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Title & Author: Escape Velocity (Syzygy Book 4), J. K. Ullrich

If you’re just learning about this series, I recommend starting with my review of book one: Transient Phenomenon

Genre & Publication Date: Sci-Fi/Cli-Fi, June 27, 2017

Book Description: “After surviving disaster and betrayal on Earth, Ash and Skye return to Luna with news they hope will unite their rival colonies. But not everyone welcomes the change their discovery promises to bring. Can they save their two communities, or will the conflict shatter their nascent partnership…and with it, the last chance for a nearly extinct human race?

“Escape Velocity”, the fourth volume in the “Syzygy” novella series, will thrill fans of contemporary science fiction classics like Orson Scott Card’s “Ender’s Game” and Margaret Atwood’s “Oryx and Crake”. Don’t miss Part I, “Transient Phenomena”, Part II, “Opposition Effect”, and Part III, “Retrograde Motion”, also available for Amazon Kindle.”

First Line: *Censored for spoilers*

My Take: This book was provided to me by the author for review.

Another awesome installment in this series that is becoming one of my favorites. After an unexpected turn of events Ash and Skye are forced to drastically alter their plans. Things are turning more dangerous than when they faced a spore infested planet, and some truths they held close are challenged by betrayal. As they risk their lives to work toward a potential solution to mankind’s greatest catastrophe, they’re confronted by political posturing and power grabbing rhetoric masquerading as salvation. I really enjoyed the intrigue and the fact that there are still allies even among people who might seem like enemies at first (and vice versa as well). This made the lunar communities feel so real to me.

The personal journey of our main characters Ash and Skye continue. I love how they keep learning new things about themselves and each other as they face these dangers. Each installment has me getting to know them on a deeper level than the previous one. I also love how they proactively strategize. Yeah, things are looking bleak, but dammit, they’re still going to fight for their people. And if one plan fails and they manage to survive, well then, they’ll try again. Their mix of pragmatism and optimism is addicting and I’m dying to see what happens next.

The Magical: The scientific research set against the backdrop of ignorance and politicking was a great juxtaposition and an excellent example of how humanity ended up in this situation in the first place. It really had me growling with frustration–not that my tolerance at the moment for this kind of thing is stretched thin as a wafer cookie or anything. I mean, after all, if it weren’t for politics I might still think the world is round. (Apologies if the sarcasm dripping off that fell onto your device. I’ll pass out towelettes.)

The Mundane: Something really awful happened to one of the main characters (it was really cool too but, you know, in an awful way). It wasn’t contrived feeling at all and really altered the dynamic between the two protagonists in a believable way. So, the thing I noticed is really minor given everything else and maybe no one else would see it, but I wondered why later it didn’t seem like the experience troubled the character it happened to other than some lingering physical stuff. I expected this person to grapple with it mentally a bit more, kind of in the way someone who survived a near drowning would be nervous about going near the water again.

Or maybe I’m just a sickie and wanted to read more about a favorite character’s suffering. There’s always that possibility.

Summary of Thoughts: Currently this book is $0.99 on Amazon. If you haven’t caught on to the fact that this is an awesome series by all the four and five stars I keep giving it (and my dedicated gushing about it), then here’s an extra reminder: It’s amazing! And NEW. I feel like I run across so many recycled plot lines and genre formulas these days. This story line is one I’ve never read anything like before (and y’all know I read constantly). A poignant look at our potential future through the lens of an environmental crisis that isn’t all that fictional. This is yet another fantastic installment just as strong as the rest.


Many thanks to author J. K. Ullrich for providing a copy of the book to review!

Want to learn more about this author and her work? Explore her website here