In 2061, a young scientist invents a time machine to fix a tragedy in his past. But his good intentions turn catastrophic when an early test reveals something unexpected: the end of the world.
A desperate plan is formed. Recruit three heroes, ordinary humans capable of extraordinary things, and change the future.
Safa Patel is an elite police officer, on duty when Downing Street comes under terrorist attack. As armed men storm through the breach, she dispatches them all.
'Mad' Harry Madden is a legend of the Second World War. Not only did he complete an impossible mission—to plant charges on a heavily defended submarine base—but he also escaped with his life.
Ben Ryder is just an insurance investigator. But as a young man he witnessed a gang assaulting a woman and her child. He went to their rescue, and killed all five.
Can these three heroes, extracted from their timelines at the point of death, save the world?~Goodreads Blurb
With great promise, comes great responsibility. Well, not really but it can’t hurt to put a bit of pressure on an author. A book of this size has a promise of some world building and to have a lot going on. Instead readers are given some back story, and then pages upon pages about one character’s depression. While I would expect there to be some underlying trauma from finding out you’re dead and have to move on, the “woe is me” attitude wore thin very quickly. Honestly, Safa had more reason to break than Ben Ryder. I expected this story to be about these three great heroes making a difference, even after death. I would almost recommend a name change to “Ben Ryder: I’m Not a Soldier.”
Coupling the highlighting of Ben ryder’s character with Safa’s character makeup, annoyed me to no-end. She is described as the perfect woman, and in almost every instance men are drawn to her. She gets taken advantage of by her boss, and then in a matter of weeks, the author has her trying to seduce a guy better. Harry, a man extracted from the furthest point, could easily have been replaced by a robot sidekick for all the real growth the character has. No one has the training to be able to automatically adjust to moving years into the future or the past. It had the potential to be a great book but unless something drastically improves the next one, I don’t think this will be a series to promote.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and 47North in exchange for honest feedback*
Tenley “Ten” Lockwood is an average seventeen-year-old girl…who has spent the past thirteen months locked inside the Prynne Asylum. The reason? Not her obsession with numbers, but her refusal to let her parents choose where she’ll live—after she dies.
There is an eternal truth most of the world has come to accept: Firstlife is merely a dress rehearsal, and real life begins after death.
In the Everlife, two realms are in power: Troika and Myriad, longtime enemies and deadly rivals. Both will do anything to recruit Ten, including sending their top Laborers to lure her to their side. Soon, Ten finds herself on the run, caught in a wild tug-of-war between the two realms who will do anything to win the right to her soul. Who can she trust? And what if the realm she’s drawn to isn’t home to the boy she’s falling for? She just has to stay alive long enough to make a decision…~Goodreads Blurb
Typically when the phrase “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover…” is used you expect to find a great story hidden behind a rather crappy cover. In this case, I ended up with a gorgeous cover and a lackluster story. The frustrating thing is that it could have been so good. The idea of two warring afterlives, and a terrifying limbo state, light versus dark, you could even throw in a solarpunk over lunarpunk twist if you wanted. The framework had such potential, but I feel the author just didn’t quite live up to what she wanted to write. The backstory is almost non-existent except to tell us that this is the way it has always been and every once and awhile, the “gods” show up to prove their existence. Did I mention that the some of them have powers from their Afterlives, and they exist in Shells? The sheer amount of paths this could have taken is breathtaking. With the brilliant cover art and the promise of a fresh series, I admit I may have expected too much. Instead of creating a new world for her readers the author has rehashed some old standard tropes, and copped-out with the character development. The standard Brit-Irish accent, dark hair light hair, bad boy good guy battle for the super special girl has been seriously played out and I was hoping for male characters that would bolster and push our lead character to become the great person she is destined to be. Not so much, once again. It was an easy read and luckily I have enough imagination to make up for the bones I was thrown.
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books in paranormal and contemporary romances, as well as young adult novels. Her series include White Rabbit Chronicles, Angels of the Dark, Otherworld Assassins, Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress and Intertwined.
Her novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine, and have been translated all over the world. The critics have called her books "sizzling page-turners" and "utterly spellbinding stories", while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise”.
