Official Review: First Contact: Strings Attached

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Official Review: First Contact: Strings Attached

Post by e-tasana-williams » 27 Sep 2016, 13:30

[Following is the official review of "First Contact: Strings Attached" by Paul J. Nelson.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Do you like old school science fiction? Were you a sci-fi fan when it was unpopular to be one? If so, you are going to enjoy reading First Contact: Strings Attached by Paul J. Nelson, J.D. It is reminiscent of classic sci-fi. Think Isaac Asimov, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.

The story opens with Zalk, an astronomy professor. He is recovering from having made the professional faux pas of suggesting there is life on Arken, the planet orbiting Zalk's home planet Zeon. After being academically and socially blacklisted for some time he has regained a university position, and he and his wife Elfa have rebuilt their quiet modest life together. To his dismay Zalk's newly recovered life is endangered by an ambitious young reporter bent on selling newspapers and advancing her career by any means necessary. Under false pretenses she has encouraged Zalk to open up about his psychic abilities and his continued belief that there is intelligent life "out there". Once again his lifestyle is threatened. This time he is offered help from an unknown source but, as the title implies, the help comes with strings attached.

From A to Z, the planets that revolve around each other as they orbit their shared sun may as well have been called Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. Arken is 1,000 years ahead of Zeon technologically speaking, and Zeon is comparable to Earth in the 19th century. Zeon's latest inventions are the telescope, the camera, the steam engine and electricity. To say more here would require including spoilers.

Fans of classic science fiction will love this novel. As is typical of any good book of this genre the story is invented but the questions it raises about human nature and behavior are genuine. Should people live on the cusp of their financial means based on societal expectations? Can people be expected to behave ethically when there is potential for great personal gain? Who can be trusted? Is the ruin of the minority justifiable for the prosperity of the majority? Mr. Nelson does an expert job of weaving these questions into the fabric of the tale.

People who prefer not to read academic writing may not enjoy this book, as it may have them going to a dictionary several times throughout he reading of the text.

Mr. Nelson includes a glossary of terms, and his legal background shows in his use of footnotes throughout the book whenever a new term or concept is introduced. The novel appears to be professionally edited, with only one grammatical error of note. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend you run, don't walk to get your copy of this captivating story today!

First Contact: Strings Attached
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Post by lane_vespertine » 03 Oct 2016, 00:40

Walk? Don't run? Seriously made me laugh.
Good review! I really enjoy science fiction, and this just made my short list for future reads.
I was a little unclear about what you meant by "academic writing." One more sentence elaborating on that might have helped.

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Post by TrishaAnn92 » 04 Oct 2016, 21:22

Awesome review! I was never much for sci-fi growing up but have been delving into more lately. I will definitely be running to get my copy! Congrats to the author on such a positive review! :)
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Post by e-tasana-williams » 06 Oct 2016, 17:37

Thank you for your comments! Hope you enjoy this one as much as I did.
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Post by AA1495 » 07 Oct 2016, 22:01

Glad you enjoyed reading it! Thank You for a great review!

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Post by Rachaelamb1 » 23 Oct 2016, 09:41

The academic writing may bother me some, but it is nice that the author includes a glossary. The premise sounds interesting!

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Post by bookowlie » 23 Oct 2016, 09:48

Excellent review! Your love of the book really shines through. I like that you clearly explained that the story reminded me of traditional sci-fi and that the reader might have to look some words up in the dictionary. While sci-fi is not my cup of tea, it is a popular genre and other readers would probably want to read the book. I laughed when you recommended that we run/don't walk to the library to get the book! Congrats to the author on having the Book of the Day!
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Post by mindyg123 » 23 Oct 2016, 09:55

Great review. I love old fashioned science fiction and after reading your review I'm really looking forward to reading this great book.

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Post by romantics » 23 Oct 2016, 10:45

I really like classic science fiction so i'll definitely be adding this to my to-read list. Thanks for the review!

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Post by Strangerthanfiction » 23 Oct 2016, 11:32

Great review. I love old school sci-fi. While I don't have a great love of academic writing I am all too familiar with it and your review has me excited about this book. Thank you :)

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Post by Sarah_Khan » 23 Oct 2016, 12:06

Great review! Sounds like an interesting sci-fi novel, I like that the author added a glossary and footnotes.

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Post by gali » 23 Oct 2016, 12:32

I love classic science fiction too. though I am not that great fan of academic writing. It is good the author provided a glossary of terms. Good job on the review!
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Post by Vermont Reviews » 23 Oct 2016, 13:31

Great review. I enjoyed the preview.
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Post by godreaujea » 23 Oct 2016, 14:09

I think that the science fiction mixed with a 19th century time period sounds super interesting. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

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Post by hsimone » 23 Oct 2016, 14:29

Great, descriptive review! I'm not typically a Sci-fi fan, but I like the concept of this book. Not sure about the academic writing, but I really like your enthusiasm of this book. The cover is very enticing, so maybe I'll give this one a read. Thank you for a wonderful review and congratulations to the author for receiving such a positive review!
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