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    Fantastic world-building, dynamic and enthralling

    The Stark Divide is the type of book I never thought I'd read. I usually only read books with some type of romantic component. The romance doesn't have to be the center of the story but there must be a romance. Well, back in November 2017 J. Scott Coatsworth asked me if I'd review The Stark Divide for Xtreme Delusions. At the time I was just too busy to accept but he asked if I could do it in January and I said yes. I was really nervous to start reading the book because it's just not my usual kind of story. I'm a huge Star Trek fan, beginning with The Original Series which came out when I was around 12, but I've never read science fiction books and never really cared to. It's hard to say why I even said "yes" to Scott when asked to read The Stark Divide. I guess part of the reason is that I was a bit flattered that he wanted me to read it and was willing to wait until I had time in my schedule. I am SO glad that I said yes and convinced myself to start reading this book. I didn't have to read very far into the story to get hooked. The Stark Divide is broken into three parts with ten years between part one and two, and then 20 years between part two and three. Because I've never read this type of book before I'm not really sure how to review it. I'm one of those readers who has a hard time describing exactly what it is about a book that catches, and keeps, my attention. The Stark Divide was fascinating to me. Parts of it definitely remind me of Star Trek episodes, and the idea of creating a new world out of an existing "dead" planet is similar to one of the movies, but the complexity of the writing and the "world" that Scott has created are truly something. The Stark Divide contains a rich cast of diverse characters, both queer and straight, with creative names for the flora and fauna contained on the new world. Scott has thoughtfully provided a glossary of terms and names of people in the story but I actually had very little trouble keeping track of things and didn't refer to it much. I'm going to conclude by saying that the blurb describes the story accurately and much better than I ever could. I was kept on the figurative edge of my seat much of the time while reading this and had to force myself to put it down at 5 a.m. at one point so that I could be at least partially functional when meeting with friends later that day. At 87, 239 words it's longer than the books I normally read. It also took me a bit longer than normal to read it but I don't mean that in a bad way at all. I had to take more care when reading because I don't usually read science fiction, but, believe me, it was time well spent. The Stark Divide doesn't have a cliffhanger but the scene is set for more to come and I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series. An advanced copy of this book was provided to me but my review was voluntary and not influenced by the author. ***Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions dot com***

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