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  • A nicely constructed read

    When Chandra signs up for a medical study to implant the internet directly into her brain she hopes to communicate with her partner who is in a coma, but she soon finds out that there is more to this study than meets the eye. I found Imminent Dawn to be a really nicely constructed read. Its very obvious that a lot of thought has gone into the plot lines by R.R. Campbell and there are a lot of threads to the story. The idea of having a narrative switch perspectives per chapter between 4 main characters was nicely done. I didn’t feel like I preferred one story line to the others which meant the pacing stayed consistent for me throughout and I wasn’t rushing to get to a different storyline which can easily happen in similar books. I think the only storyline that was a little weak was Wyatt’s – his seemed a little repetitive at times as he questioned whether his children were actually worth his legacy. The only thing holding this book back from being 5 stars for me was the fact that the plot got a little over complicated and convoluted in places. Every character seemed to be being manipulated by someone else or have their own constantly changing agenda and that times four characters is a lot to keep track of! The plot also felt a little drawn out in the middle although I liked the fact that it actually had an end. Although this is the first book in the Empathy series it didn’t really end abruptly or on too much of a cliff hanger which I appreciated. I also felt that I actually wanted a bit more background on the technology and how it actually worked and what had come before it. We got little flashes into other things – (h)ARMONY and comPASSION for instance, but it was never really explained what these were. The whole interface of EMPATHY I found a little hard to imagine which was a shame as I felt the author probably had an in-depth idea in his head but it doesn’t quite translate as clearly as it could have done to the reader. Overall Imminent Dawn is a great introduction to a wider series and an interesting story – I just felt it got a little too complex for its own good in places! Thank you to NetGalley and Ninestar Press for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Epic scifi with a futuristic dystopian twist

    *wipes brow and flops heavily into writing chair* Okay, folks, this week’s read was a doozy. As many of you know, the majority of my reading history has been focused on romance or novels with a strong romantic subplot. I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to reading epic tales with intense, mind-twisting plots. (Not to say romance novels can’t have intricate and intriguing plots—because they can and quite often do—but they don’t compare to the amount of brain-power and focus it takes to make sense of a science fiction or fantasy.) That all being said, Imminent Dawn by R. R, Campbell was definitely one of those long, twisty, challenging reads… and, I adored it. Yes, I’ll admit it took me some time to get into the read. Coming from a romance background, I find it difficult to connect with characters if there are more than two POVs. I also find it challenging to wrap my mind around huge new worlds with lots of creative words and ideas far outside my modern day comfort zone. (And this can often be true with historical reads too.) However, once I dug in my heels and kept reading, I found myself anxious to see what would happen next. I’m not sure I “bonded” with the characters in the same way I might have had there been less POVs, but the richness of the story and the world Mr. Campbell created went a long way toward making up for that. This story is a rollercoaster of intrigue, suspense, and gorgeously crafted wonder. Once I latched onto the story, I couldn’t put it down. The writing is beautiful and the world building is superb. It took me a while to get a firm grasp on it all, but that could very likely be due to my inexperience with this genre. I could tell Mr. Campbell put a great deal of effort and love into the telling of this tale. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys well-developed, deep, research-invested scifi stories, but I would also strongly suggest anyone into fantasy or dystopian futuristic novels give it a go. As are all NineStar Press releases, this has an LGBTQ+ twist, but a subtle one. It isn’t a romance and it doesn’t pretend to be, yet there’s some wonderful moments of love, compassion, and position representation that make this a delightful addition to the world of LGBTQ+ fiction.

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