The Burning Years Review (Cli-Fi Speculative)

Title: The Burning Years | Series: Until This Last Quartet #1 | Author: Felicity Harley | Pub. Date: 2017-2-14 | Pages: 220 | ASIN: B06X3W39S5 | Genre: Speculative Fiction / Cli-Fi | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 3 out of 5 | Source: Received a copy free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Burning Years

In the year, 2060, Sophie, a top female scientist, dismantles the government weather modification program and steals the male and female trans-humans who hold the promise of extended life.

While the remaining inhabitants of Earth are forced to design new underground habitats in order to survive a harsh, overheated world, Captain Rachel Chen, takes the worldship Persephone to Proxima Centauri, hoping that this new star system will provide a refuge for the survivors of the human race-Goodreads

Book cover for The Burning Years

The Burning Years

If you like climate fiction,The Burning Years is right up your alley. This book revolves around the fact that mankind has seriously screwed the earth up. And now humans are forced to retreat underground and reach for the stars. The author has done a great job of looking into the near future and giving a sobering view of the destruction climate change has wrecked. She also pulls no punches in making it clear that is mankind that has done this. That too little was done too late. That our current status of being ruled by people who care more about the money in their pockets than anything else is going to destroy everything. It has already started.

The aforementioned aspects of The Burning Years make me want to cheer initially. I love it when an author doesn’t bother to mince words. Felicity Harley sets out to educate and entertain at the same time. It’s obvious the author knows exactly what she wants to do with this series. She also has some fantastic ideas (I can’t say that I believe they’re feasible, but they are cool.)The Burning Years moves at a steady pace and is very well explained. Unfortunately, this precision in examining the situations the characters find themselves in, as well as indulging in explaining the scientific concepts being utilized means that it feels like very little actually happens. From about two-thirds on, the story is told in snapshots where we check in with the characters at various points. This is a very detached relation of facts that may not appeal to everyone.

The Burning Years didn’t work for me for a few reasons. The first is that the author wrote in present tense. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing in present tense, but reading it makes me twitchy. I found it ridiculously hard to get into the flow of the story, and it was mainly due to the strangeness of reading in present tense. Specifically third person multiple present tense. It threw me off my game right off the bat and I never really managed to adjust to it.

The second reason is the author’s tendency to format her book in a very formal, almost instructional manner.

“As part of this particular experiment, Persephone’s living spaces are interwoven with algae bioreactors, anaerobic digesters, bioluminescent light sources, heat absorbing and emitting substances, and even hygroscopic materials, such as calcium chloride” – Felicity Harley, The Burning Years.

Again, there’s nothing particularly wrong with this. Also, the fact that she defines these words in the back of the book is very handy. However, it did tend to pull me away from the story and make me feeling like I should be learning the words instead of absorbed in the plot. Similarly, she frequently puts slang in single quotation marks. This was something that was completely unnecessary and, to be honest, made me giggle a bit.  Also, the author’s straightforward layout of climate change and implementation of technology and scientific concepts doesn’t always play well with the somewhat mystical beliefs about life and death that she espouses.

Overall, I admire what the author is trying to do in The Burning Years. I do think the book has potential. However, it needs some work to make it a more reader-friendly experience.

Caresaway Review (Sci-Fi Short Story)

Book cover for CaresawayCaresaway: If there was a pill that made you successful, would you take it?

What if it also made you a psychopath?

Edward Crofte was a dedicated scientist who wanted to cure depression. After years of work and sacrifice, the Caresaway drug he developed seemed to work wonders… but at what cost?

Years later, Edward’s wonder drug has helped people with depression. But has it also helped destroy the world economy? And what has it done to him? – Goodreads

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Spaceman Review (Post-Apocalyptic Spec. Fic)


Spaceman: Clayton Shepard is 249 miles above Earth when the lights go out.

He has no communication, limited power, and an unbreakable will to survive.

His one goal: find his way BACK to his family.

Shepard is an astronaut on his first mission to the International Space Station.

When a violent blast of solar magnetic radiation leaves him stranded in orbit, he’s forced to use his wit and guile to find a way home.

He has no idea what he’ll find when he gets there.

SPACEMAN is a post-apocalyptic/dystopian tale that tells the survival story of a man and the family he left behind. It’s written with the help of former astronauts, NASA team members, and well-respected astrophysicists that give SPACEMAN a unique sense of detail and desperation. – Goodreads

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The Screaming Review

The ScreamingThe Screaming Synopsis: What causes an adolescent – straight A student Brandon P Marshall – to walk downstairs naked, armed with a pair of Glocks, and go all Charles Manson on his family? This is only one in the horrifying trail of incidents that brings together Detective Sergeant Dale Franklin of the Kansas City Police Department and his poster-boy rookie, Steve Abrams.

Meanwhile, across the pond, Dai Williams, in Battersea London, safe inside his improvised Faraday cage, is coming to terms with his special talents – talents that will take ‘getting-into-the-mind-of-the-killer’ to a whole new level.

Al-Qaeda? Drugs Cartels? Internet freaks? David Graham’s The Screaming leaves no possibility untouched as Dai enters a bizarre and horrifying world where kids scream. – Goodreads

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Gaia’s Majesty Review (Fantasy / Speculative Fiction)

Gaia's Majesty

About Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery
Our earth mother, Gaia, was intrigued by clever creatures developing on her Earth. She believed they held promise but also danger for themselves and her planet.

Wisely Gaia reserved a gifted population of women dedicated to earth’s stewardship to safeguard the future of humankind. They remained in cities in the sea called Tethys. They would be a genetic pool if she needed to restart the species. The ones in the sea were called Progenitors and had lower fishlike bodies when in the sea but could morph to totally human form on land. Some members, called Primals, lived on the land and among them were a defense force, predominantly women, called the Andromeda. From these people were born the myths of mermaids and amazons. Together they are called Tethyans.

Opposed to the Tethyans are the Overlords. While Tethyans devote themselves to the stewardship of humankind and the earth, the Overlords are devoted only to profit and power.

Gaia’s Majesty: Discovery begins the trilogy which explores if Gaia’s preparations will succeed. Is this story a myth, or like so many myths, does it reside on the cusp of reality? – Goodreads

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Children of the Comet Review (Speculative Fiction)

Children of the CometIn the far future, on top of a gigantic tree rooted in the ice ball of a comet, a young man s journey leads to unexpected encounters. … Torris, son of the Facemaker, knows only his small community at the base of the great Tree on a comet with almost no gravity or atmosphere…. a daily struggle for survival includes harvesting frozen air to keep breathing, dodging flutterbeasts, and hunting meatbeasts for food. When it comes time to make his vision quest to the top of the Tree, Torris is completely unprepared for what he finds: first, a thieving and hostile fellow quester; then, Ning, a female hunter from a neighboring tree-bearing comet, who has catapulted across empty space in search of food to save her family; and ultimately, alien visitors in a massive starship that has spent billions of years crossing the galaxy. Shocked at the cultural differences between his home and Ning’s and stunned by the changes precipitated by the arrival of the spaceship, Torris must learn quickly, adapt even faster, and face an uncertain and rapidly changing future unlike anything he has ever imagined. -Goodreads

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