“The Ancients (The Survivors Book 4)” by Nathan Hystad

We start out by finding our trio of main characters, Dean, Mary and Slate, trekking through a cold and ice covered world. They got there through another portal used in their quest to find the Ancients or otherwise known as the Theos. The Theos have left small clues and artifacts that continually led this trio on. They’re hoping that finding the Theos will lead to solve several mysteries, some which have been very deadly.

This is a far cry from the original story where Dean saved all humanity from some aliens who had loaded everyone up in starships and sent them towards the Sun. Yes, Earth and humanity have enemies they don’t even know about. Since “The Event”, Dean and Mary have had quite an adventure. While some thought this would end when everyone decided to flee to New Spero and set up a new human civilization, it didn’t with the discovery of the Portals. This is an ancient network of gateways to various worlds throughout the universe. It was set up by the Ancients or Theos and used for some purpose by them. Now only a few people (including aliens) know about these portals and access is very limited. Since Dean stumbled upon the portals and has a rudimentary understanding of how they work, he’s been made a Gatekeeper with free access to the portals or gates as he needs. It is evident that some of the original destinations along the network have been shut down. Apparently, the Ancients didn’t want anyone stumbling onto these worlds for one reason or another. Usually, it was for the travelers own protection.

So, Mary, Dean and Slate have decided to follow a series of “challenges” setup by the Ancients that seek to find the “True One” whom they will reveal themselves to. It feels too Dean, that he is the “True” because he can understand the hieroglyphics of the Ancients and can follow some of their more cryptic instructions.

Off they go on an almost compulsive journey into they know not what. They will meet some very strange aliens who, for the most part, are doing the bidding of the Ancients no matter what the cost to the aliens. Dean begins to resent some of the Ancients restrictions they placed on some of the aliens who were only located at certain places to guide Dean and his party. One such group had been in place for millions of years, separated from their own kind, just waiting for the “True” who would solve the riddle given them so they could at last go home.

The story is interesting in that we encounter an ever change environment. The diversity of aliens and different planets makes for an interesting story. We do kind of get to the end, but maybe not. Mary is way to compulsive all the way through the story. She goes and does things without waiting for the rest to reason through their next move. It’s very annoying. Still, time will tell that for Mary, her purpose is different than the others. She does get separated from Dean and Slate, but she’s not dead. Mary is something else now. You see, she’s actually the “True”.

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