Official Review: 30th Century: Escape

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Scerakor
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Official Review: 30th Century: Escape

Post by Scerakor » 19 Jun 2017, 11:40

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "30th Century: Escape" by Mark Kingston Levin.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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As Professor Marty Zitonick and his research team come in for a landing around Mururoa Atoll, they discover a castaway and her signal fire beckoning to them from below. Quickly transitioning into rescue mode, Marty is surprised to find Jennifer Hero in extremely good health despite being stranded on the island for the last 4 months. She weaves a tale of strength, ingenuity, and surprising endurance. Little do these scientists know, Jennifer Hero is a Secret Society agent from the 30th Century.

30th Century Escape by Mark Kingston Levin follows Captain Jennifer Hero who, along with her crack team of Secret Society (SS) “naturals”, is launching a covert operation back in time to the 27th century. Their goal is to introduce a sense of morality in the “syndos” of that time period so as to save the human race before these amoral beings wipe out the human race. Captain Hero, however, decides last minute to not accompany her team to the 2600’s but rather jumps back to the 21st century instead. After arriving in modern times and being rescued by Professor Zitonick, Jennifer struggles to build her new life in this century. Following a claim of amnesia to explain her lack of a background, she has to consciously control the symbiotes in her blood giving her above average strength and health, dumb down her superior intellect due to 9000 years of additional human knowledge, and suppress her innate ability to read social situations.

Despite her challenges, Jennifer builds her life, gets accepted into a Doctoral program, performs incredibly in the fields of archaeology and dark energy physics, and develops some (very passionate) personal relationships with those around her. As she goes through all of these activities she is first shocked then struggles to understand an identity that all but falls into her lap. Perhaps there is more in this century that is familiar to her than originally thought.

30th Century Escape is a fun and thought-provoking read. As Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” It is extremely interesting while reading this book to think about how our protagonist has to act in order to preserve her identity. More than once I found myself internalizing, “Hey, I never thought about that!” Around every corner Jennifer could fall into the trap of letting out her secrets. For example, 9000 more years of human corporate knowledge means that she is touted as a genius after taking her university entrance exams. Mark Kingston Levin writes very well and is an extremely detailed narrator. I loved the descriptions of the beautiful locations throughout the book. Between Mururoa, Tahiti, Hawaii, and even Canada, Dr. Levin’s writing expertly brought me to these locations in my mind. In the same vein, and what I liked the most about this book, is how either extensive research and/or extensive skills of the author translate into a rewarding experience by the reader. I assume that the author has been to these beautiful locations, as his descriptions are divine; I’m sure he has sailing / flight experience as the narrative is realistically detailed; and I know that the author has an extensive academic background, as the minutiae on the science was expertly based on solid principles of complicated physics.

Despite the praises above, there were a few things that irked me about this book. First, the author often uses French in the book as this was Jennifer’s first language and a language used in the island locations in the story. Unfortunately, some of the French actually written in the book was erroneous at times and of a poor quality grammatically. Although this may be of little consequence for the average reader, since I speak French, this ended up being distracting for me. Second, throughout the book (but primarily in the first half), the author has included some pictures to accompany the text. These pictures were rather cartoony and added very little to story itself. It confused me a little bit as these images gave a distinct YA or children’s book feel to it. I quickly realized that this was a mistake when I arrived at a picture of the protagonist topless on the Mururoa Atoll beach. Finally, and what I liked the least about the book, was how for a large portion of the book I really wasn’t sure where the book was going and what the point was. Once Jennifer was rescued and began living her life, there was no longer any globally apparent conflict tying the story to the overarching plot. This was eventually addressed later on in the book, however, and a logical conclusion was eventually attained – it simply seemed lost for a chunk of the book. To be clear, what was written was exciting and interesting nonetheless, it simply seemed to lose sight of the overarching scheme.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, loved its beautiful descriptions, and revelled in the thought provoking content. For that reason, I give this book 3 out of 4 stars. Between the French, the unnecessary illustrations, and the temporary loss of purpose, I am forced to deduct one measly star. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to those who like thought-provoking tales that expertly mix futuristic thinking with modern day life. I am obligated to mention that in the second half of the book there were significant descriptions and instances of sex and sexual acts (male-female, threesomes/foursomes, female-female). The author was very upfront about this content and therefore it is not taken into consideration in this review. As it is significant part of the book and if you are insulted / turned away by this type of activity in a book, this may not be for you.

