Review: Athena’s Choice (audio) by Adam Boostrom

Adam Boostrom: Athena’s Choice; Audible Audio; 7h29m; Narrator: Alex Ford

It’s been decades since I read feminist literature like, e.g., ‘Egalia’s Daughters’ by Gerd Brantenberg. I haven’t thought of the premise of a matriarchal society for a very long time, so this book came as quite a surprise.
Where in the books I read back then women and men only had switched roles, so to say, Adam Boostrom is taking it one step further: men don’t exist any more on earth. The whole population is female, and they are doing well.
However, some females want to bring back males, because they have fond memories, because they’re curious, or because they don’t feel complete without a male counterpart.
A renowned scientist is tasked with creating a genome that is resistant to the virus which killed all males five decades ago.
The catch is: somebody stole the genome before its completion.

Enter our heroine: young Athena Vosh.
She is somehow connected to the theft, and gets summoned before the AI who knows everything, and who is responsible for the well-being of the population — alas, the AI isn’t allowed to make decisions regarding life or death, which is why she needs somebody who is allowed to do this.

Athena agrees to help finding the thief, hoping she’ll at last find a purpose in life, and maybe even excel.

But things don’t quite turn out the way Athena had hoped. She makes acquaintances, and her dreams lead her in a direction I wasn’t sure was beneficial for ‘womanity’ — would she open Pandora’s box?

The characters are well formed out, and the world is fascinating and vividly described. I loved the occasional advertisements throughout the book, as well as the description of all the technical achievements this future holds.
I’m not sure I’d want any of that — well, maybe the massage thing — and I certainly don’t know what choice I’d make were I in Athena’s shoes.
From where I stand now, the choice would be simple, because I have two sons and a grandson (and I had a brother), but if I had grown up without ever knowing any males…

This books combines various subjects: a coming of age story, a utopia, a bit of dystopia, and a future which still seems like science fiction now, but is looming around the corner, what with all the scientific and technological advances humanity has made.
There are enough twists to keep you listening (or reading), and the outcome is totally unexpected.

It gives food for thought, and will certainly stay with me for some time to come.

The narrator does an excellent job, and I especially enjoyed the way she narrated the advertisements. Her enunciation was very good, so that even I, as a non-native speaker, had absolutely no trouble understanding every word.

I received a complimentary copy and I chose to willingly post an honest review.

Review: Legacy (The Biodome Chronicles #1) by Jesikah Sundin (Audio)

About the Audiobook

Author: Jesikah Sundin

Narrator: Sunil Patel

Length: 12 hours 30 minutes

Publisher: Forest Tales Publishing⎮2017

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: The Biodome Chronicles, Book 1

Release date: Dec. 11, 2017

Synopsis:

She is from the past, locked inside a world within a world.

He is from the future, haunted by her death.

A sensible young nobleman and his fiery sister live in an experimental medieval village. Sealed inside this biodome since infancy, Leaf and Willow have been groomed by The Code to build a sustainable world, one devoid of Outsider interference. One that believes death will give way to life.

All is ideal until their father bequeaths a family secret with his dying breath, placing an invisible crown of power on Leaf’s head. Now everyone in their quiet town is suspect. Risking banishment, the siblings search for clues, leading them to Fillion Nichols, an Outsider with a shocking connection to their family.

Their encounter launches Fillion into battle with his turbulent past as he rushes to decode the many secrets that bind their future together–a necessity if they are all to survive.

Cultures clash in an unforgettable quest for truth, unfolding a story rich in mystery, betrayal, and love.

Are you ready to discover what is real?

Buy Links

Buy on AmazonAudibleiTunes

 

My thoughts:

When you think of scifi, you usually imagine something that happens in space, far away from Earth. However, this needn’t be the case. You can write really great scifi without leaving Earth, and that’s exactly what Jesikah Sundin did with her Biodome Chronicles.

If you’ve watched Stephen King’s ‘Under the Dome’, you get the idea: there’s a community living under a dome — albeit voluntarily — that is, the first generation did. Their descendants haven’t been given a choice, but they seem content enough.

However, something is about to change: Leaf and his sister Willow discover a few things that make them distrust almost everybody. Their encounter with Outsider Fillian sets in motion a chain of events they can’t control.

We have here some great characters, notably Fillian and Willow, and I can’t wait to find out how the story goes on.

As is wont in a good scifi story, there’s a lot of technology involved, none of which seems impossible, even with today’s standards. Experiencing some of it through the eyes of Leaf and Willow makes it seem quite alien and outlandish, though.

