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Review: “You Can’t Kill the Multiverse*” by Ira Nayman

“You Can’t Kill the Multiverse* (*But You Can Mess with its Head)” by Ira Nayman

Available from: Amazon
Released on: 9 January 2014

Description: It’s just another day in the Transdimensional Authority, with teams of investigators doing what they do best (well, after breakdancing) – investigating. Bob Blunt is en route through a Dimensional Portal™ to Earth prime 4-7-5-0-0-7 dash iota to investigate cars exhibiting most uncarlike behaviours – ribbit! (Breaking all of the Transdimensional Authority rules…number 127, he is without his partner, ‘Breakfront’ Balboa, who is on leave after an unfortunate incident with the Vulvar Ambassador to Earth Prime and a staple gun). Beau Beaumont and Biff Buckley have already arrived on Earth Prime 5-9-2-7-7-1 dash theta to find themselves surrounded by machines whose only intention is to serve human masters – even if it kills them! Recently recruited TA investigator Noomi Rapier, with her partner ‘Crash’ Chumley, is on Earth Prime 6-4-7-5-0-6 dash theta where all matter at all levels of organisation (from sub-atomic particles to the universe itself) has become conscious. Meanwhile Barack Bowens and Blabber Begbie, taking the Dimensional DeLorean™ to Earth prime 4-6-3-0-2-9 dash omicron, face multiple apocalypses (already in progress), and Bertrand Blailock and Bao Bai-Leung are having trouble travelling to their intended destination: the home of the digital gods. At first, they all appear to be looking for unauthorised and probably counterfeit Home Universe Generator™s, but could what’s really happening be more sinister?
(Yes. Yes, it could. We wouldn’t want to leave you in suspense…)

Review: After I finished the book, I put aside my ereader and thought: I have no idea what I just read.

Seriously! Ira Nayman writes some of the strangest and most convoluted books around, and yet you somehow seem to follow and to “get it,” and it’s amusing the whole way. He has a way of being very “breaking the fourth wall” -esque with his exposition, but it’s always humorous and on point.

The prose is littered with semi-covert pop culture references that are funny when you don’t get them and really funny when you do. And for me, he hits on pop culture references that really speak to me, like Star Trek of World of Warcraft (I want a gummy bear mage, dammit!) and that makes me like it even more.

He’s one of the few authors I’ve read who can write something like this and do it well, so that you end up sitting back and saying, “I have no idea what I just read, but man, I had a really good time doing it!”

It’s another solid 4 Fireball hit for me.

4 Fireballs

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Raphyel M. Jordan is Visiting! [Tour Stop]

Evaluations of the Tribe

Evaluations of the Tribe

Published on…15 November 2013
Published as…Science Fiction/Coming of Age

Raphyel’s Boom Baby Blast

1. One Random Fact: I had blueberry granola pancakes from J. Christopher’s…for lunch. Genius.

2. Fictional Character You’d Really Like to Be: Easy. Forge from the X-Men. I’ll be able to make anything out of, well…anything!

3. Your Authorial Theme Song: What? We got theme songs now!? Nobody told me. My novels have theme songs, though. That’s good enough for me.

4. Favorite Part of Being a Writer: Actually, I like the pre-gaming part of it, truth be told. All the research that you do in order to build the universe your characters and readers are going to dwell in…

5. Name of Your First Pet (Can include family or significant others…): Sunshine. She was a black lab. I know. A play on words.

6. Music, Television or Silence While Writing: (Singing) “Music Makes Me Lose Control! Music Makes Me Lose Control!”

7. Early Riser or Night Owl: Party hearty on ‘til the break of dawn.

8. Favorite Season: Autumn, with its colors, and the weather, and the food, and the beers, and the clothes, and the holidays…yeah…

9. Did You Always Want to be a Writer: Actually, no. I wanted to be an animator growing up, always having wanted to bring my characters to life. Even so, I’ve written adventures for my creations, as far back as learning how to write a basic sentence. So, in that sense, I guess writing was always in me, even when I didn’t even realize it.

