Tuesday, March 17, 2015

{Blog Tour: Review} FLUENCY by Jennifer Foehner Wells

ISBN #: 978-0990479819
Page Count: 376
Copyright: June 25, 2014
Publisher: Blue Bedlam Books

Book Summary:
(Taken from Goodreads)

NASA discovered the alien ship lurking in the asteroid belt in the 1960s. They kept the Target under intense surveillance for decades, letting the public believe they were exploring the solar system, while they worked feverishly to refine the technology needed to reach it.

The ship itself remained silent, drifting.

Dr. Jane Holloway is content documenting nearly-extinct languages and had never contemplated becoming an astronaut. But when NASA recruits her to join a team of military scientists for an expedition to the Target, it’s an adventure she can’t refuse.

The ship isn’t vacant, as they presumed.

A disembodied voice rumbles inside Jane’s head, "You are home."

Jane fights the growing doubts of her colleagues as she attempts to decipher what the alien wants from her. As the derelict ship devolves into chaos and the crew gets cut off from their escape route, Jane must decide if she can trust the alien’s help to survive.

Kathy's Review:

This book draws in the reader from the initial scene where the astronauts are ready to dock onto this mysterious, city-sized ship. Quickly we learn the background of Jane Halloway and Alan Bergen, who are the two main characters in the novel. The story jumps back in time to show how Jane came to be part of the mission, as well as more of the build-up of the relationship between her and Bergen (hint: at least one of them wants to be “more than friends.”)

Imagine if this was you. Ten months in a spaceship, all preparing for this moment. You’re in space, doing something no human being has ever done before. Not sure what you’re going to walk into. If the ship is inhabited, if it’s empty. Wells does a skillful job of building up this tension.

The novel unfolds into a space ride full of surprises, danger, thrills, weirdness and romance. The book summary kind of gives away that yes, this ship isn’t totally deserted. So I don’t feel too bad telling you that a third main character is the alien navigator on the ship, Ei’Brai. What’s cool about writing sci-fi is you aren’t limited in the respect of having human characters and the Earth as your backdrop. The goings-on on this ship are well thought-out and totally plausible. Having things like space slugs that secrete a poisonous slime could easily go over-the-top, but the author keeps it completely believable within the confines of the novel.

At times I got a little bit lost, but I think that’s part of the author’s intent. Ei’Brai manipulates the humans on board the ship in order to achieve his goal. At times they believe things are happening, but in fact, they are only hallucinations. The mind control or brainwashing, whatever you want to call it, adds another aspect of fear and suspense to the story.

Overall I give this novel high marks. I wouldn’t consider myself a sci-fi nut by any stretch, but I was able to enjoy the plot and was interested in the fates of the characters. Could easily see this as a movie.

*A physical copy of this novel was provided by the tour host for the purposes of this tour and in exchange for an honest review.

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