The second book in the Distant Worlds series puts us firmly back into classic Leo territory, with alien fauna giving human characters a hard time on faraway planets. The book focuses entirely around Paul Clauden, as he continues his covert mission to find his father, under the cover of working with a scientific research team, who are trying to work out why the planet’s previous inhabitants appear to have disappeared without a trace.
He ends up doing a remarkably dangerous agricultural job, netting strange precious pearls that are launched from plants when the morning sun first hits their leaves. The danger comes because the ejected pearls are as coveted by the local bird and sea-monster population as they are by the human settlers.
This second volume is really about Paul’s journey. Obviously nothing’s going to be easy, but as he falls in with a bounty hunter who is also looking for Paul’s father, he leaves the relative security of the expedition he embarked on in the first book (with the added security of indestructible humanoid lobster Mr Stepanerk) and strikes out with this new companion. Survival for our hero may be assured for the good of the story, but what he’ll face on his journey are what Leo’s stories are all about. Guided by Leo’s out-of-this-world imagination, it’s a journey I’m more than happy to follow.