About the Book

You Learn. You Work. You Fight.

In spite her age, Aly should be the ideal Goolian combatant in her tribe. Her reaction time is faster than any adult. Her agility is off the charts, and she’s one of the top ranked sparring students in the entire village. If she could just fire a single beam of energy from her palms, like everyone else on her homeworld, she wouldn’t get pushed around, harassed in class, or long for acceptance. The Evaluations, however, can change that. If she can be the last one standing in a dangerous rite of passage that will put her years of training to the ultimate test, she’ll finally prove her worth to her people. Anything less, and she’ll be the local outcast for the remainder of her life.

There’s another person in the tribe longing for the same prize due to a similar dilemma, and it will take all of Aly’s strength to defeat her. There’s only one small problem. That person happens to be her best friend.

Buy the Book at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords

View the Trailer at YouTube

About the Author

Raphyel M. Jordan Author Photo

Raphyel Montez Jordan grew up in a household sensitive to the creative arts. As a child, his hobbies were drawing favorite cartoon and video game characters while making illustrated stories. This passion for art never left and followed him all the way up to his high school and college years.

It wasn’t until college when he underwent a personal “renaissance” of sorts that Jordan took his interest in writing to another level. When he was 19, he started writing a novel for fun, taking inspiration from the constant exposure of different ideas and cultures that college showed him while staying true to the values he grew up to embrace. However, when the “signs of the times” influenced the story and the characters to spawn into universes of their own, he figured he might possibly be on to something.

As he studied graphic design at Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia, Jordan also used his electives to study sciences like Astronomy, Psychology, and Biology in order enhance the reading experience in his story. He eventually made it a goal to have the story published after he graduated, and dubbed the goal “Operation Prosia,” the very same project that would develop into his first published book, “Prossia.”

Even though his novel is not necessarily a religious book, Jordan utilizes his Christian faith by urging people to encourage, not condemn, in his story. Best known for ending his PSFC newsletters with “Unity Within Diversity,” he hopes “Prossia’s” success will inspire people to consider and support the positive outlook in the difference human kind can share, whether it be race, religion, or any other cultural difference.

~* Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads *~

Enter the Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Prossia by Raphyel M. Jordan

Prossia

by Raphyel M. Jordan

Giveaway ends December 31, 2013.

See the giveaway details

at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

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“Forbidden Future” by Various

“Forbidden Future” by Various

Available on: Amazon
Released on: 12 September 2013

I received this book free via the Masquerade Crew in exchange for an honest review, as part of the ‘Forbidden Future’ blog tour.

Description: Is life better or worse?

Forbidden Future by James Wymore
When a time machine technician working the graveyard shift gets divorce papers from his wife, he decides it’s time to take the machine for a ride—no matter the consequences.

Jump by Jon Bradbury
Jesse Kendall thinks he’s seen it all. He’s about to see more.

Road Trip by Matt Mitrovich
Four friends drive to a college party and take an unexpected detour into the future.

Cacotopia by James Lauren
Kayne Adamson went into suspension to await a cure, but never imagined how long his sleep would last or the world he would awaken into. Is it really the utopia it first appears to be?

Society by Terra Harmony
Take a ride on the Energy of the Future where society gets a fresh, clean start—no matter who they have to leave behind.

The Mountains Haven’t by Kade Anderson
Something is very wrong in the downtrodden town of Dignity and only the town’s Watcher, Julia, can see what it is.

Between Utopias by Michael Trimmer

Review: “Between Utopias” by Michael Trimmer: This story wasn’t uninteresting, but felt lacking in enough originality to really stand out to me. The character wasn’t particularly sympathetic, although perhaps relatable. It had a couple interesting aspects, though. A bit better editing and streamlining would’ve helped earlier in the prose to make it feel less muddled.

“Forbidden Future” by James Wymore: Again, interesting but without that unique flair to really make it stand out. Although I did find it particularly interesting that it spent less time on the details of the future and more on the cycles inherent in the story. Again, though, despite the circumstances, I didn’t find enough to make the main character particularly sympathetic.

