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Robina Williams

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Gaea
by Robina Williams   

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Books by Robina Williams
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Category: 

Fantasy

Publisher:  Twilight Times Books ISBN-10:  1606191837 Type: 
Pages: 

289

Copyright:  2009 ISBN-13:  9781606191835
Fiction

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Twilight Times Books
Robina Williams

Gaea, the earth goddess, losing patience with Man because of his brutal, uncaring treatment of her planet and her creatures, decides to hit back--with the help of her relatives, the gods of the seas, storms and winds.

Gaea, the earth goddess, has had enough of her abuse at the hand of Man. A brutal attack on her is the last straw. It's time for retaliation. She can hit hard, too--she's a deity, after all. Quakes, tidal waves and volcanic eruptions will soon put paid to this disrespectful race.

A power infinitely greater than she, however, loves mankind for all its faults, and His seraph, Quant, is quickly on the scene to try to calm the wrathful goddess--in her own interest, as well as Man's. Besides, Quant has human friends: the friars among whom he lives in the guise of a ginger tomcat.

Gaea reluctantly accompanies Quant to the friary to check out this little group of humans for herself, and finds them engaged--with varying degrees of enthusiasm--in a green campaign. They're not all bad, she concedes, but still she seeks vengeance for the outrages committed against her.

"No vengeance," the Lord God warns her, "but you may teach Man that he needs to mend his ways."

Gaea calls on her relatives for assistance, and her fellow deities raise storms on land and at sea, and Triton silences the submarine sonars.

Men brought almost, but not quite, to the point of destruction notice that when they moderate their behavior, the weather improves. Finally, they understand the interconnectedness of the natural world, and see that they are part of a network. They don't, though, realize quite how varied the network of the Lord's creation is.

Excerpt
The birds had ceased their singing. The fox trembled with fear and crouched lower in the hedge as he watched the man clamber to his feet. He saw the man stare down at the figure sprawled on the ground, then drag the body across the lane and kick it into the ditch. The man stood regaining his breath for a few moments, then walked quickly away from the scene, turning once for a backward glance before disappearing round the corner.
Cautiously the fox emerged from his hiding place, padded over to the ditch and peered into it. He whined unhappily, and nervously scanned the road to see if the man might be returning. There was no human in sight, however, and he heard the birds beginning to sing once more—hesitantly at first, then with increasing confidence. Somewhat reassured, he jumped into the ditch, landing beside the unconscious woman. He scrambled onto her chest and, perched precariously, sniffed her face. In his ears the birdsong grew louder, steadier. A few notes sung close by caused him to look up sharply: he saw a robin staring down from the top of the hedge. The robin chirruped again, and flew down onto a twig closer to the ground.
The fox turned his attention back to the woman. He sniffed her face again and licked her cheek. The robin had now left the shelter of the hedge and stood on the bank of the ditch, trilling encouragingly. The fox whimpered and nuzzled the woman, following up with a vigorous head-butt. The woman groaned. The fox, struggling to keep his balance, leaned forward and barked sharply in her ear, before sliding down into the mud. The woman, a young woman, opened her eyes and stared at him; she looked around her in a puzzled sort of way, then managed a weak smile and stretched out a hand to pat his head.
“Reynard,” she murmured. “My beautiful Reynard.”
She elbowed herself painfully into a sitting position, then recalling the horror of her ordeal, buried her face in her hands and burst into tears. The fox, whining, scrabbled to get closer to her. She wiped her eyes on her cloak, put her arms around the animal’s neck and buried her face in his fur, trying to drive from her mind the memory of the man’s brutality: his gloating grin as he had approached her in the deserted lane, his mocking laugh as he had grabbed her arm and pulled her toward him as she tried to sidestep him, the contemptuous ease with which he had thrown her to the ground. He was a man who knew he was in control of the situation… in control of her.
She burst out crying again, as the fox trembled in her arms. The robin had by now flown down to perch on a branch that had fallen into the ditch. Keeping a wary eye on the fox, he added his own sorrowful notes to the vulpine whimpers.
The woman stopped sobbing and listened; then, softly to begin with, she joined her own sweet voice to the chorus. Her song was first the gentle ripple of a brook, then the resonant splash of a waterfall, and finally the silvery peal of bells ringing in the air.
The harmonies had soothed the fox. No longer trembling, he licked the woman’s hand as she gently disengaged her arms from around his neck.
A movement on the bank caused the woman to look up. She saw a squirrel peering down at her.
“My Lady,” the squirrel said, “we saw what happened.”
“We weren’t strong enough to help you,” the fox said apologetically, with another lick.
“I know you weren’t,” the woman replied, stroking his head.
“He hurts us all,” the robin said unhappily. “He’s cutting down our trees.”
“He’s taking our roads away,” the squirrel agreed. “The woods and forests are almost gone now. How can we move around without our highways?”
“Your creatures are suffering, my Lady,” the robin said. “There are fewer and fewer of us. The ground-nesters are almost all destroyed. The farmers leave no room for them now in the fields.”
“I know,” the woman sighed. “And the fields themselves are exhausted. They’re given no rest.”
“We’re losing our homes,” the robin told her urgently, his dark little eyes fixed pleadingly on her.
“We’re losing more than our homes,” the fox remarked tartly, his amber eyes sparking with anger. “Some of us are losing our skins. A good chase is one thing, but having earthstoppers block up your den is something else again. I hate earthstoppers,” he added bitterly.
“I hate cats,” the robin burst out vehemently. “Trees cut down, houses built, and—cats! Cats everywhere. Damn cats! They’re nothing but killing machines. And the vicious brutes aren’t even hungry.”
The air above the ditch shimmered and formed itself into a feline shape. A ginger tomcat dropped lightly to the ground, landing beside the squirrel. He gave the robin a long, cool look. Then his emerald eyes changed color, and the little bird, now shaking like a leaf, found himself in the glare of a golden spotlight.
“What was that you were saying?” the cat asked in a honeyed voice. “Would you care to repeat it?”
The robin trilled miserably.
“That reminds me,” the cat went on, his golden eyes taking on a predatory, feral gleam, “I’m feeling a bit peckish. It’s some time since I had anything to eat.”


