4 out of 4 stars
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Embers of Freedom, by T.J. Patterson, is the third book in her sci-fi/dystopian trilogy - "Whisper Independence". Initially, when reading it, I had no idea that it was part of a trilogy. Patterson provides enough details and information, to allow it to be a stand alone.
This book has an engrossing plot where the importance of independence and freedom are emphasized. The humans on Vitory and Earth are losing more and more of their freedoms. Their governments, under the influence of The Guardians, are imposing impossible laws and taxes on them. This is aimed at making the masses dependant and controllable. The Guardians are a group of humiens (half human and half alien), who plan to have complete control and domination. Vitorians and Earthlings face yet another peril when people start disappearing. Our dashing protagonist is Adora Jensen, who is on the side of the Luxurs (a group of benevolent humiens who work to protect humans). Adora struggles to embrace her new found abilities, which have been afforded to her through genetic engineering. The effects of this engineering are threefold: immortality, being unable to lie and being able to travel in an instant to a different location. Her innermost desire is to help mankind break free from the shackles of The Guardians.
I loved the depth of the characters. At first, I was overwhelmed by the number of supporting characters, but soon became comfortable with all of them, since they all played important roles. The difference of opinions amongst the characters on how to achieve a common goal allows us to catch a glimpse of how they think, perceive things and it allows us to see their flaws.
Adora's character was appealing to me. She is independent, passionate and compassionate. Being an introvert myself, I could relate to her need of having some alone time to reinvigorate herself. She believes that people should have the right to make their own choices and live with the consequences. This came across as an important message to me, as she goes to great lengths to fight for this. Adora's independence is not stifled by her relationship with Zane, a gorgeous Luxur. I loved that they are two whole people, each with their own interests. This added to the theme of independence.
There is only one thing I wish the author had done differently. A lot of the story is revealed through conversations and dialogue. This is a pity, because whenever Patterson described a scene or event, she did so masterfully. In the few last chapters of the book I was fully absorbed as a lot more action takes place.
Overall, Embers of Freedom is great read! I have to rate it 4 out of 4 stars. It is well edited and this shows even from the eye-catching cover. It has a nice, steady pace and keeps readers enthralled. I recommend this to all science fiction lovers.
Embers of Freedom
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