“Jump” by Jon Bradbury: This one caught my attention better because it presented what I found was a more original angle, at least comparatively: Jesse’s job and the reason for his time jump. Unfortunately, the plot felt a little too straight line; given the set-up, I’d expected a twist at the end but didn’t get that and was a little let down. Still, I found this story and character more engaging, even so.

“Society” by Terra Harmony: This one I liked. Perhaps the first person narrative helped me anchor into the character more, but I just thought it gave me more to ground myself in both the story and narrator. I also liked that it started in the future, and had a less self-focused character leading into a slightly more…hopeful feeling at the end, despite the presented dystopia.

“Road Trip” by Matt Mitrovich: This one amused me by the random cloud-based time travel, although I don’t think it was supposed to amuse me. The story wandered and the characters didn’t engage the reader much, but it was okay, and had a couple interesting points. Steve’s drive towards the end feels a little sudden, less organically shown/developed through the story, but the ending was interesting.

“Cacotopia” by James Lauren: Harkening back to the first two, there was a rather unoriginal and predictable feeling to this one. But it still engaged me just enough to move through and feel something for the main character. And there was a certain…uncertainty in his “world view” right at the end of the story that I actually liked, since that one detail is not usually seen in these types of story.

“The Mountains Haven’t” by Kade Anderson: This is my favorite. The journal format was good and the narrator very engaging. It was also, strangely, the only story out of seven that had a female main character. The “secret” of the mountains made for a very interesting angle, and a more original twist on the time travel idea than any of the other stories. It was a good one to end on. (Oh, and the cows thing amused me in a dark way.)

Over all, this wasn’t a bad anthology although I didn’t find it great either. I only “really” liked a couple of the stories, but I didn’t dislike the rest. Time travel stories aren’t my usual read, so maybe there were subtle elements that I missed and am not giving the stories their due. I acknowledge this possibility.

So for an average total, I give this 3.5 Fireballs. It probably would’ve been a 3 (not great but not terrible), except for Anderson’s story. Which I really liked.

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Review: “Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience)” by Ira Nayman

Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience) by Ira Nayman. I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your own copy at Amazon.

Description: This hilarious science-fiction comedy novel follows the first case for Noomi Rapier, rookie investigator with The Transdimensional Authority – the organisation that regulates travel between dimensions. When a dead body is found slumped over a modified transdimensional machine, Noomi and her more experienced partner, Crash Chumley, must find the dead man’s accomplices and discover what they were doing with the technology. Their investigation leads them to a variety of realities where Noomi comes face-to-face with four very different incarnations of herself, forcing her to consider how the choices she makes and the circumstances into which she is born determine who she is.

Ira Nayman’s new novel is both an hilarious romp through multiple dimensions in a variety of alternate realities, and a gentle satire on fate, ambition and expectation. Welcome to the Multiverse (Sorry for the Inconvenience) will appeal to comedy fans who have been bereft of much good science-fiction fare these last eleven years. Ira’s style is at times surreal, even off-the-wall, with the humour flying at you from unexpected angles; he describes it as fractal humour. Anyone who has read his Alternate Reality News Service stories will know how funny Ira is. The characters we meet from around the multiverse deserve to become firm favourites with all fans of science fiction comedy.

Review: This not being the first piece I’ve read from this author, I feel that I have the authority with which to make the following statement: Ira Nayman is, without a doubt, totally insane. I mean, really bug-nuts crazy. How could anyone in their right mind, after all, come up with the stuff he puts into his stories?! The answer: no one, which is why he’s obviously not in his right mind.

This is what I’m saying.

As such, you can imagine that his stories are about the same. And they are. But they’re really funny, which is what makes them pretty awesome. But you know what? It also makes them kind of hard to properly describe! I can’t exactly tell you about the story. You sort of just have to read and experience the machine-gun fire satirical bullets yourself.