Professional Reviews

Paul Lappen for Midwest Book Review
Third in a series, this fantasy novel is about Quant, a house cat who can cross between physical dimensions (and do a lot more than that).

Gaea (Mother Earth) has had it with mankind’s wanton destruction of her resources, including plants and animals. After being physically attacked by a man, and left in a ditch, Gaea is ready to wipe mankind off the map. Quant, now in the form of a humanoid seraph, takes Gaea to visit God, the Lord of All (the Big Boss). God allows Gaea to warn mankind, or otherwise kick him in the rear end, but if there is any vengeance or smiting to be done, He will do it (and no one else). The pair gather a few friends, including Briareos (with fifty heads and one hundred arms), Cerberus, the three-headed Hell Hound, Demeter, Zeus and Triton, to see if they can change mankind’s thinking.

Meantime, the brothers at a rural friary are entering the world of green living on the orders of their leader, Brother Polycarp. Their initial reaction is reluctant, at best, but they soon get into the spirit of starting a vegetable garden, baking with fruit from their own orchard, and occasionally walking instead of always taking the car. Quant uses them as an example to Gaea that some humans are trying to live the right way.

When those giant factory fishing vessels, with the nets that destroy the ocean floor, are at sea and about to deploy their nets, they are suddenly best by huge storms that come out of nowhere. They speed back to port to try again tomorrow. The same thing happens time after time; clear skies instantly turn stormy. The sonar systems on all submarines suddenly and permanently malfunction, for no apparent reason. Large parts of the world experience bizarre weather patterns, like dust storms and snow in summer, while those that are living in harmony with nature, like the friary, experience beautiful weather. Does mankind start to get the idea? Does he realize that using the resources of Earth in moderation is actually a good idea?

This is a really well-done novel with a strong, but not overdone, environmental message. The next time you litter or waste resources, just think, Gaea is watching.


Chris Phillips for Bookpleasures
In Gaea, Williams has created a humorous adventure book. Gaea is the title character, and is believable as a typical of Greek goddesses. She is on a quest to prevent Man from destroying her (she is the Earth after all) and her creatures. Quantum, as the cat or the seraph, is the central character of the story while not truly doing much, exactly like a cat in real life. Also, Quantum is the central character in the series of which this is third. Williams combines Greek mythology, Christian mythology and environmentalism with a deft hand and smooth continuity.

Quantum appears as a cat to some, as a seraph to others, as a pillar of fire to still others, and sometimes as several different avatars at one time, depending on who is looking. Quantum, Quant or Leo depending on the person observing him, does provide a great jumping-off point for the series while each book can stand alone. Quantum as the observer and quiet advisor is given a unique role when little is known about the character throughout the book, his history or even his powers. Surprises abound when Quantum acts.

Williams has had a good time writing this story and fleshing out Greek Mythology beings. Also, she provides many details to fill in the world as Gaea travels on her quest. However, even Christian mythology is given a fair treatment with various Saints appearing very true to their human incarnations. She builds a consistent framework where all these systems interact and coexist. Williams has created a world view that includes all belief systems within one overview. She has applied her humor to make this seem very real and credible. Authors often attempt to deal with religious issues and cannot make it work, but Williams deals with it but does so with finesse.

From the standpoint of the writer’s craft, the best part technically of the book is that the characters are believable, alive, very well defined and described. The plot is well-thought out and well-developed, being consistent and smooth flowing. The friary is introduced as a very good counterpoint to Gaea’s quest with the interactions between the monks and Quantum in his guise as Leo to the monks providing some strong repartee.

