’t need to have read the first book to know what was going on in the second!! Big bonus points for that!! The characters were well written and well developed the only issue I had was towards the end of the book when the bad guys ending was wrapped up in a paragraph It seemed a little rushed but I am looking forward to another part in this series.” –Victoria Roberts (the Book Junkie)
“Corr Syl the Terrible” by Garry Rogers is a young adult science fiction and fantasy novel that is set on a version of Earth that includes animals who are intelligent and known as Tsaeb. Two of these beings are Corr Syl and Rhya Bright, warriors descended from rabbits, who are human-shaped yet retain many of the characteristics of their species. Unfortunately, Corr is not so sure he can overcome the conflict between his instincts and his training as a warrior but when Rhya is threatened because of her work in Human psychochemistry to help humans achieve multiple thoughtstreams, he finds a way to rescue her, with the help of a remarkable ship, and they strive to make the OFTA (Organization for Fair Treatment for All) a reality, not a sham.
“A really unique book involving a theme that many of us have at least thought about once. What if animals were highly intelligent? The storyline is very appealing and conveys a positive message for teens. The intense struggle between the factions has really been enjoyable to read and the characters are awe inspiring. Definitely a well written and highly imaginative tale that will appeal to teens and adults alike. Highly recommended.” –AubreyF for Barnes and Noble
“The concept that this author has used and applied towards this story that animals are just as bright, in most cases brighter, than humans is quite interesting and well thought about. His descriptions that he uses are incredible and make for visualization to be done without much trouble. This was a fast read as it is a novella but it isn’t without a great story and story line. As I was reading the story I kept catching myself thinking “what if”.
“If you are looking for a quick read that takes you to a new world in your mind and allows you to escape then pick up a copy of Corr Syl The Terrible.” –Amy, Archaeolibrarian