On the surface, the life of young scientist Mei Yin seems perfect. She runs her own research institute in China, she’s getting married, and she founded an orphanage that helps hundreds of girls. But Mei Yin has a dark secret—three vials of “Satan’s gift,” a deadly smallpox virus left over from Russian scientific research conducted during the Cold War. She’s determined to find a vaccine, even if that means endangering those she holds dear.
Zia Baj, a terrorist educated in the West, has also obtained Satan’s gift. But he’s not looking for a cure—instead, he plans to exact revenge and start a war. So he unleashes the virus in an American classroom. At the same time, thousands of miles away, the children of Mei Yin’s orphanage fall ill. Soon authorities realize that this is no ordinary outbreak: it’s the start of an epidemic. How are the two cases linked? And can a worldwide pandemic be stopped?~Goodreads Blurb
Whoa. This world-encompassing biological thriller is one of my favorite books to come out in 2016. Everyone knows that smallpox was eradicated so thoroughly that they don’t even inoculate kids for it these days. We’re more worried about mumps and measles, to even think about a virus that wiped out millions of people in the past seems a waste of time. Author Jinkang Wang uses his latest book to show us why that might not be the right way to go. With an interesting way of combining the idea of nature as a god-like entity and an understanding of science, the story unfolds in a surprising manner. The timeline stretches from just before 9/11 until beyond present times. This gives a rich world-building story that shows the slow game that evolution and adaption take until meddled with by humans.
Jinkang Wang and translator Jeremy Tiang have done an amazing job on Pathological. Its full of twists and turns leaving readers with the moral question of “Just because we can, should we?” There is quite a bit of religion, atheism and science throughout which give all the various viewpoints that can be difficult to fold together. The idea that everything that exists to day has won some sort of genetic and evolutionary lottery is unsettling if only in the need to question one’s own existence. Couple that with the highlighting of the horrible things that humans have done to each other, JInkang Wang has done a brilliant job marrying science and morals to leave the readers wondering in the best way. I think the basic thought this book leaves you with is best put in the author’s own words. “Does the rabbit have the authority to declare the coyote illegal?”
*Received eBook from NetGalley in exchange for honest review*
AmazonCrossing said this about author Wang Jin Kang: A master of science fiction, Wang Jinkang won the World Chinese Science Fiction Association’s Nebula Award for best novel in 1997 and the International Science Fiction Conference’s Milky Way Award in 2010. His books include Ant People, Seven-Layered Shell, Life-Death Balance, Time-Space Shift, Sowing Seeds on Mercury, and Human-Like. Jeremy Tiang has translated more than ten books from Chinese, including novels by Zhang Yueran, Yan Geling, and Chan Ho-kei. He has been awarded an NEA Literary Translation Fellowship and People’s Literature Prize. He also writes and translates plays, and his own short story collection, It Never Rains on National Day, was short-listed for the Singapore Literature Prize.
Mondragon, by Aran Jane, is a sci-fi/biopunk action adventure, set more than a thousand years in the future, after a ceasefire between genetically mutated Martian colonists known as "newstylers" and the unmodified "accidentals" back on Earth.
In Shanghai, Earth's capital, battle-weary Derek Mondragon looks after wounded fellow soldier MacCullum, the last casualty of the Newstyler Rebellion. Meanwhile, his home life deteriorates, resulting in the mother of his child abandoning them both.
Derek is troubled by MacCullum's obsession with an ancient codex that warns of an existential threat tied to the current interplanetary conflict. When MacCullum is attacked in his hospital room for that knowledge, and then Derek's young daughter is removed to a hatchery (a state-run orphanage that turns kids into science projects), Derek goes AWOL to take matters into his own hands, only to land unexpectedly in the middle of a secret mission that might decide the fate of everyone on both planets. ~Goodreads Blurb
A feat by newly published author Aran Jane, Mondragon is a speculative science fiction novel that draws you into his world. It looks like our own, and yet it turns our view on its head. With space exploration, the introduction of new technology and an almost fantasy style of biological manipulation of human life Aran Jane manages to create a world quite unlike our own while filling it with the all too common human emotions and flaws.