The monks are also very entertaining. Brother Bernard is aware of there being something strange about Leo, but cannot place a finger on it and so just frets. The monks go about rediscovering the simple life and learning to be more eco-friendly.

The locations and scenes of Heaven, the underworld and the homes of the various gods and goddess of Greek tales, are illustrated and detailed enough to make anyone what to live. The characters are self-conscious and very aware of their limitations as they were displayed in the myths or legends from which they originate.

This book is a great read for anyone. It opens up the mind of the reader while keeping the plot consistent. Those readers interested in Greek mythology, intermingling religious systems and in speculations about the afterlife, Heaven and spiritual beings will be very entertained by the book. There is really nothing to offend any reader except for the fact that it is made very clear there are more books in the series.

This reviewer would love to review even more books from Williams and cannot wait until she writes another.


Margaret Marr for Nights and Weekends.com
Robina Williams’s Quantum Cat series is one of the best fantasy series I’ve read in a long while. What I like most about the series is the fact that Ms. Williams isn’t afraid to entertain the idea that one God rules over all, including other gods and goddesses—and no, it’s not Zeus.

On a visit to the earthly plane, the earth goddess Gaea is attacked by a man and left in a ditch. This is the last straw for her. Not only are men uncaring creatures, but they’ve abused the earth for far too long. It’s time that they were once again wiped out, so the earth can renew itself. Unfortunately, it’s not her call, and if she oversteps her bounds, she might cease to exist.

Quant/Leo, a seraph/cat that moves between time and space, cautions Gaea that the God of all loved mankind so much that He sent His son to die for them. He wouldn’t take kindly to her destroying them, though she’s allowed to teach them a lesson. But Quant/Leo has a subtle message of his own to teach Gaea, and he invites her to visit with him at the friary and get to know the monks who dwell there.

Still, Gaea is determined to teach man a lesson, so she enlists the help of her relatives. With Cerberus, the hell hound, tagging along, they set out to play havoc with man. And Quant follows right beside them to make sure that Gaea doesn’t go too far and destroy herself in the process.

It was a pure delight to visit with Leo and the monks again in Gaea. I can see why Leo visits them in cat form on a regular basis. It’s such a simple, quiet life—and the friary is a place that I’d love to slip away to every now and then.

Though Gaea often rants about how awful mankind is—and she often goes overboard with her passion—I could still see her point. When you look around at all of the hate and selfishness in the world, you might wonder, like Gaea, how God could possibly love us. But, as Quant/Leo points out, there are some good people in the world. All Gaea has to do is look at the brothers at the friary and see what they’re doing to make the world a better place in their own trouble-free way.

Filled with fascinating mythological creatures and lovable characters—and written with a touch of humor—Gaea is a must-read for anyone who loves mythology. Ms. Williams mixes in a moral storyline that’ll make you stop and wonder what you can do to make the world a better place. I simply can’t wait for the next book in this series.



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Reader Reviews for "Gaea"

Reviewed by Ann Hauer 4/7/2010
Robina Williams has provided an amazing tale combining mythology, religion and the society as a whole. Gaea, classified as a 'fantasy' novel, is much more than a work of fiction as it eerily hits close to home with the truth on how man treats the planet. This combination is perfect for those that enjoy mythology, and the religious tones are not offensive by any means. Symbolism is strong throughout this powerful story of man abusing Mother Earth.

Gaea pleads her case to the Almighty Lord, creator of all. With her is Quant, a seraph that is special in his many ways and quite the character. The Almighty Source decides that Gaea may teach man a lesson, as long as she does not harm him, reminding her that man is his own creation and only he may punish. He acknowledges that man had his faults at the time of creation, and that man's time will pass.

Quant asks Gaea to have an open mind as the two stop at a friary. Here, the residents are busy working the land, growing flowers, planting vegetables and making as many efforts to be as earth-friendly as they can be. This improves Gaea's mood, but to her she worries as it is only a small unit, not enough for a positive change. She journeys with Quant at her side to see her family and ask of their help in teaching man to treat her better. Her relatives of course come to her aid and do their part in teaching man a lesson. Man learns that Mother Earth has her own voice by as she says "Look at what you are doing to me, but look at what I can do to you."

The reader is reminded that anything provided by Mother Nature can easily be taken away in her wrath at man. In this current state in our time, I personally can relate to the messages given as I too, am fearful for what can become of our home. So many changes have occurred in the world and environment, and from just when I was a child.

I love how we are reminded that all things... animals, trees, rocks and blades of grass have a voice to tell us what is going on, if we just quiet down and listen to the messages by slowing down and tuning into our surroundings. This is something I do often as I find solace in Nature and I for one am doing all I can to preserve it, especially for my young son.

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