Publication Date: March 31, 2016
Kayleen is a Kralite, an Amazonian type warrior race. Saaryth is a Kaltaarist, a femme race that hunts together, lives together and shares together. Though their life philosophers are at odds, when thrown together, a deep connection develops between the two women. In a violent society of worlds on the brink can their love survive?
Phase 5 Publishing gave me this novel as an advanced reader’s copy (ARC) in exchange for my review.
Thomas Olbert has built an interesting female driven society in [easyazon_link identifier=”B01CRCEMQG” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Dissent: Book I of The Nexus[/easyazon_link]. Babies are genetically engineered by the Nexus and won from their host mothers when cut from the abdomen after a bloody conflict. We get glimpses of the Nexus that are fascinating because it illustrates the cyclical style of procreation in the race. As with any society, there’s a pretty rigid class system and Kayleen and Saaryth are at opposite ends of that spectrum. The Kralites, we’re told, fraternize with the Kaltaarist carnally but they girl-talk about it sheepishly as the perception is that of a man visiting a prostitute. They certainly don’t build relationships and would never consider thinking of them as a legitimate source of advice. In fact, when the Kaltaarist does well in battle it is heavily suggested that their contribution is left out of any official report.
We’re told that Kayleen was won by a great warrior and could have coasted on the reputation of her mother but chose to become a great leader in her own right. As befitting a space opera, Olbert takes Kayleen on great highs to extremely low points. There are some aspects of the character that seemed to be rushed perhaps as a function of the way the novel skips from the main story line to the Nexus. Saaryth is the voice of reason in Kayleen`s ear. Kayleen is the powerful front and Saaryth is the person that clearly changes her approach to things. The detail and knowledge conveyed through Kayleen is stunning and reads as well plotted by Olbert. When called upon, Kayleen summons the emotion of what Saaryth has brought her and the moment is beautiful and unexpected in the genre.
The Nexus was an interesting construct. I understand the necessity to keep it somewhat mysterious so won’t spoil that aspect of the novel other than to say that the Nexus clearly represents a god-like race from the start of [easyazon_link identifier=”B01CRCEMQG” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Dissent: Book I of The Nexus[/easyazon_link]. Whenever the narrative switched to the Nexus the language of the world was beautifully framed and poetic. There’s an undercurrent of the unknown that drives a reader further into the work to see how the Nexus connects with the main story line. That connection and the way it plays out does not disappoint.[easyazon_link identifier=”B01CRCEMQG” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Dissent: Book I of The Nexus[/easyazon_link] is, at times, unclear. The skipping has the feel of purposeful construction (and in the fullness of the novel became clear that it was part of the narrative plan) but had this reader skipping back in my electronic version to see if a chapter was missed. The constructed gaps left a feeling of having missed some of what would have made [easyazon_link identifier=”B01CRCEMQG” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Dissent: Book I of The Nexus[/easyazon_link] a true 5-star work.
If you’re looking for a sci-fi read that is something very different and quite interesting, pick [easyazon_link identifier=”B01CRCEMQG” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Dissent: Book I of The Nexus[/easyazon_link] up today.
You can read an excerpt and buy Dissent: Book I of The Nexus by Thomas Olbert on