It’s very dry, wry, sarcastic, sardonic, tongue-in-cheek, straight-forward and convoluted. It loves to play in the not-so-politically correct/but-not-so-bad-either waters. The characters interact with the narrator and accompanying literary devices, and always very amusingly. As are the narrator’s interactions with you, the reader.

Noomi and Crash aren’t the most three-dimensional characters in the world, but they’re not flat either. You just don’t dive too deep into them, but that’s okay. I think it would take away from the fun of the story if we did. There’s a plot and characters. It’s all there, and it’s good, but the story itself really is the world and all the other worlds: an infinite number of them.

I’m not really sure what else to say. I guess you’ll just have to experience it for yourself. ;-) The only reason it’s not getting a five is cause while it’s very enjoyable, it’s not the kind of story that grabs me by the throat and smacks me around, which are the types that get 5 Fireballs, but it’s close… 4.5 Fireballs!

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Review: “Primae Noctis” by Aimery Thomas

Primae Noctis by Aimery Thomas. I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. You can purchase your own copy at Amazon.

Description: Humanity had passed far beyond any reasonable expectation of redemption. The dark veil of fear and night would descend upon every person on Earth.

A frightful, new age had begun.

It was the first night of humanity, now known as the Calamity: a time of global crisis that led to the deaths of more than 99% of the world’s 13.6 billion inhabitants.

Sixty years later, and with the guidance of the Archonae, the survivors live in an idyllic society of secure and protected cities designed to elevate humanity to its full potential and prevent the problems of the past from recurring.

However, not everyone is content with life in the new utopia.

Primae Noctis follows a diverse cast of characters through an expansive, future world:

Nan Allegra is a political historian with outspoken views. She is in pursuit of a mystery that no one else seems to care about, but could be of critical importance to the future.

Archon Devlin is responsible for the Recovery, a global programme to recycle the remains of the former cities of Earth into useful, raw materials. He is deeply concerned with the future direction of humanity.

Jones is a man who doesn’t remember his first name or his past, but hopes to change the future. His mission is to assemble a group of citizens in the world’s second-largest city to aid him on his quest.

Reginald Mullen is a Knight charged with protecting the citizens from the dangers of the Wilderness. He finds strength in ensuring a secure future for the citizens of his city.

Franklin Murakami is an administrator and designer at the largest nanotech production facility in the world. His designs help to shape the future.

Sylvie Mathieu is an AIC administrator in Republica. She has never engaged in an intimate relationship with anyone, and only cares about the future of her daughter, Leila.

Henry Roston is an engineer who lives a carefree existence and spends his leisure time in the Entertainment District of the city. For him, the future is the present.

Primae Noctis is the first in a trilogy of high-concept, science fiction novels filled with action, intrigue, and suspense.

With a tasteful modicum of violence, sexuality, history, and philosophy, Primae Noctis was written for the adult, hard science fiction audience by author, Aimery Thomas.

Review: This is going to be a really difficult review to write, because I’m kind of conflicted in what I thought about this book. To give you an idea of how many thoughts I’ll be wrangling, I should explain how it works. As I read, I take notes — usually stream of consciousness stuff and first reactions — on my iPhone. I then email said notes to myself, put it into a document and try to turn it into a review.

Primae Noctis is epic length, over 650 pages in its print version. I have four Word pages worth of notes to condense.

Admittedly, the majority of them never see the review. They are reactionary, unpolished, and often relate to spoilers. Still, I have to make sense of the melee to write a decent review. And since I had a lot of thoughts about this book, it’s a lot of melee! I need a sword and shield just to survive it, I think…

…but I digress.

I think I generally liked it, but still found it a little hard to read. Thomas is a very exacting writer, which is okay, but for my tastes, it makes the writing kind of dense. I had been concerned about the “hard” science fiction angle, but the tech/science wasn’t a problem. It was mostly that everything world-building related seems to be described in detail, down to clothing and food. Thomas reminds me of a sci-fi Robert Jordan. That works very well for a lot of people, but I apparently am a little hyper when reading. I tend to want to keep up a quicker pace.

