Pacific Book Review: SPECTRA by Joanne Elder
Reviewed by: Lisa Brown-Gilbert
As an avid reader of science fiction and its sub – genres, I personally find that there is nothing quite like coming to the end of a well-written, completely enjoyable science fiction story and wanting for more. Spectra by author Joanne Elder is exactly the type of sci-fi story that I am talking about. This is a completely enthralling science fiction genre novel that not only excels in creating a great science fiction/ adventure /thriller/Romance but the story is so well put together that by the end of the book it leaves the reader wanting for more.
The author Joanne Elder, who is a Professional Engineer turned author, has created a world that aptly combines the elements of an engrossing sci- fi tale, an intriguing thriller, fringe science, romance, and the many theories pertaining to the existence of the soul. The story of the life forms of Spectra continues in Entity the next book in the series.
The story of Spectra creatively delves into the long postulated theories of the existence of man’s soul, especially the cannons of Theosophy (a form of esoteric philosophy). Spectra is not overwhelmingly bogged down in particular theories but does present a very well researched overview into the subject as part of the plot and at the end of the book there are references to the information sources used by the author to research the subject matter.
It is the years 2298, an exploration team of space miners while on a mission on the planet Spectra, make a tremendous discovery that if announced would turn the world of science on its ear. They encounter a life form on the planet that exists without the confines of a body, the existence of which is very similar to the doctrines by many earth cultures and religious/spiritual sects as the human soul as it exists. With the discovery of the entities, the crew also finds that when exposed to the life forms there are changes in their personal energy fields that result in a significant increase in cognitive and physical abilities but at a terrible cost to the alien life forms.
Most members of the crew want to leave the planet alone to help preserve the life form on Spectra except for the leader of the mission – Ivan Campbell. Ivan does not want to leave their incidental discovery alone, his desire to harvest the power of the entities for his selfish desires, drives him to extremely evil actions including murder and false imprisonment.
The diverse casts of characters in this thrilling adventure are well drawn and you will find yourself rooting for the “good guys” as you are pulled into their suddenly erupting world. All the characters are interesting especially, Ivan Campbell. Ivan has a cold and calculating demeanor that makes him a well-suited antagonist who knows how to wield his power. Other characters of note are Dean Weston and Laura Simmons.
Dean Weston is a likable hero who is handsome, macho, sensitive and gallant. Laura Simmons is vivacious and resilient and turns out to be a love match with Dean. The energy that develops between the two throughout the story aids in creating a romantic adventure as they manage to fall in love as their world has erupted into a seemingly hopeless chasm of chaos.
Overall Spectra turned out to be an intelligent, worthwhile read that keeps the reader intrigued and offers food for thought.
Review of Steven Moore’s Science Fiction Novel
SURVIVORS OF THE CHAOS
Steven Moore’s Survivors of the Chaos is a well written sci-fi novel detailing a dismal future for the human race. I find apocalyptic novels have become tiresome, as have zombies and vampires. Personally, I like to read a futuristic novel that has at least some elements of potential realism to it. Survivors of Chaos skips the end of the world scenario and leaps just over a century into our future—a future where the empires of the developed world have crumbled leaving a society bordering on anarchy. Some rudiments of our society remain intact including corporate driven greed and human kind’s scientific curiosity to further advance itself on Earth and in space. Individuals are left to struggle in a world segregated by two separate classes of rich and poor. These are the three facets of society that provide the framework for Moore’s story. In particular, the lives of three distinctly different people are followed independently, with the story cleverly tying them together later in the book. Action scenes are strategically placed to keep the pace moving and the book wraps up on an upbeat note.
As for constructive criticism for the author, I found there was an overuse of acronyms to the point that it was difficult to keep track of what they all stood for. Also, the book would have benefited from an introductory blurb to describe the structure of the world after the Chaos in some detail. The reader ultimately pieces together Moore’s futuristic vision but I found this took away slightly from the story at the beginning. For those who enjoy sci-fi and are tired of the typical plot recipe so many sci-fi novels draw from, Survivors of the Chaos is both refreshing and enjoyable.
A Review of Spectra by Joanne Elder
by Imogen Reed
Another Great Review of SPECTRA
Steve Moore with Book Pleasures says:
“Once I read beyond the first pages of this novel, I was thoroughly engrossed and tempted to read far into the night. This is excellent sci-fi—your old space opera taken to the next evolutionary level. I recommend that you download it now for your spring and summer reading. I’m anxiously waiting for the sequel.”
The full review may be found here: http://stevenmmoore.com/?p=1911#more-1911
By Greta van der Rol
This is what Elaina’s Writing World said about this Science Fiction Thriller/Romance: “This is a quick read (the kind you pick up…and then don’t put down until done), fast-paced with loads of action and changes and scenery.”
For full review follow link: http://elainajdavidson.blogspot.com/2011/04/review-iron-admiral-by-greta-van-der.html
By Arlene Webb
Sift Book Reviews said “Overall the unique characters and interesting predicaments make this story a worthwhile read.”
For the full review follow link: http://www.siftreviews.com/search?q=arlene+webb
Girl Gone Nova
By Pauline Baird Jones
Christy Tillery French from authorsden.com said “The action is non-stop, the suspense gut-wrenching, and the plot rollicking fun.”
The full review this science fiction thriller/romance can be found here:
By Pauline Baird Jones
Jones has written novels in several genres including action-adventure, comedy-mystery and suspense. What did Ann Wilkes from MostlyFiction Book Reviews say about Jones’ science fiction thriller, The Key?
“Clearly this author knows how to tell a story…”
For the full review, follow this link: http://mostlyfiction.com/scifi/jones.html
by Rae Lori
Quality Book Reviews said:
“This is another highly recommended read and a definite 5 stars.”
Read the full review at http://qualitybookreviews.wordpress.com/2007/05/01/cimmerian-city/
by James S.A. Corey
The Book Smuggler rates Corey’s first book in the expanse series “Very Good”. Check out the review at http://thebooksmugglers.com/2011/06/book-review-leviathan-wakes-by-james-s-a-corey.html and see what Corey has to say about his recent novel on John Scalzi’s blog The Big Idea http://whatever.scalzi.com/2011/06/16/the-big-idea-james-s-a-corey/. Cool cover by the way!