I have to admit that I quite like the idea of living in unpolluted surroundings, where there is no technology that could do harm to nature.  That said, I guess there’d be numerous things I’d miss, so I’d probably not be as content as the idea suggests, and living in a confined space, however intact it might be, probably would drive me mad after a while.

Sunil Patel’s narration was wonderful, he brought the story to life, and I listened every free minute I had. Although there isn’t exactly a cliffhanger, the ending left me wanting for more. I’m very curious about the future developments, and I hope ‘my’ lead characters will be well.

So, if all scifi you know is set in space, you should absolutely try this story, just to give you an idea that there’s more than space battles to a good scifi story. For everybody else: you don’t need to be a geek, or even understand technology to thoroughly enjoy this story.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Jesikah Sundin. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

About the Author: Jesikah Sundin

Jesikah Sundin is multi-award winning a sci-fi/fantasy writer mom of three nerdlets and devoted wife to a gamer geek. In addition to her family, she shares her home in Monroe, Washington with a red-footed tortoise and a collection of seatbelt purses. She is addicted to coffee, laughing, and Dr. Martens boots and shoes … Oh! And the forest is her happy place.

Other Interesting tidbits:
Jesikah owns Forest Tales Photography, and boasts a varied background in business administration and marketing, though her heart has always belonged to the arts and sciences. In college, she pursued a degree in geophysics and oceanography. And, as a teenager, she attended a performing arts school for musical theater and opera, performing in several theater productions, while also serving as editor-in-chief of her high school’s newspaper. She is married for over twenty years to her high school sweetheart and raising three awesomely geeky children. When not writing, she’s often found in her garden, hiking, gaming, baking, fangirling over all things Star Wars and Firefly, or attending various conventions in cosplay, notably Comicon and FaerieCon.

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About the Narrator: Sunil Patel

My name is Sunil Patel and I am a professional British male Voice-Over artist. I was born and bred in London, UK, and woke up with a deep, rumbling voice when I neared adulthood. As a result I have pursued the lifestyle of a Voice Actor / Voice-over artist, not wanting my unique voice to go to waste. I have recorded for multinational companies like Herbal Life, and organisations like The Billy Graham Evangelist Association. I have also narrated an audiobook called Legacy: The Biodome Chronicles. I can also do voice-overs in other languages, which includes Hindi and Gujarati.I have been voice trained by coach and mentor, Gary Terrza (https://www.vomasterclass.com), a successful and and well-known voice actor who has been doing his craft for over 25 years. I have also received additional voice training by my acting mentor and coach, Gavin MacAlinden, (https://www.actinggymnasium.co.uk/)

Other interesting facts about myself: I worked as a Police Community Support Officer for the London Metropolitan Police for four years; Travelled to 16 countries; Climbed 3 mountains, including a Himalayan peak; I speak 5 languages and most importantly I am also pursuing a career in acting and have performed in local theater in Camden, London.

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Book Review: Xenogeneic -First Contact by Lance Erlick

Lance Erlick: Xenogeneic – First Contact, Finlee Augare Books, ebook, 300 pages, $3.21

 

Book Details:

Book Title: Xenogeneic: First Contact by Lance Erlick
Category: Adult Fiction, 300 pages
Genre: Sci-fi Thriller
Publisher: Finlee Augare Books
Release date: March 2017
Tour dates: March 13 to April 7, 2017
Content Rating: PG + M (This book is rated PG+M because of mature subject. No explicit sex.)

Book Description:

Xenogeneic is a science fiction thriller about first contact with an alien race that lost their civil war and wants to take over Earth.

Dr. Elena Pyetrov’s father vanished in space 18 years ago while searching for extraterrestrial life. As an aerospace engineer, Elena travels into space to search for answers and continue his work. Her ship is pulled off course and crashes. She suspects extraterrestrial interference.

The alien Knoonk lost their civil war in a distant star system and fled to Earth’s neighborhood to hide and regroup. They seek a new home—Earth. Unable to live in Earth’s toxic environment, the aliens kidnap and use humans to genetically modify their species to adapt.

Surviving the crash, Elena and her shipmates are transported to a closed cave system where the Knoonk monitor and control everything. Elena tries to make a connection with her hosts and find ways to work together, but Knoonk leaders rebuff her and force the humans to submit as slaves. The aliens use illusions, distractions, and social experiments to learn from their hostages and keep them off balance. Resistance by captive humans brings swift punishment to break the human spirit.

While Elena continues to look for ways to cooperate with the Knoonk, it becomes apparent that there can be no compromise. The Knoonk want to capture Earth for their species. It is winner take all. With time running out, Elena must dig deep to uncover the alien plan and find a way to stop them before the human race faces enslavement and extinction.

