Author: Charles Freedom Long
Book: Witches’ Gambit (Seven Worlds Book #1)
Published: May 2018
Publisher: Silver Star Press
Genre: Science Fiction
Aliens from another Galaxy are targeting Earth for a preemptive strike. Humanities’ weapons and technology is growing faster than their collective wisdom. A dead alien named Vitok comes to Earth to answer the question, “Is it worth saving.” He finds Aidan Ray, a successful attorney who secretly communicates with the dead. The problem is she lives in a near dystopian world where the religious hierarchy would consider her a witch. Michael Good is an executive who lives dangerously and leads an insurgency in Aidan’s home state. Bill Peebles is a former soldier, physician, and religious cleric. Vitok brings this unlikely trio together to argue humanity’s case before the Council of Seven Qorlds. They must make a hazardous journey from which they may not return or have a world to return to.
Charles Freedom Long has done an excellent job in universe building in Witches’ Gamit, the first book of the Seven Worlds series. It follows the adventure of three people called upon to save Earth—not as skilled warriors, but as diplomats. It deals with both political and religious themes on an intergalactic level. Imagine societies where the dead take an active role in daily life. Thus, humanity is an immature culture since their dead do not. While a bit cerebral, the characters and alien cultures are interesting. The buildup is slow at first but picks up steam very quickly. It was a fascinating read.