Sunday, November 6, 2011

Book Review: Triptych by JM Frey

Had the pleasure of reading the début novel from author JM Frey earlier this year, but only now have had time to write a proper review.

In Triptych, earth has become the last refuge of a race of bipedal aliens whose planet has been destroyed in a cataclysmic explosion. While the majority of people have been accommodating and accepting, with many nations formally working to integrate the aliens into Earth civilization, there still exists groups whose racism and bigotry have found new targets.

Enter two reasearchers with The Institute, Gwen Pierson and Dr. Basil Grey who are working with the alien Kalp to help reverse engineer some of the alien tech and acclimatize to each other's cultural norms. Frey's trio of characters are the emotional heart and soul of the story. Their journey from workmates to an "aglunate", a type of intimate social unit common on Kalp's home planet, is what drives the story. Not everyone is ready to accept this level of integration and conflict ensues.

Oh and did I mention there is time travel? While not the focus of the novel, time travel does play a pivotal role in the story and is used to good effect.

You can read my full review here -Review of Triptych by JM Frey


  1. Hi Andy,

    I am an English professor at the University of Montevallo, a small liberal arts college in Alabama. I am thinking of putting together a class on time travel literature for the spring semester.

    I really enjoy what you have done with your site, and I would love to exchange a few emails with you as I put together my reading list.

    If you are interested, you can reach me at zbutler at montevallo dot edu

  2. Thanks for the comment Zach. I sent you an email to follow up.

  3. I enjoyed getting to know all three main characters, as well as several side characters - they were richly developed and even when they did frustrating things, I understood their reasoning. I found the main alien character, Kalp, to be deeply lovable, and his earnest attempts to understand human society were a joy to read. I also found the ongoing mystery to be good, though a little confusing at the beginning because it's in the background for much of the novel. Give Triptych a chance - it will move you.

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