With some speculative fiction you are introduced to a world that just seems to have one or two differences that make the world an alternative timeline. Such as who wins the second World War in The Man in the High Castle and the like, this novel has taken the common idea of uploading ourselves in order to transport ourselves across the galaxy and expanded upon it. It assumes a world where we have advanced to a point where those who have uploaded their existence and those who retain their humanity are at odds. This leaves you with a them versus us that isn’t bound by race but by “progress.” The idea that science would progress to an extent that people created by what we today would see as natural creation would be viewed as accidentals. It gives a thought provoking viewpoint that keeps the reader wondering which side to choose.
While the distinction is made early between newstylers and accidentals, one must read further on to really understand what the author means. Simply saying this is “A” and these guys are “B” left me to try and fill in the blanks. Later on in the book I was able to understand as the world building was fleshed out and more of the back story was filled in. So even if you don’t automatically understand I encourage you to keep going. The threads you’re given at the beginning do eventually make a rich tapestry.
Speaking of the world building and the science part of the science fiction, I have to give a thank you to the author. Many times authors will fudge the facts or at least play with the numbers or the nature of the sciences to suit their story. While I am no quantum physicist and my grasp of the sciences is limited, I found Aran Jane’s way of explaining the mechanics of his sandbox and showing the readers the limits of the science refreshing.
Using the Voynich Manuscript was a lovely touch as well. In a world full of technology and code breakers, it is still a source of fascination today. Unsolved and full of a language that no one understands, it is a mystery that has been written about many times. Aran Jane’s choice in making it a message from the past to the future was an interesting turn as was his decision over the Voynich witches inclusion.
While I’m not crazy about the fact that all the women in Mondragon’s life, besides his wife, seem to flock to him, I am glad that the author included women in a manner that made them more than bystanders. It kept the story from becoming a sausage fest and a boys brigade. I could have used more women but I leave that us to the author’s next work.
For a newly published author’s first book I am impressed and look forward to whatever he publishes next. Mondragon is a 479 page book with rather lengthy chapters(25.) I would not recommend this book for a light-hearted read as it is quite dense(in a good way.) If you are looking for a world that you can dive into and really enjoy, this would be perfect for you. A delightful read that is sure to capture your mind and leave you wondering at your own humanity.
Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, veryseriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.~Goodreads Blurb
Just as a starting note, I would say that you need to at least have a passing knowledge of Jane Eyre before reading this book. It isn’t super important but it may make a difference in how much you enjoy this book. To be fair there are a lot of literary puns and in in-jokes that might leave you scratching your head or just brushing it off without notice. I’m have my English Lit. degree and I still had to look up a couple of character notes to get the joke. This may have been a book-lover's gift to other book-lovers, that got out of hand and the public got a hold of it. Not everyone’s cup of tea but clever if you know what to look for.
The Eyre Affair was listed as dystopian in some reviews but I think it firmly lies in the Speculative Fiction world. It is laced with humor and world building that would make Pratchett say, “It’s a good start.” The alternative timeline can be a little hard to understand if you aren’t from the 1980’s England. As a 90s kid who lived in America all her life, I had to do some Googling to figure out when the Crimean War actually ended and what it was all about. (3 year war resulted in Treaty of Paris no real winner though the Allies claimed a victory.) Not being British or a literature buff may make this book a bit annoying and that isn’t something you want for your readers. There’s clever and too clever. The way the author, Jasper Fforde, names his characters seems to be a deliberate nudge to the readers. Almost like saying, “See that, look what I did there.” While some like Paige Turner can be forgiven as cutesy, naming your bad guy Acheron Hades, is a bit like Boaty McBoatface or Baddie McDevilguy
Well written and paced well, the actual Eyre Affair doesn’t take place until over halfway through the story so I can’t help but wonder if a different title might not have served the author better. There is a strong whimsical feel to the timeline, which gives us dodo birds and door-to-door Baconians, the author not the animal product. The ending seems to have a bit of a deus ex machina feel to it but with all the messing about in other people's’ books it fits rather well in the novel. I enjoyed it but the having to open Google up every few chapters can get rather tiresome for some folks.
The Author's Information is listed on Goodreads as: Jasper Fforde is a novelist living in Wales. He is the son of John Standish Fforde, the 24th Chief Cashier for the Bank of England, whose signature used to appear on sterling banknotes, and is cousin of Desmond Fforde, married to author Katie Fforde. His early career was spent as a focus puller in the film industry, where he worked on a number of films including Quills, GoldenEye, and Entrapment.
