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Pale Boundaries [Kindle Edition]

Scott Cleveland
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99
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  • Length: 332 pages
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Book Description

Where do you go after you're torn from the only planet you've ever called home? What do you do when your new home despises foreigners? Who do you blame when they kill someone you care about....and how do you take revenge? Terson Reilly knew things would be different on Nivia. But he wasn't prepared for the draconian environmental laws, harsh population control measures or the prejudice against outsiders-and they didn't expect what he was willing to do to defend himself. Terson finds love when he meets Virene, an independent young woman chafing under the strict social controls herself. The couple do their best to conform, but their rebellious streak leads them beyond the colony's boundaries where their attempt to rescue the crew of a crashed spacecraft unwittingly sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to expose not only Nivia's dark secret, but that of a powerful criminal organization as well.

Editorial Reviews


Pale Boundaries is a great example of how a creative author and strong writing can bring realism to a literally out-of-this-world concept.  Realistic characters live in a world of realistic technology...
--the Scattering -

I found it to be an impressive debut...and recommend it heartily to any fan of action and science fiction. --POD

It's a good book.--Chris Gerrib, author of The Mars Run

Product Details

  • File Size: 737 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Createspace; 1 edition (January 6, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036FU0U6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #547,294 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond the Pale November 22, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Pale Boundaries is a great example of how a creative author and strong writing can bring realism to a literally out-of-this-world concept. Realistic characters live in a world of realistic technology-Cleveland's description of Terson Reilly's hydrojet made me feel I knew its propulsion systems inside and out, and I don't even drive a car.

In fact, I don't know that I'm even comfortable calling the novel science fiction: the adventure, detail, and high-seas action puts me more in mind of Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt than any literary spaceman.

Reading time: One week at a leisurely summer pace (though maintaining that gets hard about halfway in, when the real action starts to build)

Recommendation: For general fiction readers, not just SF fans
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4.8 out of 5 October 6, 2010
Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Diving into an excellent work of science fiction can be like swimming through a sea of red tape; it's muddled, sometimes it can tie you down and be more than a little confusing, and yet, once you put everything together, you finally know the answer and the effort it took to get through becomes worth it.

This was my experience reading "Pale Boundaries" by Scott Cleveland.

In truth, this is the first science fiction novel I've read since my high-school love of the Cyberpunk micro-genre. At times I found it difficult to keep everything in order - the technical terms tripped me up occasionally and I found myself backtracking constantly, trying to stay the course and understand all that was going on - and because of this, a book whose length I can usually complete in four days took me a little over a week. Now this is not a complaint, mind you; in fact, the act of staying with a book longer than usual struck me as a cathartic experience. By the time I reached the end, I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the mind that created the work.

"Pale Boundaries" is the story of Terson Reilly, a young pilot existing on a backwater planet called Algran Asta. The story follows his adventures - from his arrest on his home planet for smuggling Militia weapons, to his relocation to a gorgeous, sun-splashed world named Nivea, where pregnancy laws and environmental controls are draconian, at best.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have very simple rules for gauging the success or failure of a novel. I'm not a literary genius or genre-Nazi and I certainly hold little faith in corporate jingle peddlers who do their best to "sing the praises" of an undeserving author. I've never felt bad about walking away from a book that didn't hold my attention or fell into absurd convolution. So when I say that first-time author Cleveland delivers on his end of the bargain - intelligently fabricating a world worth your attention - you'll understand the value of my recommendation.

Since others have already done a fine job of summarizing the key points and character of the story I'll limit my review to the mechanics involved. Pale Boundaries is a story of intrigue, mystery, loss, redemption, discovery, cultural procedure, social maneuvering, and the power of the human spirit when everything else is ripped away. The characters are engaging without being prototypical with just enough development to make you care about them (whether they're winning a fight or being killed off). The weaving storylines are complicated enough to make you pay attention but never overstep their bounds by getting too confusing or unrealistic.

While some of the tech is as farfetched as photon torpedoes (it is Sci-Fi were talking about) most of it resembles items we use every day, and all of it is delivered with military precision and a sense of confidence that makes it at once recognizable and always believable within the context of the story. The worlds presented are lush and well concieved and presented in exactly the right amount of detail. I could go on, but I think you get the picture.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Starships and Aliens Review July 29, 2011
Scott Cleveland has created a big canvas which at times can be confusing; it wasn't till the end of the story that I really felt I'd got to grips with "who, what and where" about the various cultures within the world. That said, it was an interesting and well written, detailed environment and the spacetech was intriguing.

The plot does tend to leap about and needs focus to keep track of what is happening. It is pretty violent at times and I could have done without characters vomiting quite as much as they did, but it is certainly action packed.

The characters are well written. I didn't find many of them sympathetic, as Nivia seems to be populated by a whole lot of self serving, amoral and ruthless people. Terson Reilly, the main protagonist, is a kind of Typhoid Mary - it isn't just that trouble and disaster seem to have plagued him from birth but as he observes himself in the book, seems to infect everyone he cares about. If this man wants to be your friend, RUN!

The front cover is okay but could be in any genre and is far too tranquil to portray the intensity of action and complex betrayals in the story. There are a couple of minor editorial blarts of a kind which would not be picked up by a spellchecker (altar/alter, breaks/brakes) but overall the quality of editing, spelling, grammar and punctuation is excellent.

This book reminded me of Peter Benchley's books in the punchy style of the writing, action-driven story and brutal characters. I was unable to review this book on the Starships and Aliens website since it does contain swearing, sex and violence. However I liked the quality of the writing and the intriguing premise in the sample enough to buy a copy to read for myself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Saga!
What a story! The more I read the more interesting and complicated the story became. The plot twists and turns so many times and the interactions between the characters developed... Read more
Published 5 months ago by NoraC
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, awesome use of space exploration and expansions abound.
This had a lot of action and suspense, yet enrolled the thoughts into space travel, consequences and opportunities. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Gwynneth
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to follow and no real ending
I found it hard to follow the story. I understand that it is supposed to be in the future, but there was no explanation of the different worlds or terms that were used. Read more
Published 12 months ago by austexlady
5.0 out of 5 stars A Sterling First Effort!
Although I read every kind of books, I have been a Sci-Fi fan for over 50 years, which meant I started with the greats and with Space Opera. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Janet Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Pale Boundaries
I found this to be an excellent read. It kept me engrossed and engaged. I cared about the characters and want to continue with the next part of the story.
Published 17 months ago by May
4.0 out of 5 stars Action Driven Plot
The author does a great job of developing the main character and the key supporting cast. I like it when an author kills off lots of support characters as he advances the plot. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Sparta
5.0 out of 5 stars Nicely done
I'm not usually a sci-fi reader; however, this is a book I really enjoyed and plan to continue by reading the sequel. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Jeanne Ambro
2.0 out of 5 stars Hang in there.....
This is a book I put down at least three times, each time trying to decide if I should give it one more try. I am glad That I did. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it
Very well thought out plot set in the far future on a distant planet. A flawed protagonist who you quickly begin to root for. Some bad guys with a leader you really like. Read more
Published 24 months ago by CathyCaryGirl
2.0 out of 5 stars Did not want to continue reading
Started reading but not interested in continuing. Story, characters did not "grab" me. Usually I try to persevere but not this time.
Published 24 months ago by Carla D. Vauthrin
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More About the Author

Scott Cleveland was born and raised in Eastern Washington.

He got hooked on science fiction early in life and began dabbling with writing in high school. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Eastern Washington University in the early 1990s, and immediately pursued a career in electronic maintenance, which continues to pay the bills.

He currently resides in Washington State with his wife, Carol.

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