Thousands of years in the future, humanity has abandoned Earth. Ravaged by war, the planet can no longer support life. Spreading across the galaxy, humanity conquers, colonizes, and terraforms uncounted worlds — including Zerzura, a planet of lush forests, mighty rivers, fierce dragons, and powerful priestesses. There, an order of Orphic Priestesses cares for the land and the people. They build a magnificent temple where their central icon is a blood red egg, a treasure of ancient Earth created by the legendary Faberge. Or so the stories go …. Doctor Lexa Carter is an astro-archaeolgist and the director of the famed Darend Museum, which houses numerous Earth artifacts. When Lexa gets a lead on the Orphic Egg, she is determined to track it down. Unfortunately, that means Damon Mikal, the head of security for the Darend Museum, insists on accompanying her to Zerzura …
If one thing can be said about Hackett’s books, it’s that they are fun. Tomb Raider in space, if you will. Exotic locales, dangerous traps and narrow escapes, and fantastic treasures. Plus, smart women and sexy men. And lots of sex. And more narrow escapes.
While I have read several books in Hackett’s Phoenix Adventures series, this is the first which features such explicit Goddess imagery and theology. The egg is the most obvious, but there are also sensual dances and fertility rites, dragons/serpents, oasi and water, and caves. And, of course, the Goddess herself, who appears in reliefs and statues and song.
I have only a few critiques regarding the story. In some places, the action sequences feel rushed, while the sex scenes are too long. I would have preferred a more balanced approach. Additionally, the Goddess of the Orphic Priestesses is referred throughout as “the Goddess Divine” — a title which doesn’t make much sense, as a Goddess is, by her very nature, divine.
Nonetheless, Among Galactic Ruins is a fun, fast read. Recommended to fans of the Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones series, as well as books by Susan Grant, Shannon Mayer, Devon Monk, CI Black, and Zoe Archer.