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I’m very excited to be reviewing J. Grace Pennington’s debut novel, Firmament today. Grace has reviewed at ItB for almost a year, and this book opens her 18-book Firmament series. From high-speed ships to gut-wrenching personal scenes, Grace’s book is an excellent mix of emotion and action.

Andi Lloyd is the second medical officer aboard the Surveyor, in the year 2320. But her comfortable world is turned upside down when Andi begins to uncover secrets about her past that her adoptive father has never told her. But he is no help to her, for he has developed a mysterious disease that is making him lose his mind. When mutiny breaks out on the ship, Andi must balance between two sides that both want the most valuable secret she holds: a secret not even she herself knows of.

The plot of this book is what sets it apart from so much other Sci-Fi. While most books in this genre tend to fall at the “all action, no plot” end of the spectrum, Radialloy falls closer to the other end. The plot in this book is marvelous. While not quite a mystery, there’s lots of hidden stories to be uncovered that will keep you reading far past your bedtime. And there’s no shortness of action, either; though if you’re looking for incredible ship chases and tons of action, this likely isn’t your cup of tea.

The plot is backed up well by excellent characters. While Andi and her supporting cast are excellent, the main villain in the novel is by far the best character. Perhaps it speaks badly of me that my favorite character is a villain, but the backstory and motivations that Grace Pennington weaves into this character is truly fantastic. As a writer myself: this is the type of villain I wish I could write myself.

Overall, Radialloy is a fantastic book, and the remaining 17 books in the series promise to be even better. If you’re interested in high-quality Sci-Fi that stands out from the typical junk in the genre, then this would be the book for you. And stay tuned: we’re going to be interviewing Grace Pennington soon, here on ItB! You can find out more about Grace on her website: http://jgracepennington.com


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Published on 28 June, 2012. Last updated on

4 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I haven’t read much Sci-Fi, but this sounds like an awesome book. Are there 8 or 17 books in the series? The first paragraph said 8 and last paragraph said 17. 🙂 Anywho, this sounds like a cool book. 🙂

    -Aris Lillylight

  2. Andrew Joyce

    There’s 18 books in the series total. The first paragraph had a typo, and the other paragraph was counting the books remaining in the series =)

    ~ Andrew

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