Title: Freefall (The Amalie Noether Chronicles, Vol 1)
Author: Jana Williams
Genre: Science Fiction, Colonized Science Fiction
The deep-space transport ship, the Vera Rubin, is light years from Earth when botanist Elle Silver begins to question the use of their space-travel drug, HCH. Elle notices a growing number of her friends and fellow colonists awaken from their 90-day sleep cycles exhibiting a variety of negative side-effects and she begins to believe the drug is the culprit. Some of the effects are minor, dry eyes and lack of appetite. Other symptoms are a bigger concern on a tiny ship packed with colonists. With each sleep cycle completed, more and more colonists awaken both confused and barely concealing a simmering rage - rage that could be a catastrophe on a ship as crowded as the Vera Rubin. Elle needs proof, but she also needs a plan. If the drug that allows them to travel deep-space is at fault, what then? Elle and her friends Ashok, Achebe and Jin-Hai are pressed to their limits to find a solution to their problem before the ship erupts into chaos... with light years left to travel.
Elle Silver is a scientist on board the Vera Rubin, heading through space to colonize a faraway planet. All of the people on the Vera Rubin have been trained on how to endure the long journey and for all contingencies except one: negative side effects of the space-travel drug known as HCH. The biggest side effect being an uncontrollable rage, even in the most docile persons. The more Elle investigates, the more troubling things become on the Vera Rubin. Can Elle and the colonists maintain control of these urges before they reach their destination or are they all doomed to die?
Freefall is an intense science fiction story dealing with many themes, the biggest centering around space travel's effects on human beings. It's not a new theme in the realm of science fiction but Jana Williams puts an intriguing spin on it. The plot moves at a good pace, though it is slow at the beginning. But once Elle goes exploring, that's when the plot takes on new dimensions and speeds up. Her exploration and discoveries captured my attention and I found it impossible to put down. Intricate description narration plunges the reader into the world Elle is discovering. By the time the reader reaches the end, there are more questions than answers but I found it compelling and added to my enjoyment of the story. A brilliant addition to the science fiction lexicon and one I highly recommend! I can't wait for the next one in the series.
My Rating: 4.75 stars
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One of my earliest memories is riding in the back seat of the family car with my sisters... reading. We always seemed to be on long, long road trips and reading helped create space for myself and my thoughts in that crowded old car.....see more at janawilliams.ca
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N