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Fluency #BookReview

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4-Stars 

Fluency is a well thought out story that kept my attention through most of the book and leaves itself open to some great sequel possibilities.

The basic premise is that NASA is aware of a ship floating in space out past Mars. The ship has not moved in over fifty years so they believe it to be derelict. All of our advancements in space exploration have been the result of discovering this object and our desire to get to it to find out what it is.

Finally we have the ability to get to the craft so we send a six person crew on a ten month one way flight to the ship. The team is made of engineers, doctors, and the main character – a linguist named Doctor Jane Holloway.

Jane is a savant with languages. She has always been able to pick up any Earth language almost immediately once she has been exposed to it. So she is of course exactly the kind of person you would want on the mission since she would have the best chance at deciphering any alien language they might come across.

Once they arrive, they find the ship is derelict but there is also a presence on board that is communicating directly and only with Jane. Things go wrong from there and Jane must try to figure out what is going on and what the ship expects of her in order for her to save her crew and ultimately Earth.

I really enjoyed the story and thought the plot was plausible and not over-reaching. The main character was well written and fun to follow through her adventure. The action in the story kept me reading well past my bedtime on a couple of nights.

I felt like the story was a blend of Flight of the NavigatorAlienand a couple of other books/movies. This doesn’t detract from the story at all, I think we can find in a lot of stories elements from others that we really enjoy.

What I didn’t like about the story, and why I only gave it four stars instead of five, is that I don’t think the author knows how to write male characters or sex scenes well at all. I haven’t read her other book so maybe this one was the anomaly.

This is by no means an erotica book, but there are several scenes where Alan is lusting after Jane and they play out like a poorly written young adult novel. The singular sex scene that does exist is also very juvenile and reads as though it’s coming from a 99-Cent erotica book rather than the well written author that wrote the rest of the book.

I found this disparity odd since I thought the rest of the book was such a pleasure to read. There were so many paragraphs that were intricately put together, I just couldn’t believe the ones with Alan were so poorly written.

The two main men who get all of the screen time in the book are harshly written. They are either full-tilt angry all of the time or Alan is whining in his head about how he wants Jane and things aren’t going his way. I understand that one of the male characters is acting the way he does because of a plot device, so his personality is a little more forgivable.

In contrast, besides Jane, there is another main female character and she is written just as well as Jane is.

Even with how I feel about the male characters writing, I would still recommend this book to sci-fi fans. I really do hope that there is a sequel to this story and that the men will be a bit better represented. Alan, for God’s sake, stop your whining and man-up! You’re one of Earth’s best engineers and you’re more concerned about a woman than the engineering discovery of a lifetime?!?!

And with Amazons new Kindle Unlimited program, I downloaded this book for free! Sort of, if you don’t count my $10 a month subscription fee for the program. But on a side note, this a great program especially for indie authors. If you download Fluency and don’t like it, at least read past 10% so the author can get paid by Amazon for your download.

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