I rated Colony One by T. L. Ford a 9.3 out of 10.
The life of Colony One’s Founder, Alex Smith, is not a simple rags to riches tale – it’s scary, gruesome, and at points, deadly. She may be smart enough to create a battery that never needs charging, but can she outmaneuver those who don’t share her vision of community and create something that really lasts? How far is Alex willing to go to achieve her goal?
Title: Colony One
Author: T. L. Ford
Publisher: Independently Published
Length and Cost: 432 pages at $5.99 ebook, $15.99 paperback, available on Kindle Unlimited
Overall Experience Rating: 9.3 / 10
Genres: Science Fiction
Disclosure: I was given a copy of the book for free as thanks for content consulting services rendered.
The story takes place on Earth, roughly modern-day, and does a good job of staying true to the limits of the modern world.
A very small number of technological liberties are taken in order to have a base working foundation for the Sci-Fi aspects introduced and from there stays logically consistent.
The characters introduced are believable in their context, as are their behaviors and motivations. These factors make the interactions between characters believable as well.
The effort put into the technical aspects of the book and the research behind them shows, greatly increasing the quality of the work and making it a well above average sci-fi novel. This helps clearly distinguish it from other ‘sci-fi’ books that are better classified as science fantasy at best or just plain fantasy at worse.
While the book is quite long and very content dense, it was never a chore to keep reading. I attribute this to the fact that I found to the overarching story very enjoyable and interesting, which leaves me hopeful that the author goes on to make a sequel.
Though, I never did figure out the code at the start of each chapter.
Rating break down:
Quality/Depth of Characters: 8.5 / 10
Due to the content dense nature of the story, and extended time frame covered in it, very few negligible interactions or character interactions are shown. This was a double edged blade because while it prevented information not necessarily relevant to the story, it also meant the reader could always assume each interaction had long term meaning, or had some greater implication.
It was impressive how accurately and realistically the various characters reactions were to things like emotional trauma or emotionally impactful experiences, and such also influenced their later behavior in the novel.
Something I found a little sad and perhaps disappointing was having many characters introduced, only to have them not be mentioned again once their initial relevance passed. On the flip side, the times a character was introduced and then came back were great ways to show the long term implications of the MC’s actions (and the actions of other characters). It helped give a greater depth of importance to the MC’s choices as decisions either came back to bite the MC, or benefit them.
Quality and Depth of World: 10 / 10
A simple rating here, the author put a lot of work into researching the world when choosing what happens where, why, and how, and this shows. I was unable to see any noticeable disparities based on my knowledge here.
Detail Balance and Completeness: 9 / 10
I was quite impressed here. Almost all technology introduced if fairly feasible, with only three core assumptions being made in order for everything else to be logical.
She did a great job researching material science, chemistry, physics, thermo and fluid dynamics, and firearms. This let her avoid all the flaws and errors that ruin most science fiction novels for me, and is what prevented this book from being marked as science fantasy in my list.
Quality of Story: 9.5 / 10
The story progresses through a significant portion of Alex Smith’s life cycle, starting as an infant and going to a full grown adult in space. With relevant novel time spent in the various years of her life showing us her experiences and growth. This not only helps us understand her personality organically overtime but also helps backup and better explain her later motivations.
While the blurb makes certain story eventualities clear, the author did a good job of writing an evolving story over time with the characters long-term plans changing based on what they experienced in their world, at times even changing their entire life goals because of this.
Quality of Writing: 9 / 10
The information in the book was well organized, with details and tidbits given in an order that not only makes sense, but was fluid in transitioning between parts. People, items, and events are only references a time or two before being fully introduced, so references avoided being frustrating or confusing. The book has virtually no typos or formatting issues, which is lovely. Word usage was varied without being excessive. The author also has been happy to receive feedback from readers, and has put out updates to correct things as needed. The only downside are for those with print copies, but the typos that remain for them are still limited and minor.
Narration Performance: N/A
Score: 9.3 of 10
Book Sales Link: https://amzn.to/2DqL20u
Authors Website: http://www.cattail.nu
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