Official Review: Preda's Voice by Carolyn Gross

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any fantasy or science fiction books or series.
Forum rules
You must limit each topic thread in this section to only one book or only one series. Make the title of the topic the name of the book, and if possible also include the author's name. If you want to allow spoilers, you must include the word spoilers in the title of the topic, otherwise spoilers are prohibited.
Post Reply
User avatar
ALynnPowers
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 8447
Joined: 21 Aug 2014, 07:14
2017 Reading Goal: 125
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 3
Bookshelf Size: 341
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-alynnpowers.html
Latest Review: "Jake and the man-eating Picnic Basket" by Peter Preston
Reading Device: B0051QVF7A
Publishing Contest Votes: 13

Official Review: Preda's Voice by Carolyn Gross

Post by ALynnPowers » 07 Jul 2016, 06:40

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Preda's Voice" by Carolyn Gross.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


While books from the science fiction and fantasy genres often get lumped into one category for deviating from real life, its not uncommon for the differences between the two classifications to be debated by hardcore fans of either genre. However, Preda's Voice by Carolyn Gross is one of those novels that blurs the boundaries between the two purportedly different genres. This is the first book in the Guardians of Vaka series targeted toward teen and young adult readers.

Preda grew up under her strict father's control, believing that her voice was dangerous and caused harm to others. As a result, she has lived an almost silent existence, speaking only to her one-eared cat, and moving from place to place as her father deemed her a threat to others around them. But when her father is suddenly murdered, Preda uses her voice to protect herself, which lands her in the care of Detective Fox. Rather than arresting her for her deviant act, he introduces her to others who have devoted their lives to protecting the last remaining descendant of the Vozia family -- the powerful rulers of their homeland, on the brink of war with a group of rebels who will stop at nothing to wipe out those they consider a danger to their existence. Preda suddenly finds herself having to use her voice more and more to exert herself in this new position of power.

The concept of having a voice with such powerful abilities was so much fun to read about, especially in the beginning of the book when Preda saw her voice as something dangerous to be avoided. I loved this idea from the moment I read the description of the book. The emotions that Preda must have felt, especially the terror and fear of having such an inexplicable gift, were well-portrayed as part of Preda's character development.

Other than that, I must admit that I had a hard time getting into this book, most notably during the second half of the story. The description of the book, and the first half of the book itself, led me to believe that this would be a fantasy story about a coming-of-age tale as a girl grows into some magical powers she has been gifted. In reality, this book is actually quite heavy in the science fiction genre. It reminds me of a Star Trek type of story, with the incorporation of space travel, evolutionary differences across planets, and civil war among different classes of alien beings. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of such types of tale, so the last half of the book felt especially tedious for me to read as the story veered off in an unexpected direction. Detailed scenes of meetings dragged out the story even further, and a few times, I just didn't want to continue reading.

As opposed to the timid Preda we were introduced to at the beginning of the story, the new Preda from the second half of the book takes all of this new information about different worlds with amazing ease and jumps right into her new role without much help. She seems to do no wrong throughout the majority of the story. She deals with socioeconomic and political factors and makes perfect declarations in her new position of power. Even within a fantasy/sci-fi book, I found this to be extremely difficult to wrap my head around. It would have been nice to see the main character display flaws or make mistakes, especially given the unusual circumstances she has been tossed into.

While the book started out strongly and introduced amazing characters, the latter half of the book seemed to weaken the overall quality of the story. I acknowledge that someone who is a bigger fan of science fiction might think differently, which is why I have decided to give this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. The writing itself is excellent, but I really think that fans looking for a fantasy book, like me, are not the target audience for this book. Science fiction fans, or those who enjoy blurred lines of genres, will definitely enjoy this one.

******
Preda's Voice
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

Like ALynnPowers's review? Post a comment saying so!
Latest Review: "Jake and the man-eating Picnic Basket" by Peter Preston

User avatar
ashnance
Posts: 85
Joined: 15 Jun 2016, 14:05
2018 Reading Goal: 25
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 0
Currently Reading: The Secret History
Bookshelf Size: 334
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ashnance.html

Post by ashnance » 08 Jul 2016, 07:48

Wonderful review! It gives just the right amount of information - enough to decide whether to read without giving away too much. Nice job! I think it sounds so interesting that Preda has a power that she at first sees as a dangerous threat, but then realizes its worth. To me, it sounds pretty reminiscent of Elsa in Disney's Frozen.

User avatar
barb429
Posts: 265
Joined: 10 May 2016, 06:19
Bookshelf Size: 182
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-barb429.html
Latest Review: "Tears That Changed a Nation" by Charles L. Tucker
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by barb429 » 08 Jul 2016, 09:46

Great review! It sounds interesting, but like you I tend to lean more towards the fantasy than the science-fiction.
Latest Review: "Tears That Changed a Nation" by Charles L. Tucker

User avatar
kimmyschemy06
Posts: 2334
Joined: 20 Oct 2015, 20:49
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2017 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 124
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 136
Currently Reading: Days of the Giants
Bookshelf Size: 530
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kimmyschemy06.html
Latest Review: King of Time by Sky Sommers

Post by kimmyschemy06 » 10 Jul 2016, 20:00

Sounds like a very interesting book. I love fantasy and sci fi and it seems like a little bit of both(?) I'm so intrigued about Preda and her powerful voice. I hope I get a chance to read this one.

User avatar
ALynnPowers
Special Discussion Leader
Posts: 8447
Joined: 21 Aug 2014, 07:14
2017 Reading Goal: 125
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 3
Bookshelf Size: 341
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-alynnpowers.html
Latest Review: "Jake and the man-eating Picnic Basket" by Peter Preston
Reading Device: B0051QVF7A
Publishing Contest Votes: 13

Post by ALynnPowers » 13 Jul 2016, 08:21

I will say, at first I was turned off by the science fiction stuff, but it kind of grew on me as the book went on... I guess because it was cool how it was a combination of the sci-fi and fantasy, which you pretty much never see!
Latest Review: "Jake and the man-eating Picnic Basket" by Peter Preston

Silvermoon
Posts: 354
Joined: 12 Aug 2016, 20:41
2017 Reading Goal: 150
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 2
Currently Reading: Kind Nepenthe
Bookshelf Size: 441
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-silvermoon.html
Latest Review: "The 11.05 Murders" by Brian O'Hare

Post by Silvermoon » 03 Sep 2016, 13:11

I like books where the main character grows into their magic, but really dislike fantasy aspects of it. I do like Star Trek, but it is not outside the realm of possibility. So, not a book I'm interested in reading.You did well in balancing your feelings about the book and it's quality.
Great review! :D
Latest Review: "The 11.05 Murders" by Brian O'Hare

User avatar
VFitz
Posts: 9
Joined: 08 Aug 2016, 16:28
Currently Reading: Crime and Punishment
Bookshelf Size: 5
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-vfitz.html

Post by VFitz » 17 Sep 2016, 16:42

I was pleasantly surprised by Preda's Voice. It was not what I expected. The heroine does progress very far throughout the book from where she starts. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series! Thanks for the suggestion in Book of the Day.

Post Reply

Return to “Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books”