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Rating: FIVE STARS
Controlled Descent reminded me of… well, nothing. Why? Because it’s like nothing I’ve ever read before. It’s unique, different, and creates a world that’s based in reality but is unreal. It takes place in a future that is entirely possible… probable even. Humans behave the way we expect them to behave, yet they excel beyond. They survive and thrive even in their darkest moments. You find yourself riveted to the pages, watching as these rich, thick and colorful characters break and bend and bounce back. Each of the characters is intensely drawn, lovingly crafted and they, truly drive the story. It’s not the plot or what is going to happen generally that concerns the reader… the worry, the care lies in what is going to happen to the characters – to Justin, to Parker, Carl, and Allie and Tyler. These characters live in a world that is an uncertain, volatile place; a crumbling political society underlying a technologically and scientifically leaps and bounds advancing one, and it is the conflict between these two spirals that creates much of what the Restoration is all about. It’s a world that a reader can get their boots in and their mind around and live in for a good while.
On a macro/technical level with this book, there were times when I needed to go back a few paragraphs and re-read to understand what was going on, to catch things I missed when the story seemed to take a sharp turn or the dialogue changed lighting quick. The pace moves that quickly, and at times, the reader needs to slow down in order to catch every bit. The writing style is very fluid and very nuanced – the author doesn’t give you every detail, every tidbit of information. While that allows a reader’s own mind to complete the gestalt in a really adventurous, pleasurable way, the reader has to be willing to give it that effort, to become part of that world and observe with their own eyes and deduce with their own mind. If that makes any sense whatsoever. Tl;dr – you cannot be a lazy reader with this book. It forces you to interact, and really… that is a very good thing. This book is a thick, action-packed meaty thriller, not a romance (although there is some romance in it that had me cheering and crying). It’s a steak, not cereal, and it should be savored.
I recommend this highly. Now I’m ready to delve into the rest of the Restoration stories.
This past Saturday I took what is known as the “prequalification test” for my black belt. I’ve been working toward this for five years now; and now I only have three months left. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, but the tunnel is going to be a tough squeeze. I’m excited. I’m focused. I’m going to do this. Black belt here I come.
The level of detail, the characterization, the plot reversals in the story that made me shout out loud “Oh, no you didn’t!”–all of it was exceptionally well done. The way the author wove the themes and symbolism throughout the story and brought them around full circle in the ending scene was a master stroke of genius. I plan to read anything Jenn Seidler has written or will write in the future. I know I’ll be in good writerly hands and be in for one hell of a ride!
The narrator, Ian Sorensen, totally had me guessing whether he is American or British. He switched between multiple voices effortlessly, and he was all around fantastic to listen to. I’ll also look up his other titles. He’s that’s good.
Bottom line: if you like scifi–or even if you don’t usually!–I strongly recommend that you give Dry Land a whirl. Bloody brilliant stuff.
Those of you who have been following this blog for a while know that I have a rather uncomfortable relationship with the concept of genre. On the one hand, I really, really don’t like it, on the other hand, I absolutely hate it.
Genre has always struck me as the lowest sort of pseudo-intellectual caste system, a hierarchy based on superficial characteristics. It shoehorns stories into stereotypical circles. If you write a Science Fiction story, then you must write about Science Fiction characters doing Science Fiction things in a Science Fiction world. It’s a one-dimensional systematization driven by a marketing paradigm that internet shopping has made obsolete.
Lately the tendency has been to increase the numbers of genres without altering the basic linear structure of the concept. Speculative Fiction gets broken down into Science Fiction and Fantasy, then Fantasy splits into Epic and Modern, and Modern Fantasy gives rise to Urban Fantasy and Paranormal…
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From Cheri lasota:
Massive Multi-Author Book Launch coming September 1!
ENTER THE PARADISI WORLD…
A science fiction adventure through time, space and generations, brought to life through the creativity and independent perspectives of multiple authors. Enter the world of the Paradisi Chronicles, where every new journey is a surprise ride you’ll never want to get off.
What is the Paradisi Chronicles?
When Author Hugh Howey put out the challenge in 2014 for writers to band together to write in the same universe, our group of seven authors took up the challenge. We spent a year building out a fictional planetary system, complete with a massive world narrative with multiple peoples, languages, and storylines as well as detailed maps and a large amount of research into advances in Space Elevator, EmDrive, Ford-Svaiter Mirror, and spaceship technologies.
In addition, we came together with a clear goal: the Paradisi Project is an open-source world, meaning any author who wishes to join in may write any story they wish. Thus far, we have written in a variety of genres: YA romance, a contemporary romance, two action-adventures, a coming-of-age action-adventure, and two near-future scifi novells on offer coming up September 1.
And so it begins…
In the last decades of the twenty-first century, ten wealthy men and women, seeking to escape the increasingly devastated Earth, focus all their power and wealth on developing the technology and building the spaceships that will allow a select few to leave Earth and colonize the world they call New Eden. Here, on their new home in the Paradisi Planetary System, these Founding Families hope to avoid the environmental and political mistakes that were destroying Earth. But they find that the world they claim for their own is already inhabited, and the Ddaeran, the original inhabitants, although human-like in their appearance, possess abilities that the Founders and their Descendants will find both intriguing and frightening.
Book 1, Paradisi Exodus Novella Series
My novella series, Paradisi Exodus, details the origin story of the Paradisi Chronicles. I adore origin stories in general–hello every superhero origin story! =) While researching another scifi series I’m writing, I got obsessed with space elevators and realized I could add that technology to the world of Paradisi. Much of the tech in Paradisi originated with my various geeky obsessions with astronomy and near-future tech. Mea Culpa!
Here’s a bit about the story that kicks off my series:
In near future 2094, Earth is on the brink of nuclear winter. A secret evacuation is already underway, and Solomon Reach and his crew have guaranteed passage on the last starship to leave for colonization and exploration of a new planet in a distant galaxy. When Solomon learns of a betrayal that will have catastrophic consequences, he is faced with an impossible choice: who will live and who will die?
Subscribe to our blog at the link in the footer below to receive news of our imminent book launch on September 1. We can’t wait to share our shiny new world with you. In the meantime check out the rest of our website where you can learn more about the world and all our stories. Thank you for the challenge, Hugh Howey. We accept!
About the Author
Cheri Lasota writing as Tristan James
Audavoxx.com Founder Cheri Lasota has been a freelance author, editor, ebook designer and marketing consultant for over a decade, Cheri has dedicated her life and career to helping authors succeed in publishing. Her bestselling debut novel, Artemis Rising, is a 2013 Cygnus Awards First Place Winner and a 2012 finalist in the Next Generation Indie Books Awards. Echoes in the Glass is her second novel.
She is currently writing a scifi trilogy and a fantasy series. Cheri’s Paradisi Chronicles novella series is written under the pen name Tristan James.
“Great Syfy Listen!!” – by Anne
I would to anyone who is a fan of this genre…this has it all for the true syfy fan!
When he thought Colby was dead…Ted was so distraught!
I have not, but I would…he is very good!
This would be an interesting movie….
** I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review **
I am a huge Syfy fan..so this was right up my alley…Ted and a small crew of astronauts are sent to the moon to complete a mission to make it habitable…well things go wrong and they get stuck there….the twist is these are droid/human hybrids…such a unique and interesting story, and a great addition to the syfy genre….there is romance, and loss in this story…and it was a great quick listen…and I loved the little bonus story at the end!!! Thank You Audiobookblast(dot)com