Yearly Reading Challenges

This blog contains my book reviews for my yearly reading challenges. See all my reviews at

Monday, March 19, 2012

SFR Reading Challenge 2012

Isolation by A.B. Gayle

SFR Reading Challenge 2012 6/15
Read from March 15 to 19, 2012

Grade B-/C+

I, for one, want to encourage writers to pen more science fiction romance novels. In the tradition of Linnea Sinclair, solid SF mixed with romance is an exciting and enjoyable genre. Isolation hits the mark well enough for me to recommend it to SFR fans, although it's not perfect.

The basic storyline is quite good and unique. The book is about an Earth mission to colonize a distant Saa'ar planet and the problems that ensue when someone's unknown agenda ends up killing the aliens and stranding the colonists on a space station. The characters are well-drawn for the most part, and the SF details included show the author has done her research. (I liked the interactive computer game the colonists played on board. That was a good touch.) The problem comes with putting all these good points together in a cohesive whole. Somehow the author just misses making the story read as a smooth, continuous entity. There were a few too many side trips with details that were interesting bu interrupted the flow of the story. There was also an occasional scene that left me feeling that the author had a very certain visualization of the scene in her head, but not all of it communicated to the printed page, leaving the reader a little confused about what was going on. This includes the motivations or future plans of the villains of the story, which I never quite understood. Lastly, a few of the character interactions were a bit stiff, and didn't have an authentic feel to them. (Note to author if your reading along: the scene were the captain shows Ethan the gun. I didn't understand the significance of that scene, or why the captain was nervous.)

While the main characters get their resolution, the story ends rather without the larger story arc resolved. I was glad to see this is the first of a series, which means I'll probably get my answers in the next installment.

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