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30th Century: Escape
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MarisaRose
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Post by MarisaRose » 01 Jul 2017, 13:22

The description of the illustrations and your realization of the intended audience made me laugh! How strange! I think the temporary loss of purpose, as you put it, is really off putting. Although, the overall premise is interesting. Great job on the review!
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Post by kandscreeley » 01 Jul 2017, 16:27

I saw this one to review. However, from your review I'm really glad I didn't choose it. I don't think I would have enjoyed it. Thanks for the review though.
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Post by Spirit Wandering » 01 Jul 2017, 19:45

The premise of how one would fit in to a culture 9,000 years in the past sounds unique. Despite the slow middle portion, this one seems interesting. Thanks for the review.
Interested in books that help one's spirit move beyond the ordinary.

Scerakor
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Post by Scerakor » 03 Jul 2017, 06:36

MarisaRose wrote:The description of the illustrations and your realization of the intended audience made me laugh! How strange! I think the temporary loss of purpose, as you put it, is really off putting. Although, the overall premise is interesting. Great job on the review!
Thanks for the comment. The illustrations were odd a bit, but all in all, it was a fun read.

-- 03 Jul 2017, 07:38 --
kandscreeley wrote:I saw this one to review. However, from your review I'm really glad I didn't choose it. I don't think I would have enjoyed it. Thanks for the review though.
My pleasure. We see so many books come and go as opportunities on this site. I have seen some that I have passed over that I have regretted and, like you, some I'm glad I've passed over. I don't regret reading this one as it was fun, however, but the premise may not be for everyone!

-- 03 Jul 2017, 07:39 --
Spirit Wandering wrote:The premise of how one would fit in to a culture 9,000 years in the past sounds unique. Despite the slow middle portion, this one seems interesting. Thanks for the review.
My pleasure and thanks for taking the time to comment on the review. That really was one of the fascinating (at least in my mind) portions of a book. There are so many things that an author would have to consider in building a world like this.

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Post by BookishBookkeeping » 04 Jul 2017, 15:58

Futuristic tales are always a good read, but the temporary loss of purpose and failed correct usage of a foreign language are a little off putting. Let alone the explicitly sexual scenes. I'm still curious about the plot so I'm on the fence about this one. :(

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Post by Nthabeleng » 04 Jul 2017, 17:16

Well written review Scerakor, this book is not for me.

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Post by AdrianSW » 10 Jul 2017, 03:14

While the book is interesting, it's kind of all over the place. It could be a much better book if it made more sense, especially considering you have put major time gaps within. Very interesting, it just needs a little more management.

-- 10 Jul 2017, 03:14 --

Okay...

-- 10 Jul 2017, 03:15 --

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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 12 Jul 2017, 05:37

Sounds like a very interesting book. Though I may not mind the explicit scenes and the erroneous French, I may be affected by the temporary loss of purpose. Good job on the review.

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Post by gali » 12 Jul 2017, 06:39

A secret agent on a mission to save humanity?? sounds quite the read. It is nice that the book got you thinking about the actions of the protagonist. Too bad about the poor quality of the French and the overuse of mature content. How odd that the author added some images. I love time travels books, so will still check it out. Thank you!
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Post by hsimone » 12 Jul 2017, 06:44

This sounds like quite a story! Definitely trying to save the human race is something I'm sure many characters would like. Jennifer sounds like a strong, smart lead, which I like. However, I think the illustrations, especially the graphic sexual ones, and the French (I'm not familiar with this language) turns me off a bit from this read.
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Post by OmololaAK » 12 Jul 2017, 07:59

A typical science fiction plot without too many surprises as one would expect.

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Post by Insomniac07 » 12 Jul 2017, 08:27

While the gorgeous cover and the premise as you summed it up sounds very interesting, but the graphic illustrations and sex scenes don't appeal to me. Thank you for this thoughtful review though.

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Post by Naval Aulakh » 12 Jul 2017, 08:48

It a well written review. I like the way you have expressed your views about the book.
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Post by Scerakor » 12 Jul 2017, 08:48

hsimone wrote:This sounds like quite a story! Definitely trying to save the human race is something I'm sure many characters would like. Jennifer sounds like a strong, smart lead, which I like. However, I think the illustrations, especially the graphic sexual ones, and the French (I'm not familiar with this language) turns me off a bit from this read.
It really was just one image that had any nudity in it. However, there were many graphical sex scenes in the book and if that does turn you off, this will likely not be for you. The images were an odd addition, but if you can ignore them, the story still was quite good.

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