Author: Quill Holland
Originally Published by ScorPress Publishing in 2020
Review by Miriam Atkinson
Little is known about the Protagonist of The Last of her Kind other than he is a xenologist and a Dunrakaxxian – which we later learn are an unpleasant looking race of aliens who have spines and ridges covering their skin. The Dunrakaxxian is observing life at a spaceport when he spots the last member of the Rai’van – an avian-like alien species. When the female Rai’van is attacked, the Protagonist decides to intervene in order to protect a woman who is the last of her kind.
Straight away I was impressed by the amount of information and detail author Quill Holland was able to pack into his short story and debut work, The Last of Her Kind. The reader is immediately introduced to a plethora of alien races that the Protagonist sees passing through the spaceport. Each race Holland describes is colourful and vibrant and completely unique to each other. From his writing, it is clear Holland had fun populating this world and inventing long and difficult to pronounce names for his alien races.
The flow of the text follows the fast pace set by the events of the story. At the beginning of the narrative the reader is only given a sentence or two about each alien race before learning about the next. This mirrors the Protagonist’s experience. As they study the comings and goings of the spaceport their gaze only lingers on each individual for a moment before moving on to the next. It is only when the Protagonist spots the female Rai’van that the reader is provided with a more in-depth description – because now the Protagonist is fully focused on a single being.
The name of the main character, our Protagonist, is never revealed. The Protagonist is an observer and although they are the main character, it is the Rai’van who is central to the plot of this story. She is the one the Protagonist and the readers want to learn more about. It is a clever piece of storytelling that shifts the focus of the narrative and the reader’s attention.
Since this is a short story rather than a novel, the reader is only given a snapshot of life in this world. I don’t know if Holland has any plans to continue writing about this sci-fi world but I for one would greatly enjoy a chronicle of short stories set at the spaceport and told from the point of view of the Protagonist, with each story examining a different person whom the Protagonist is watching.
The Last of Her Kind may be short in length but it still manages to offer plenty of intrigue and excitement. It is a promising new addition to the sci-fi genre.
The images featured in this review have been used by kind permission of Quill Holland. For more information about the author, check out Quill’s website here.
The Last of Her Kind was published on Reedsy Discovery in February 2021. This review is also available on Discovery’s website. You can check it out here.