And when the writing is too exact, it can make you feel disconnected from the story and characters, it’s harder to feel what they feel and can give the prose an almost bloodless quality at points. It’s a delicate line and the writing in Primae Noctis tended to straddle the fence for much of the beginning.

I felt like the story dragged through much of the first 40% (roughly 250 pages). The first several chapters don’t seem to see many things happening, but just introduce you to the characters. Which is fine, we need to know them, but I like to see more plot at the same time. I would rather more plot and less world building details. But again, this could just be me.

There was a real feel hearkening back to the cinematic days of “Logan’s Run” and its like, which I think was part of my problem: everything seemed to be written out like describing a movie visual with every detail. I prefer things a little fuzzier, so I can make my own pictures.

Semi-related to the “hearkening feel,” the book had a strange quality of sliding between originality and stereotype. I found the world building and technology to be very precise and intriguing, even if I didn’t feel like I needed to see as much as I did. I liked the cohort marriage idea, though I worried that the book would end up demonizing the idea as being part of the “bad” society, but that didn’t happen. (Hopefully it won’t in the next book.) There were elements of the story — such as the history of the Calamity and the connections of the Anarchon’s early comrades, along with a few other things — that stood out and I liked.

Yet on the other side, a lot of the book didn’t feel very new or ground breaking in the genre. Which is fine, few books truly do and no story can be truly original, but with a book of such heft, I guess my expectations got a little high.

Sometimes it felt like character development was sacrificed for world building: emotional reactions in scenes went from A to C without time on B. Like, person A says something that person B reacts hugely to, when what A said wasn’t yet that big a deal You want to see more emotional build up before B hits the ceiling. To understand it and feel it yourself. Such as the Reveal talk between Jones and Nan. I would have liked to have seen more foreshadowing in Nan before she accepts it so easily.

And sometimes there were large events that caused interpersonal schisms, but we only returned to those characters when things were good again. We didn’t see the changing and the healing, even if we saw the breaking.

Despite the slow start, around 40% there is a Major Event, and things really do start picking up after that. While what I said above about sacrificing a bit of a character and a little too much world building remains true, it wasn’t as pronounced. Emotional reactions we saw started making sense.

In fact, it almost felt like I was reading two different books. In the first half, I didn’t really like how many of the female characters were portrayed, but that improved in the second half. The prose felt a little bloodless in the first half, but that improved in the second. None of the characters really “grabbed” me in the first half, but they did in the second… etc., etc.,

I did like a lot of elements of the story. By the end, I was very much keeping my fingers crossed for the cohort, and I liked Jones and Prospero a lot. I ended up liking Reg and Alysha and Ito, too. I thought the Major Event around 40% was well done, if naturally harsh, and I thought Ito’s Big Scene towards the end was very well done.

So, here’s where I’m conflicted. If I would review/rate this book based on the first half, I probably wouldn’t like it. Just on the second, I would… but since I usually judge a book more by how it ends than by how it starts, I’m going with I liked it. Although I struggled early on, I did get into it in that latter half and I want to know what happens next enough that I’ll probably get the next book.

I think I gotta give this one 3.5 Fireballs.

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Review: “The Dreamer Genome” by Steve S. Grant

The Dreamer Genome by Steve S. Grant. I received this free from the author in exchange for an honest review. You can purchase your own copy at Smashwords.

Description: In 2020, a passionate scientist conducts secret genetic manipulations to give human fetuses the ability to survive long periods of hibernation. He is supported by a pharmaceutical tycoon who believes in his genius and realizes the implications of his work: Cryogenics… to prolong life… a one-way time machine to the future… unlimited financial potential to the company who develops and markets such a long coveted dream.

When the clandestine lab is voluntarily destroyed to avoid discovery, test subjects are scattered and raised in extremely different conditions. Unfortunately for them, their corporate parent is expecting a high return on its initial investment. Greed and personal ambition eventually overthrow the last remaining shreds of common decency and the experiment spirals down a dark path.