Buy the Book: Amazon ~ View on Goodreads

 Review:

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of the book as a participant of  iRead Book Tours.

This is the first time I take part in an iRead Book Tour, and it is my first book by Lance Erlick. The book description sounded intriguing, especially if, like me, you love a good science fiction story.
The first third of the book was fine, but then it started to fall flat.
The whole book is written in a style that might work as a movie script, but to me, all the short sentences and rapid changes of scenes made the story feel disjointed. It was like watching a movie, with lots of flickering scenes, changing rapidly all over the place, but this didn’t work for me in book form.
After about 50%, I started to get bored, the book couldn’t really keep my interest any more and I might have given up if it hadn’t been for the book tour.
Sure, I wanted to find out what exactly was going on, but all the in-fighting among the humans just dragged on and on. Nothing much happened for the next 30% of the book, then it slowly got interesting again. And then it all happened at once.

I’m sorry to say that the ending didn’t manage to convince me. It all went so fast, with no rhyme or reason, and nobody is who they appear to be, and the explanations appear flimsy and not well thought out.

However, this is just my personal view. The idea is good, the questions the story raises are very valid ones (which unfortunately I cannot go into without putting spoilers). I’m convinced that, if compressed, and with a clear story line,  this could be so much better.

About the Author:

Lance ErlickLance Erlick writes science fiction thrillers for young adult and adult readers. He is the author of The Rebel Within, The Rebel Trap, and Rebels Divided, three books in the Rebel series. In those stories, he explores the consequences of Annabelle Scott following her conscience. He authored the Regina Shen series–Resilience, Vigilance, Defiance, and Endurance. This series takes place after abrupt climate change leads to the Great Collapse and a new society under the World Federation. His latest novel is Xenogeneic: First Contact about encounters with an alien race aiming to take over Earth.

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Rezension: Andreas Brandhorst – Omni

Andreas Brandhorst: Omni; Piper; Broschur; 540 S., €15,00
Andreas Brandhorst: Omni; Piper; Broschur; 530 S., €15,00

Inhalt:

Da das Buch 530 Seiten umfasst, ist es einigermaßen schwierig den Inhalt zusammenzufassen, zumal unter der Prämisse, keine Spoiler zu schreiben.

Kurz gesagt: während Vinzent Forrester und seine Tochter Zinnober im Auftrag der mächtigen ‘Agentur’ versuchen, ein lange Zeit verschollenes Artefakt an sich zu bringen, hat Aurelius, ein Vertreter Omnis, das selbe Ziel, nur, dass er das Artefakt nicht zu seinen Zwecken ausnutzen, sondern seiner ursprünglichen Bestimmung zuführen will. Natürlich sind diverse Organisationen hinter dem Artefakt her, heißt es doch, wer das Artefakt beherrscht, beherrscht die Welt — aber ist dem wirklich so? Eine atemberaubende Jagd beginnt. Wer wird der Sieger sein, und wie hoch ist der Preis?

 

Meine Meinung:

Konnte der Autor mich vor gut einem Jahr schon mit seinem preisgekrönten Roman Das Schiff  überzeugen, hat er mit Omni noch was draufgelegt. Omni ist ein richtiges Weltraumabenteuer, mit Krawumm, einer tollen Welt,  und einer Menge sehr gut durchdachter Ideen — auf gut Neudeutsch: es ist voll der Burner.

Wir treffen zuerst auf Aurelius, einen 10000 Jahre alten Menschen, der im Dienste Omnis steht.

Omni ist eine Supermacht die im Grunde handeln kann, wie sie will, da ihre Überlegenheit von allen im Universum anerkannt wird. Vermutlich liegt das daran, dass sie technisch extrem hoch entwickelt sind, und den Eindruck erwecken, als seien sie omniscient, omniferous und  omnipotent.   Ob der Name dieser Superzivilisationen deswegen ausgewählt wurde weiß ich nicht, ich vergaß zu fragen, aber der Autor wählt alle Namen mit Bedacht, darum liegt es für mich nahe.

Dann sind da noch Vinzent und Zinnober, ein Vater-Tochter-Duo, die auf der Schattenseite stehen. Vinz ist ein abgehalfterter Agent mit einer zwielichtigen Vergangenheit, seine Tochter Zinnober ein eigenwilliger Teenager der sich nichts gefallen lässt. Es gibt noch weitere Spieler, aber ich möchte nicht zu viel verraten. Vinzent und Zinnober werden von Cassandra unterstützt, der KI (künstlichen Intelligenz) ihres Raumschiffes.

