I have a confession to make. I’m not a sci-fi fan. There, I’ve said it. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love sci-fi movies. Serenity is a particular favorite of mine. But in my books? I like to stick to my nice, comfy little reading rut, which just happens to be romance and the occasional zombie apocalypse book. But I’ve been thinking lately that it’s time expand my horizons. And because this book has a great-looking cover that was obviously professionally designed and a short but highly impactful blurb, I thought this was most definitely a good opportunity to branch out into the world of sci-fi novels. The result? Well, I can’t say that I’ll give every sci-fi book I come across a chance going forward, but I’m certainly glad I read this one.
This is one of those reads you probably shouldn’t take on if you have a heart condition, because it’s definitely an edge-of-your-seat story that keeps you biting your nails as you fret about what horrors await the heroine from one page to the next. And speaking of the heroine...Khyria kicks ass! She’s quick-thinking and determined, and I actually found her to be relatable, which I didn’t expect from a sci-fi heroine.
As for the mechanics of the story, this is a sophisticated read with complex, intricate world-building, well-fleshed-out characters and smooth, clever dialogue. The book is free of annoying typos and grammatical errors and the story is tight enough to suggest it’s been professionally edited (which I totally appreciate).
All in all, this is a story even a non-sci-fi fan like me can enjoy, so I can only imagine how happy actual sci-fi readers would feel about this one!
Full disclosure: a free copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Design Dude cover design review
Unfortunately, I'm afraid I have to disagree with my partner about the quality of the cover design on this book. While the armored figure on the front is definitely eye-catching, that's about the extent of the positives. Not only was the figure placed off-center to accommodate the gigantic gun he's holding but for some reason, there's also a weird shadow surrounding him for no apparent reason. As always, if the primary image you've selected for your cover forces you to compromise, it's best to look for another image.
I have no idea what's going on in the background. It could be a futuristic city but there's also some lights toward the bottom that suggest the interior of a ship. Given that the main character was a woman, I think it might have been more interesting to use a close up of a woman's face to engage potential readers. If nothing else, the expression on her face may have provided some clue as to the emotional tone of the story. With this cover, I have no idea what to expect.
My other main issue with this cover is the typography. Despite the fact that most of the best selling sci-fi books in the various genre categories where this book is listed use high-tech looking san serif fonts (often rendered with a metallic texture) the title and author name for this book use a fairly plain serif font that doesn't seem to fit with the design conventions commonly found within the genre.
While not a complete failure by any means, this cover falls a bit short given the amount of potential, which is a bit of shame given how much even my sci-fi agnostic partner enjoyed the story.
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