His published books include a series of novels starring Thursday Next: The Eyre Affair(2001), Lost in a Good Book (2002), The Well of Lost Plots (2003), Something Rotten(2004) and First Among Sequels (2007). The Big Over Easy (2005), which shares a similar setting with the Next novels, is a reworking of his first written novel, which initially failed to find a publisher. It had the working title of Nursery Crime, which is the title now used to refer to this series of books. The follow-up to The Big Over Easy, The Fourth Bear was published in July 2006 and focuses on Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.
When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.
Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.
But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?
The old adage about not judging a book by their covers must be a bane to cover designers everywhere. I can readily admit that sometimes I will pick up a book just because of a clever title or a beautifully designed cover. I am constantly checking the bookstagram and booklr tags on social media and Zodiac came up a surprising amount. The cover I received on the hardback version was designed by Vanessa Han, a cover designer and self proclaimed bunny mother. After seeing everyone’s different shelfies and their reviews of Zodiac as romantic and girl-power, I decided to give it a go.
Since becoming a part of this group of people who review books for the sheer love of reading and prospect of getting a good book out of it, my books have varied from disaster, to incredibly well done. Zodiac was interesting, entertaining, and well written; A real success and a good read. The amount of sheer world building and to an extreme, universe building, author Romina Russell has created a book that has left me wanting not only a sequel but also a prequel. Though we are given little bits and pieces of the histories of these people, there seems to be other parts that are missing. I want to know about those first peoples. I want to know about the first struggles after coming through, the terra-forming and the first war. I NEED these details!
I enjoyed the Human Expansion story with the twist of the Astrology race idea. Typically I don’t hold much store in the idea of astrology, but if it brings comfort to people and helps them explain their lives, who am I to say otherwise? While it had a bit of a Divergent feel with the people split up by their defining characteristics, I do like the idea that there are people who don’t fit into these boxes and they can change houses. The Astrology twist also gave the story something that each reader could connect with and I think that is an extremely creative way to draw in your audience. By introducing certain houses throughout the story, it kept you reading so that you could find out what your own personal house was about and to see if you would have fit in or been a Riser.
Even with the common tropes and themes, such as The Chosen One, The Hero Secret Service, the Hope Bringer and the ever popular Love Triangle, I enjoyed this book and Russell’s attention and overabundance of details that really fleshed out the story. This is supposed to be the beginning of a trilogy, but I would not be surprised and a little disappointed if there weren’t side novellas and at least one prequel. I would recommend Zodiac for Young Adult series readers, and anyone who likes a good magical space adventure.
Author’s bio: Romina Russell (aka Romina Garber) is a Los Angeles based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a teen, Romina landed her first writing gig—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. When she’s not working on ZODIAC, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.
It’s the end of the world, again. This book was a recommendation on Goodreads after I finished Station Eleven. I can see why. If Station Eleven is the light and breezy dystopian novel, than The Water Knife is the dark, heavy cousin. We, as readers, are following three main characters around in this not-so-distant future dystopian setting. The water is running out and those who control it at it’s start can decide who gets water and how much. There’s Angel, like calling a tall man “shorty”,the spy/soldier who kills to keep his boss happy and the water flowing. Lucy, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, who has made her fight personal. Lastly, there’s Maria, a refugee who will do whatever it takes to get out and stay out. These three will have to work together if anyone is going to make it out alive.
Water has always been a scarce thing out in the West, and a drought can be life changing. California has been in the news constantly because they are running out of water. When they do get rain they have to worry about mudslides and other disasters. The Water Knife is a wonderful addition to the genre of Dystopian fiction because it doesn’t create a problem, or a disaster to set the stage. Paolo Bacigalupi has taken real headlines and world occurrences to a further point. He doesn’t stretch to the furthest point, i.e polar caps melting lead to Waterworld, but while reading this you can see how we could reach the current degree very easily. Bacigalupi has taken our world and simply looked forward into one of our possible timelines. It scares the readers and it leaves them asking the question: How do we stop this from happening?
