3 out of 4 stars
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The Shadows of Olympus is a science fiction novel and the first book in the Lowellsville Chronicle written by E. M. Smith.
The year is 2048. Shortly after finding a fossil of an aquatic arthropod, Chief Biologist Sophia Sandra Collins of Lowellsville, NASA’s colony on Mars, together with her boyfriend Chief Geologist Michael Edwards, goes against Chief Hydrologist William Bluff and discovers an underground base inhabited by non-human intelligent species. Meanwhile, a war is brewing on Earth. People’s Republic of China attacks a fleet of United States of North America warships in the Taiwan Straits and People’s Republic of North Korea bombs the capital of South Korea.
This is a very interesting science fiction novel and the first book I read about a NASA colony on Mars. The author successfully describes the surface of the red planet specifically mentioning Olympus Mons, the largest volcanic mountain on Mars and in the entire solar system. Also featured in the story is Phobos, the larger of the two moons of Mars. The author gives a vivid description of the possible way of life on Mars both inside and outside the base. With a few colonists in the community, the author expertly creates an event that becomes the main focus of the book. It just shows that despite the uncertainties of life, there is always a reason to celebrate.
However, though the book starts with a fast pacing in the first few chapters the rest feel like dragging. Also, though the story is undoubtedly interesting, I find too many repetitions and redundancies not only in the narration but also in the use of specific words like ‘afterward.’ I also notice several details that l find irrelevant to the story and though I expect a cliffhanger ending, the book still feels a bit incomplete in the end. Moreover, I find the descriptions of the beauty and allure of the gorgeous chief biologist a little bit overdone and repetitive while the men’s expressions of admiration to her is almost perverted.
Furthermore, too detailed descriptions and some too formal dialogues between friends make the story sound unnatural. In addition, dialogues supposed to be accented (like those of Pam from South Carolina) are extremely difficult to read (‘Ah do de-clayuh thih-yus could become as excitin’ as mah stint in I-ray-un durin’ the big wah’) and at the some point frustrating. Finally, I notice several errors within the entire book which include typo errors, misspelled words (like tollerate) and absence of quotation marks.
I, therefore, rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It is enjoyable and interesting and the author proves himself to be very creative and imaginative. Though I’m not particularly elated with the ending, I find it necessary for a book series such as this. I recommend it to fans of science fiction especially those who enjoy space adventures. Reference to sexual activities and unconventional sexual practice, however, may not be suitable for young readers. Be advised as well that compared with other books, the characters in this story are far too many which can be confusing for some readers.
"The Shadow of Olympus"
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