Congratulations to MARIA PERRY MOHAN
My agent, Linda Tate, chose Maria’s review as the winner in her book review contest. Maria receives a $50 Amazon gift card with compliments of Corvallis Press, Publishers of Birthright. Maria’s personal touches while commenting on the book made her review a standout. Maria blogs at ishmarind.blogspot.com.au and is on Twitter @gaelikaa
You can read about what makes a good book review here http://valerieparv.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/tips-for-writing-a-good-book-review-and-a-contest/
Now over to Maria for her winning review:
So there I was, about to embark on the assignment of reading a science fiction novel for perhaps the first time in my adult life and I’m thinking “Valerie Parv?” Oh, yes! Successful Australian author of romances for Silhouette and Harlequin, not to mention a particularly fine writing craft book! A combination of sci fi and romance, as I live and breathe. I wondered about the future implications for readers. Is Harlequin about to embark on an as yet classified but admittedly thrilling mission? Are they boldly going to go where no romance publishing company has gone before and give us a new category in romance, sci fi, at two titles a month? Or maybe four? What will it be? Passion among the planets? Get amorous among the asteroids? Sex in a spaceship?
Perish the thought, earthlings, it was nothing like that. I thought I was going to get a romance novel with a backdrop of Star Trek. What I got was a serious piece of contemporary literature. Contemporary as in written today but futuristic in the sense that it’s science fiction. Serious but readable. Scientific but accessible, even if you are almost innocent of all things scientific as I am. A story of one man’s search for his true self. And does he find himself? Yes he does. And when he finds his true self, he finds his mission. Adam Desai (I initially thought he’d be of Indian origin, the real Desais are from Gujarat, not Carramer) is not your regular alpha hero, ready to sweep you off your feet and give you great orgasms! But he’s an enigmatic individual who will intrigue you and have you rooting for him. Yes, Adam’s love story takes place in the course of the story too, but it’s as enigmatic and beautiful as he is. There’s Shana, a talented administrator, the acting governor of Carramer, an indigenous woman in a formerly colonial nation, proud of her origins, beautiful and Adam’s soul mate. There’s his working colleague and ex-lover, who walked away from their relationship with great sadness when she realized that Adam was never going to buy into the dream of a semi-detached home with a white picket fence and 2.2 children. Yet she still loves him and is ready to support him professionally. I loved the fact that he loved her, even if he wasn’t ‘in love’ with her. I also loved the fact that bitterness was absent on the ex lover’s side.
There’s a host of intriguing and unforgettable characters in this sci fi thriller.
Burton Hackett, the villain is an evil yet strangely fascinating character. There are the half aliens, Garrett and Elaine, who always knew they were different but who have been supporting each other all through, having all the human characteristics but with highly developed psychic abilities. What this duo need is to convince Adam to come to terms with the fact that he is not of unknown parentage but of alien origin and to combine forces with them on a mission to save their adopted planet from certain disaster. I was holding my breath until practically the final scene.
I am in awe of Valerie Parv’s talent as an author, of her versatility and creativity. An author who has what it takes to satisfy a reader of category romance and at the same time who can come up with a novel as hard hitting as ‘Birthright’ is a formidable talent indeed. The author voice was so strong, it was neither male nor female. It was a human voice, a compassionate voice. It did not scream ‘contemporary romance author’. It spoke with quiet reason of the dilemma which affects every human being sooner or later – who are we, where have we come from, where are we going.
Set in the fictional south Pacific nation of Carramer, a country created by the author as the setting for many of her novels, I found everything about this novel fascinating.
This is a novel which can please readers of a very different calibre than the ones who read category romance. Not that category romance readers aren’t a discerning group. But they are readers of a particular sex and age group. ‘Birthright’ is a novel which can please a wider spectrum of readers than those for which Valerie Parv has usually written. As it is an impacting science fiction thriller, I expect male readers would certainly enjoy reading this.
There you have it. Congratulations again, Maria. What do other readers think about reviews? What’s your best or worst experience of a book review. Add your comments below.
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Read some reviews already up at http://www.valerieparv.com/birthright.html