Cover Image: Arana


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Member Reviews

Author Jennifer R. Povey ( published the novel “Araña” in 2019. Ms. Povey has published more than two dozen novels. 

I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains some mature situations. The story is set in a far future. The war between Earth and Mars is over, but there are lasting effects. Porta Rican José Marin is a veteran of the war. He was one of the elite combat soldiers fitted with the Web. it gave him enhancements during the war, but now he is suffering from side effects. Removing the web will kill him. In desperation for a new start, he joins the crew of the Endeavor, Earth's second starship. 

Endeavor is about to set off on its maiden voyage. Just a safe scientific and shakedown cruise. Those plans are set aside when a distress call comes in from Atlantis, the first starship. 

The Endeavor heads out after Atlantis. They encounter the Ky'iin and come under their fire. The Endeavor jumps out of danger and encounters the Verr. They are friendly but are facing extinction. The Glyn offers some help, but they need the Ky'iin. Meanwhile, the Ky'iin have followed Endeavor's trail back to Earth. There is war at first, but a truce is finally negotiated. The Ky'iin arrive at the Verran world to offer their help. 

The encounter with aliens is not so much the story as efforts made to save the Verr. There are different Verr factions and not all want to be saved. The Endeavor and her crew face multiple challenges. 

I enjoyed the 7.5+ hours I spent reading this 257-page science fiction novel. The story seemed slow to me. It also was a little choppy. I did not find it a very engaging story. There is also a touch of LGBT romance. I am not a fan of the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

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Thank you to author Jennifer Povey for giving me the opportunity to read and give and unbiased review of her book. The story revolves around a soldier who is profoundly affected by his actions during the recenly finished Mars war. He is a modified human with web implants that allow him to be faster, stronger, and more mentally attuned to those around him. He finds himself able to integrate with starship systems that allow him to pilot it between stars systems. For me this is the rare book that I know is well written but just does not give me the fulfillment a good space opera can. Most of the story happens with the soldier, Jose, waxing philosophical rather than with conversation and action. His main concerns, other than a working web, is how to deal with aliens that may or may not act and react like humans.
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This is pretty good. The author does a good job of creating suspense and conflict that helps keep the plot engaging. A solid read for hard scifi fans.

Thanks very much for the review copy!
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I rather liked this story. The drama and tension were well played and the protagonist's struggles were relatable. The lack of profanity was surprising (and refreshing) for a contemporary adult sci-fi. I was expecting something in the romance department, but the author brushes that aside in a relatively convincing fashion.
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An interesting tale and I enjoyed the Star Trek references.  It's a tale about veterans of war and the scars war leaves.   I will read Povey again.
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