3 out of 4 stars
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30th Century: Escape by Mark Kingston Levin, PhD is a story of love, loyalty, and human social exploration. Published in June 2015, this Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Erotic Novel is the first book in the 30th Century Trilogy.
Captain Jennifer Hero is on a mission to save humankind from the Syndos, a race of genetically modified beings who lack a sense of morals. Their goal is to wipe out the inferior humans (the Naturals) and take over planet Earth. Zexton Ho, who is Jennifer's partner, creates a trans-time machine in order to go back in time and re-write the development of the Syndos and make them more peaceful, but he is assassinated before he can see the plan come to fruition. Captain Jennifer Hero carries on and leads a team back in time to the 27th Century.
But Jennifer has secret plans of her own. Weary from the loss of her true love, Zexton Ho, she decides to abandon her team and go back in time to the 21st Century and start a new life. She ends up on an abandoned island in Polynesia. After several months of living alone on the island, Jennifer is rescued by Dr. Marty Zitonick and his research team.
Jennifer struggles over hiding her identity and leaving her team behind as she navigates through this new life. She makes several missteps in her social interactions and in pursuing her educational goals in archeology and dark matter. She is puzzled after a series of coincidences leave her wondering why everything keeps falling into place so smoothly. Will Jennifer Hero adjust to her new life and can she find love again after the heartbreaking loss of her brilliant partner, Zexton Ho? Can she come to terms of her inner struggle with leaving her team behind?
I enjoyed the beginning of the book and the development of Jennifer's character. Her time alone on the island was especially interesting, as her interactions with the animals on the island gave her some emotional depth. I also loved the author's descriptions of Polynesia and the culture of the people that have lived there for thousands of years.
I also enjoyed Jennifer Hero's pursuit of her PhD work in dark matter. The theories were interesting and well-researched while not being too science heavy. It was apparent that the author is very knowledgeable in science and archaeology and it translated well to the reader in a way that was thought provoking.
I would have enjoyed reading much more about Jennifer's experiences with her trans-time team. These scenes at the beginning of the book propelled the storyline forward with excitement and action, and it felt like the book was moving toward the goal of defeating the Syndos. At times, the book lost its overlying story structure and floundered, leaving little action or flow forward, and left me wondering where the story was really going. However, the story wrapped up neatly in the end and left a satisfying conclusion without the dreaded cliffhanger.
In addition, although the erotic scenes were well-written, I found the sexual content to be a bit over the top and gratuitous. For me, it would have been more intriguing to have had Jennifer Hero explore some of her relationships on a less intimate level.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The premise of the story was very interesting and there were several plot twists that kept it flowing forward. However, the book loses it sense of self in the middle and seemed to struggle with where the conclusion would go. I would recommend this book to people who enjoy science fiction with a lot of scientific content and those who enjoy erotic fiction.
30th Century: Escape
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