There is absolutely no sugar coating in this story. It’s brutal and hard. Wonderfully written and gets inside your head, The Water Knife is a heavy book. You could finish it in one sitting but I would advise you to follow it up with something lighter. There is such graphic and vivid language that it is almost like being there. The worst of humanity is on display while any sort of goodness and light seems to be fleeting and far away. The women all seem to be used or threatened to be raped. The men are mostly all heartless and just out for themselves. There may be a lesson to be learned from that but I like to stick to my belief that the good guy will win and the bad guys get their dues. I am tired of women simply being used as fodder and I had hoped that the author would rise above that particular trope.
Bacigalupi has enormous skill and talent, The Water Knife pulled me in and would not let go until it was finished with me. He writes in a manner that shows in such detail that you could almost reach through the page and touch the scars and injuries of the characters. The combination of different languages and dialects came through and made it feel real, rather than a white washed version of disaster. The clear disdain for journalist who feed off of disasters and the quick turnover of the public’s reactions to our now common 24-hour news cycles, is obvious and surprising as he seems to do the same thing in this story with the graphic manner he describes the violence and then moves on to the next scene.
This book has left me highly conflicted. On the one hand, it is well written and will draw you in. The other hand being, that it is depressing and dark. If you can handle the heavy and the emotional drain of reading this book than you should go for it. I’m going to stick with borrowing this from the library but I don’t think this will ever be a book that I re-read for fun, or buy for myself.
Here’s a bit about the Author from his website: Paolo Bacigalupi’s writing has appeared in WIRED Magazine, High Country News, Salon.com, OnEarth Magazine, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. His short fiction been anthologized in various “Year’s Best” collections of short science fiction and fantasy, nominated for three Nebula Awards, four Hugo Awards, and won the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for best science fiction short story of the year. His short story collection Pump Six and Other Stories was a 2008 Locus Award winner for Best Collection and also named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly
His debut novel The Windup Girl was named by TIME Magazine as one of the ten best novels of 2009, and also won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook, and John W. Campbell Memorial Awards. Internationally, it has won the Seiun Award (Japan), The Ignotus Award (Spain), The Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis (Germany), and the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire (France).
“If there is a nuclear war, I don’t want to live,” comedian David Mitchell said on Would I Lie To You? “I don’t want to come out of a shelter and try and rebuild society. I have no skills...How long, okay, society is destroyed by a nuclear war, how long in this, basically we’re back to the Bronze Age, how long is it going to be before people start pitching panel shows again? It’s going to be at least 2000 years.”
Luckily author Emily St John Mandel has thoroughly disregarded that idea in her book Station Eleven. The idea of a travelling band of nomads recovering after a cataclysm has shaken the foundations of life as we know it isn’t new. Yet she has created this world in which we follow a literal band, The Travelling Symphony, who have paired up with a group of a actors to put on Shakespeare and classical music shows all around North America. In a world where all of the convenience of our modern lives have faded out, we are shown a slice of their lives. Looking through the eyes of different characters and the use of overlapping timelines, we are able to see the before, during and after of the Georgia(country not state) Flu. Though she follows the idea that most people will take care of the basic needs, shelter, food and the like, she inserts the idea early on using a Star Trek Voyager quote: Survival is Insufficient. It isn’t enough to simply live from day to day. We see this in each character as they grow from making it day to day, to actually living. That of course is the whole point. To steal a line from Jurassic Park, "Life will find a way." That's is what we live for, the idea that no matter what life will go on.
Too often dystopian novels are grim and can be overwhelming. The darkness in humanity is always there and it can be focused on, to an extreme degree. The draw of dystopian stories for me is not the end of the world, or the prophecy of what can be, but the spark of life and goodness even though the world is going to pieces around the character’s ears. Station Eleven left me not only wanting more but also with a bit more faith in humanity. The idea that a sickness could spring up at any minute, is a worry that the modern world has always had to face due to overpopulation. Worse might be the leaders of certain faith groups that like to claim that any natural or sickness that kills many people is the work of God. There will always be cults of people in dystopia that believe that they survived not through chance or immunity but because they were better than those who died. We see this in Station Eleven and to the author’s credit she handles the inclusion of this in a brilliant fashion.