In Omni wird das gesamte Spektrum abgedeckt, das man aus der Science Fiktion kennt: tolle Technologien, atemberaubende Planeten, faszinierende Rassen mit zum Teil furchterregenden Eigenschaften;  Verfolgungsjagden, Kämpfe, Kulturen und Bräuche, und hinter all dem eine Philosophie, Gedankenspiele, Ethik- und Moralvorstellungen. Die Verknüpfung all dieser Elemente ist super gelungen, zum Teil liest sich das Buch wie ein Agententhriller, dann wieder gibt es leise Töne die einen nachdenklich machen. Die Frage nach dem Wahrheitsgehalt des Sprichwortes: Nomen est Omen drängt sich auf, und es lohnt sich, die Bedeutung einiger Namen nachzuschlagen.

Nehmen wir nur mal den Namen Aurelius: ist er der aus Gold gemachte, oder ist er angelehnt an Marc Aurel bzw. Marcus Aurelius, den römischen Kaiser und Philosophen, der der letzte bedeutende Vertreter der jüngeren Stoa war? Wenn man weiß, dass unser Wort ‘stoisch‘ direkt von Stoa abgeleitet ist, ist der Zusammenhang eindeutig — oder doch nicht?

Für dieses Buch sollte man sich Zeit nehmen. Es ist spannend genug dass man es in einem Rutsch durchlesen könnte — wäre da nicht der Umfang von 530 Seiten. Es gibt aber so viele wichtige Details  und Ideen, dass man sich Zeit nehmen sollte.

Ich hatte das Glück, das Buch in einer Autoren-begleiteten Leserunde lesen und diskutieren zu dürfen, wovon mein Verständnis des Buches sehr profitiert hat. Da jeder eine andere Wahrnehmung hat, und man aufgrund der Fülle der Informationen natürlich nicht jede Nuance gleich gewichtet, ist der Austausch mit MitleserInnen ein großes Plus. Aber auch wer allein liest wird nicht enttäuscht werden, es ist auf jeden Fall für alle Geschmäcker was dabei und mehr.

Von mir gibt es eine uneingeschränkte Leseempfehlung.

Abschließend möchte ich mich beim Piper Verlag bedanken, der mir zu meiner großen Überraschung und Freude ungefragt ein Rezensionsexemplar zuschickte, bei Leserunden für die Organisation und Durchführung dieser ausführlichen Leserunde, und natürlich beim Autor, der uns geduldig durch die Leserunde begleitete und das Buch mit uns diskutierte.

 

Rezension – Hans Dominik: Die Macht der Drei (Scifi)

macht3

 

Zum Inhalt:
Man schreibt das Jahr a.D. 1955. Die beiden Weltmächte –die diktatorisch regierten USA und die Kolonialmacht Großbritannien–beäugen einander misstrauisch, es kann jederzeit zum Krieg kommen. Es kommt zum Wettrüsten, wobei Deutschland gut verdient, da Rohstoffe und Kriegsgerät hier in großen Mengen produziert werden können, der Kontinent aber neutral bleibt. Nicht so die Kolonien, die nach Unabhängigkeit streben.
Es gibt allerdings einen Unsicherheitsfaktor der beiden Großmächten ein Dorn im Auge ist: eine Superwaffe, entwickelt von nur drei Männern, mit der sie die ganze Welt unterwerfen können. Continue reading

Der Anfang ist gemacht oder: Off to a good start?

Coffee and Repartee by John Kendrick Bangs, Librivoxaufnahme
Coffee and Repartee by John Kendrick Bangs, Librivoxaufnahme

Gestern hatte ich ein paar Bücher aufgeführt die ich angefangen habe zu lesen, sowie ein Hörbuch, das ich momentan höre.

Aber was interessiert mich denn mein Gewäsch von gestern — heute stolperte ich zufällig über das oben angeführte Buch, und da es sich interessant anhörte, und auch noch kurz ist, habe ich es mal schnell eingeschoben.

Schließlich befinde ich mich momentan in keiner Leserunde, kann also mein Tempo und meine Lektüre selbst bestimmen (es ergibt sich aus der Natur der Leserunden, dass es einen gewissen Zeitraum gibt innerhalb dessen man das Buch gelesen haben sollte. An welcher Leserunde ich teilnehme suche ich selbstverständlich selbst aus).

Continue reading

Blogtour Gewinner

 

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Unsere tolle Blogtour ist zu Ende, und die Gewinner wurden ermittelt.

 

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