Tag Archives: Gateway to Gannah

Review: The Last Toqeph, by Yvonne Anderson

The Last Toqeph, by Yvonne AndersonThe Last Toqeph, by Yvonne Anderson (Yvonne Anderson, 2014)

The Last Toqeph brings the Gateway to Gannah series to a satisfying close. Because it’s the fourth book, I appreciated the recap at the beginning, as told by Adam, one of the central characters. This means a new reader could start here and not feel confused, although the series is worth reading from the beginning.

Gannah is an Eden-like world, and although to North American eyes some of its customs seem harsh, the people value honesty and honour. The best thing about being a native Gannahan is having an organ called a meah, which allows one to communicate telepathically with other Gannahans and also with the Yasha (as God is known on this planet).

The whole story of how the people of Gannah came to worship the Christian God is part of why I recommend starting with book 1, The Story in the Stars. It’s fascinating.

Present-day Gannah has one pure-blooded native remaining, plus her mixed-race children and a settlement of immigrants who want to follow the traditional Gannahan way of life. At least that’s what they all think – until Adam meets a native Gannahan stranger, Daviyd. In truth, there’s an entire colony of survivors.

Although the characters are in some ways different than we are, there are enough common points that I never felt “alienated” by them. In fact, they consider themselves humans – just Gannahan, not Earthish. Characters from other planets bring different cultural backgrounds and biases into the settlement, and that makes for added conflict. If you don’t relate to an aspect of Gannahan conduct, it’s likely that one of the other characters will agree with you.

I enjoyed discovering the different planetary backgrounds and perspectives. The author definitely did her homework when it came to world-building. The differences increase the sense of realism.

The Last Toqeph wraps up all the plot threads woven through the series, and while not all aspects of the ending are happy, they’re satisfying. Not everything is cut and dried, though. Readers can speculate for themselves over the intent behind Adam’s closing line of dialogue.

I hope we’ll see more novels from Yvonne Anderson. In the mean time, you can learn more about Gannah on her website, Y’s Words.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

Review: Ransom in the Rock, by Yvonne Anderson

Cover art: Gateway to GannahRansom in the Rock, by Yvonne Anderson (Yvonne Anderson, 2014)

Book 2 in the Gateway to Gannah series, Words in the Wind, ended with young Lileela critically injured. Her desperate father, Pik, sent her in the care of his father to his homeworld, Karkar. Ransom in the Rock is the story of Lileela’s return approximately ten years later, very much set in the Karkar ways and attitudes and viewing her native Gannah as barbaric and uncivilized.

Why didn’t her parents bring her home sooner? Why are they dragging her back now? Lileela’s struggles have given her more than the usual teen attitude. As she learns the truth about the delay, and as she rediscovers her love for her family and planet, Lileela still longs to get away.

But will anyone on the planet survive the treacherous Karkar plans?

And what about the group of genetically-engineered Earthers, AWOL from their military service and heading for Gannah?

Readers new to the series could begin with this book and get up to date fairly quickly, but it’s worth reading from the beginning if you have time. The premise behind the story is that while Jesus revealed Himself on Earth, God the Father set His story in the stars for all races to see and learn. The ancient Gannahans believed God’s message and turned from their warlike ways, but by then the Karkar considered them mortal enemies.

Gannah is Eden-like, and the few citizens with Old Gannahan blood have an organ called a meah that allows God to speak directly to their spirits (they know Him as the Yasha, but His Earth name is Jesus). The meah also links them telepathically with others who have the organ. The people live simply and follow a strict, honour-based code reminiscent of the Old Testament laws.

In current North America, we don’t appreciate strong authority figures, submission to husbands or parents, or honour/shame-based discipline. The character of Pik, himself a Karkar but also a follower of the Yasha and married to a Gannahan, gives readers someone we can relate to. Pik lives the Gannahan way, but at times he still isn’t comfortable with aspects of it. He accepts what he doesn’t understand for the sake of those around him who value the lifestyle.

On the outside, Gannahans resemble Earthers. The Karkars look different: tall, stiff-faced, six fingered and “alien.” I find it interesting that it’s the Karkars who echo the worst of humanity, while the Gannahans give a glimpse of what we could be. Lots to make us think in this book, yet nothing feels heavy or preachy.

Favourite lines:

Captain Abdul-Malik’s orders made the stuffy briefing room feel chill. Planted a bitter nut in his belly that sent roots downward and branches upward and filled his whole being with dread. [Kindle location 250]

“Every-one who believes in God thinks He’s on their side.” He stopped tapping. “But it’s not a question of whether He’s on our side. The issue is, are we on His? Do we live in obedience? Do our actions and attitudes honor Him, or make Him ashamed of us?” [Kindle location 1000]

I’ve been enjoying this series and I’m glad there’s another book in the works to complete it. To learn more about author Yvonne Anderson and her writing, visit Y’s Words. You can read the opening chapter to Ransom in the Rock here.

[Review copy from my personal library.]