This isn’t the perfect dystopian novel, it’s a lovely post-apocalyptic choice but I felt it needed more. We are introduced to several characters that don’t reappear for an indecent amount of time. While I was drawn into the story, there were several times when I was left wondering how it was going to wrap back to certain characters. The ending did leave me wanting more closure, or at the very least the promise of a sequel. Station Eleven might not be for everyone, some might find the connecting story of Arthur Leander pointless and not really needed. While I could have done without it, it did provide a cord of connection between the characters that they wouldn’t have had otherwise. The 1st year after the Flu isn’t really hit upon in a strong way and one character flat out can’t remember what happened. I feel that it would have been easier to connect to the character is I had more understanding of her past. Instead I got a basic Strictly Need To Know block.
I would recommend this book to someone looking for a happy-ish ending and a dystopian novel. There isn’t much graphic violence until the climax, and the characters are obviously affected by their actions and their pasts. This is a nice change from the cold and impersonal killers I’ve had to get used to in this genre. There is a bit of an anti-God feel when it comes to the cults, but just because she didn’t write about a faith based town that wasn’t full on child-bride creepy, doesn’t mean they didn’t exist in her world. Though I checked this one out of my local library, Station Eleven is going on my Christmas list.
Just a bit about the Author: Emily St. John Mandel is the author of four novels, most recently Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and won the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Toronto Book Award, and the Morning News Tournament of Books, and has been translated into 27 languages. A previous novel, The Singer's Gun, was the 2014 winner of the Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. Her short fiction and essays have been anthologized in numerous collections, including Best American Mystery Stories 2013. She is a staff writer for The Millions. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
Reports of a strange, new habitable planet have reached the Twenty Planets of human civilization. When a team of scientists is assembled to investigate this world, exoethnologist Sara Callicot is recruited to keep an eye on an unstable crewmate. Thora was once a member of the interplanetary elite, but since her prophetic delusions helped mobilize a revolt on Orem, she's been banished to the farthest reaches of space, because of the risk that her very presence could revive unrest.
Upon arrival, the team finds an extraordinary crystalline planet, laden with dark matter. Then a crew member is murdered and Thora mysteriously disappears. Thought to be uninhabited, the planet is in fact home to a blind, sentient species whose members navigate their world with a bizarre vocabulary and extrasensory perceptions.
Lost in the deep crevasses of the planet among these people, Thora must battle her demons and learn to comprehend the native inhabitants in order to find her crewmates and warn them of an impending danger. But her most difficult task may lie in persuading the crew that some powers lie beyond the boundaries of science.~Amazon.com Summary
This book is wonderful, you should buy it as soon as it hits the shelves. The writing style lends it self to these wonderfully descriptive scenes and you can find yourself lost in her worlds. Even though part of the story is written in a dark space, you still can lose yourself and can feel the story. All too often writers will find themselves writing weak women, not always physically weak but characters that don't stand up to the story they are supposed to be leading. More often they become plot advancement devices to move the story along, or damsels in distress to be saved. The Dark Orbit women are more than just filler, they hold up and give a real human view through out the story. It's a refreshing breath of air from some of the not so great stories I've read. I connected with these women not only because they were women but because they were good characters. You could have changed the Daves to Debbies and vise versa and I still would have loved it. It only added to my delight that many of the characters were described as POCs, showing an understanding that in the future it wouldn't be a sea of white faces but a collection of different people.
Sometimes it is the Science part of Science Fiction that puts people off books that they otherwise would have enjoyed. Luckily with the popularity of The Big Bang Theory and other "nerd-lite" cultural reference points, science is getting closer to common knowledge level of understanding. I am a self described geek, and I enjoyed the way the science was explained. In some books it almost feels as though they are simply making up science to use as filler, worse has to be when the science is explained and the reader is left feeling as though they were being treated like a child.
Another great thing about Dark Orbit, would have to be the author's ability to create a real human connection through this book. With some books, having more than one POV can cause the reader to feel obligated to read one while simply waiting out for the others. In this case though both story lines were compelling and added richer details and knowledge to the plot. By giving a range of connection and diversity to her characters, Dark Orbit is a great book that I would feel confident about giving to a friend.
Freelance Editor & Reviewer