Just over twelve months ago, “Red Desert” debuted in the English-speaking market and now really a little time is missing before the publication of the final book, “Back Home”, which will take place on 31 July. All this brings me back to the emotions I felt in the summer of 2013, when I was editing the book in Italian, and this used to give me a mix of emotions ranging from satisfaction to melancholy.
After living for over a year and a half in Anna’s head and the one of the other characters in the series, it was really weird to have to write the end of their story. Now I’m reliving it, while I deal with the revision of this edition, but this is done in a passive manner, because in my mind the events have already happened and will not change. The fate of the characters is already marked, or at least it is to the point of their life narrated at the end of the novel.
“Back Home” differs a lot from the previous book. “Invisible Enemy” takes place over a few days and has a strong pace, where tension and action go hand in hand with the emotions of the characters. This latest book, however, unfolds in a period of 26 months from the beginning to the penultimate chapter. Yes, you read that right. Even if the final part covers the time of half a day. It is longer (more than 100,000 words). It includes a change in the main setting, although you never lose sight of the other planet. But above all it is characterised by a stronger thriller soul, full of suspense, which alongside with the use of multiple points of view makes it similar, in a sense, to “People of Mars”, but at the same time with the return to the use of brief flashbacks to “Point of No Return”, although having as their protagonist a character different from Anna.
But let’s proceed in an orderly fashion.
The story opens with a scene near the ending, a scene full of action from the point of view of Anna, in the first person and in present tense. Then you go back, to 26 months earlier, exactly to the point where you stopped in “Invisible Enemy”, but this time you see what happened in Houston. From here the novel moves with a series of jumps forward in time. We’ll find Anna and Hassan committed to bringing their intent to completion, clashing with a series of unexpected events and dealing with them, using some unconventional methods.
Compared to what you are used to, everything will be turned upside down. The distinction between good and bad guys will be so thin it’ll become negligible. You will find yourself rooting for the one or the other character in trouble, perhaps losing sight of what should be right, for the simple reason that it will not matter.
Everything will take place in a crescendo of suspense, where busiest chapters are alternated with others that favour reflection and tension until the events get out of control and that will take you back exactly to the scene with which the novel opened, allowing you to understand it thoroughly.
In parallel you will see scenes from the memories of a character, which reveal some aspects that had not been fully explained.
Eventually, when the word goes back to Anna, all the pieces of the puzzle will be returned to their place and you will know the truth about the story of the invisible enemy and its intent.
Then, what will become of Earth? And of Mars? Will Anna and Hassan succeed in defeating their demons?
The answers will be provided by a long scene with a very high rate of adrenaline. It will be followed in the final chapter by the epilogue of this adventure begun over a year ago for you readers, but several years earlier for the characters. You will discover that no one can have all they want and that the future will definitely have more in store for them after “Red Desert”.
The world created in this series, in fact, will continue to exist in the minds of readers and in mine, and we will find it together 35 years later in “The Isle of Gaia” (the book is already available in Italian as “L’isola di Gaia”; the publication in English will be some time in the future) with new characters and adventures, but a common thread.
“Red Desert”, “The Isle of Gaia” and three more novels (at the moment I’m writing the first of them) will be part of the larger universe of the Aurora saga. But I will talk about it to you in the future.
Meanwhile write down this date: 31 July 2015.
“Red Desert - Back Home” will be soon available for pre-order on Amazon, Kobo, Apple, and Barnes & Noble, and then on Google Play, Nook UK, Scribd, Oyster, and other retailers on the day of publication.