The Dreamer Genome is a realistic Sci-Fi thriller exploiting untested scientific theories in the tradition of Michael Crichton. Readers are taken on a wild ride to the near future and confronted with a definite possibility of the new century.

Review: Anyone who reads my reviews knows that I’m just sick any time I can’t give a stellar review to a fellow indie author, because I know how hard it is out there. But I also have to be honest. In the case of this book, however, a large part of my rating is more subjective than usual. I’ll explain.

Space travel and exploration ended up being huge in this story, which I didn’t expect from the description. Because I was never caught by the “astronaut bug” as a child, this didn’t grab me like it would someone else, so I didn’t hook into the tension of the story as much as I’d hoped. This is the particularly subjective part, because this is in no way the fault of the author’s. This is my deal. So, someone who is more into that would get into it way more, I’m sure.

Secondly, it’s sold as being in the style of Crichton. And to a degree, that’s not wrong, as certain elements I’ve noted in my reviews of Crichton’s work — namely, more Tell than Show, and a plethora of not-very-sympathetic main characters — were here. The problem is that it’s hard to be Crichton and these things actually didn’t work for me here. Crichton also had an easy flow to his prose, even when describing heavy technical matters, and condensed time frames that really held tension.

One of the reasons was the use of the time jumps. We’ll hop years at a time and there was a couple cases where only one or two chapters was in any time frame. I understand, I think at least, why this was done — because of the nature of the story — but for me, it lost a lot of tension. Towards the end, I really felt the tension building, but then we jumped two years and I lost it. It made the pacing a little hard to keep along side.

And these short “time spaces” seemed like an effort to Show rather than Tell, which given a lot of Telling in other places made things kind of… interesting.

Otherwise, I had a few other issues that hampered my enjoyment.

It started off feeling remarkably word heavy, like prose trying too hard to sound important and to explain too much about each sentence, and a lot of the characters and dialog felt very forced and not natural. This improved after the first few chapters, though recurred here and there. (Though I did appreciate how the nursery scene was handled.)

Curiosity did compel me forward and it wasn’t a bad story or book. It wasn’t badly written, but the “key” plot did feel like it took a while to feel clear and that gave me this feeling of wondering; things felt kind of pointless at times. This did almost lose me from the story more than once, but I was able to finish. Given my alarming DNF rate on books, that’s actually noteworthy.

Characters were rough. I didn’t feel like I got to know Anthony enough to feel the impact of his main scene, and then we built up a lot on Carol and Gena and then just moved off, though I did like the lasting effects of the events of the first two chapters on Carol. It’s more realistic than a lot of fiction is. I found Neil inconsistent and didn’t find any of the Dreamer kids to be very sympathetic until later in the story, though I ended up liking Russell, and Bill. Eric was all right, too, by the end.

Mark I also wrestled with, not because of the character himself, but wondering if the dramatic upbringing and life he led is actually necessary to the character and to the story. I could see it being used in some areas, but I’m not sure if it was all necessary or just given to him to be in stark contrast to the lives of the others.

So, my concluding thoughts here are that I’m conflicted. It wasn’t a bad idea or story, and while I had my issues, it wasn’t badly written. I think it would be a fantastic book for someone with different tastes in certain areas, or maybe I would’ve liked it better if I’d known a little more about the over-all tenor of the book. And yet, because I am as I am, I’m not sure I can say that I “liked” it. It definitely never really “grabbed” me, so this one has to fall in at 3 Fireballs.

Don’t know if I’ll be checking out the second book, but curiosity may continue to compel me.

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Review: “Prossia” by Raphyel M. Jordan

Prossia by Raphyel M. Jordan. I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. You can purchase it at Amazon.

