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    A Compelling Survival Story, Hard to Put Down!

    Any who have appreciated the unique strengths of Solarium-3 are in for a treat: Haeven is published and ready to go, and embraces the same strengths of Solarium-3 without some of the usual detriments of trilogy titles. It's time to take a stand on trilogies (starting with this book) and to point out that what is clearly stated as 'Book One of a trilogy' should be viewed as just that, and not as a stand-alone feature to be read independently (or instead) of the other books. Haeven requires familiarity with its predecessor Solarium-3 on many levels, and while, yes, you could read it as a stand-alone story… why would you? The groundwork has been wonderfully cemented in Solarium-3 and it's time to move on with the saga rather than wasting chapters re-creating the wheel of events: that Haeven does so will delight fans who have returned for 'more, please'. Here the fragile safety that has built a sustainable environment is being threatened by a crack in both dome and psyches, requiring Solarium-3's inhabitants to consider going outside into a much-changed world. Is there more of a risk outside than inside? That’s the lingering question in a story that, once again, builds a seemingly-predictable scenario only to break all the rules with a series of events that keep readers on their toes and thinking. As the struggling Solarians make headway in exploring their changed boundaries, they also make new inroads in exploring each others' place in the world. The characters achieve much more depth here; which is as it should be in the second book of a series. And there's plenty of mystery and surprises; which is saying a lot for a premise that at first seems too entirely predictable. It's rare to find a story that truly departs from an anticipated conclusion and wraps the element of surprise into its progression. It takes a real artist to create a logical path supported by innuendo and facts and then offer a twist that leads in an entirely different direction. Solarium-3 was good; but Haeven is great and will lead readers to hunger for the final book, ReGeneration - especially as Haeven ends with a cliffhanger. That John R. Spencer has succeeded in this effort in both Solarium-3 and Haeven lends to a compelling odyssey even veteran scifi readers will find hard to put down.
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