3 out of 4 stars
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Published in June 2015, 30th Century: Escape by Mark Kingston Levin is a memorable novel. At only 464 pages this book instantly grabs the reader’s attention from page one.
It is the 30th century, and SS leader Jennifer Hero is determined to save humanity from the genetically modified Syndos. The Syndos were created to settle interstellar planets but are attempting to dominate earth by wiping out the human race. To prevent this from happening, she plans to go back in time to plant a virus that will prevent the Syndos from developing certain qualities which have led to this dilemma. She sends her team of colleagues back to the 27th century while going back to the 21st herself, attempting to change her life for the better. She recently lost her love and is stressed to the max, while dealing with the Syndos and saving the world.
Upon arriving in the 21st century, she is stranded on the radioactive island of Moruroa for several months before being rescued by Marty Zitonick. She feigns amnesia upon realizing that the history books she studied left out vital facts about the culture, causing culture shock and difficulties in her numerous relationships. Can she find a place in this world to start a new life? Is there a way to check on her team? She also must hide her superior intelligence and nanotech-enhanced abilities to prevent suspicion while attempting to fit in this new world.
The storyline in 30th Century: Escape was easy to follow. I felt that it flowed smoothly from the start of the book to the end. Some of the characters were somewhat underdeveloped, but the main character Jennifer was developed well. Several themes observed throughout the storyline include strength, courage, sexuality, and love. The main character demonstrates strength and courage as she goes back in time to save the world and do it by living among people of the past in a very different culture. The novel explores the themes of sexuality and love by focusing on a variety of ways to love others. Also relating to love, Jennifer develops a strong love interest in Marty after being rescued. She feared she would never be able to love again after losing her former lover in the 30th century.
The setting of this story was constantly changing as the book progressed. It varied from island to island and even included some time in Canada. The author did not go into much detail regarding the scenes in Canada, but did an excellent job with the island scenery.
In reading this novel, there were several things that I enjoyed and several things I did not. Starting with the things I did like, I enjoyed seeing Jennifer’s character mature as the story progressed. She grew stronger and more confident in herself as she adapted to new life in the 21st century. I also enjoyed how Marty’s character changed after meeting Jennifer. He became more open and accepting as the two grew closer changing his view of relationships. I also enjoyed reading about all the different island’s as the setting changed. The author even included small pictures at the start of chapters depicting the different islands or something unique from that chapter. It seemed to give me more to work with in imagining the setting as the story progressed.
Something I did not like was the numerous sex scenes toward the end of the novel. They were very detailed and frequent. Not something for young readers or anyone bothered by sex scenes. I also observed several grammatical errors where words were used in the wrong verb tense, missing, or misspelled. It was hard to make sense of several paragraphs with these issues which lead me to give this novel a 3 out of 4 stars. With some continued editing it will be easy to fix these problems.
30th Century: Escape
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