Description: Trying to grow up in a galaxy full of advanced technologies and people who’ve isolated you from society is one thing, but trying to grow up in a galaxy where you can end up dead by poking your head around the corner of a burning tree or crumbling building is another! When a race of aliens known as the Cyogen return and oppose the galactic rule of order known as Truth’s Grace in a far off galaxy, a young Goolian named Alytchai is thrown into such a world in order to protect her tiny speck of a galaxy she calls home.

Even though her race is considered naturally skilled in the art of combat, Aly’s physical and mental differences in processing things make her question if she can be the servant and defender her planet has called to be. Fortunately for her, Aly finds support by looking to a group of both local and off-world creatures that she can always rely on when her confidence on and off the battlefield is questioned. Then again, some of the people she thought she could trust have their own series of conspiracies and dark secrets that might jeopardize everything that Aly has been taught to believe and trust her entire life.

So how will this Young One from the middle of nowhere overcome these issues while engaging in the horrors of war? Can she overcome the Cyogen? Can she overcome the war? Can she overcome herself?

Review: Okay… this is going to be a complex review. There were a lot of elements that I liked about this story, but I had issues with it in equal turns. It makes me uncertain about whether I actually liked it or not. I was able to finish it, but between my issues and sci-fi not always being my favorite, I might not have kept on with it had I not taken it for review.

What I didn’t like…

I had some problems with the language in the writing. It would have been okay, since this is a sci-fi book with no humans, but only if it was kept to the alien’s dialog. But it was in the exposition too and that really kept pulling me out of the story. It was a strange mix of “alien talk,” psuedo-archaic and modern colloquial.

It also needed editing… like, “smile” is not a proper dialog tag. You can’t smile words, or shrug, or grin them. And there were many, many cases of words being mixed up: descent for decent, waist for waste, contempt for content. Again, was this a try to make it sound non-human? But it was in the exposition.

The story is written in Third Person Omniscient, so the flip-flopping tones (formal to informal), the inconsistent word usage, couldn’t be easily explained as alien perspective. That would have been okay in First Person, or even Third Person Limited. (I’m still a little on the fence about the Omniscient voice, since it’s not my favorite, but Jordan actually did fine with it so I don’t think it hurt the story.)

Jordan does very well to avoid most information dumps, though sometimes it leads things to not be as well explained as a reader might like, but you get the point.

This next point is my issue and not the author’s. Aly – the main character – is well written as a teenage female protagonist, as well as the other things she is. (You have to read the story to find out.) But… I don’t like most female teenager main characters. And sadly Aly was not the exception. Her melodrama and inconsistencies drove me nuts. It made it hard for me to sympathize/relate.

There was a little bit of Mary Sue Syndrome with her too: a character the commands more loyalty and love than I see reason for in the story and actions of the character.

My last issue was the main plot line in relation to the story. It’s obviously more of a character study than a plot driven one, but still, it is a story about war – building to a war, being in one, and so on. But the way it’s paced and moved, I felt no immediacy or urgency from the characters or in myself. Made it hard to hook into it.

And some Events at the end that I think were supposed to be shockers didn’t really shock me at all.

What I did like…

Now, I know it sounds like I’m bitching all over the place, but the fact that I’m pulling out this much actually shows that I saw a lot of potential and a lot one could like in the story. The fact that I did finish it was also telling, because I have a very frightening DNF rate when it comes to books.

I liked the mix of being naive and knowledgeable about other races and planets in the Goolian, and the controlling one’s being thing was interesting. I really liked Gurthyus (whose name I think I’m misspelling from memory).

This story kind of gave me a Starship Troopers feel, which amused me.

Prossia really did have a fascinating concept and I liked the premise. I liked that there were no humans. The Sungstra stuff I found really cool, but I can’t say why because then I’d give away too much of the Reveals later on in the story. I don’t know if I’ll read other Prossia stories, but I may. I am curious.

And the character illustrations at the end were a nice touch.

I had too many issues to justify a higher rating than 3 Fireballs, though I think if it weren’t for those things, I would have given it a higher rating, and I acknowledge that some of my issues were entirely me-specific and other people will likely have no issues with them at all.

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