- File Size: 5236 KB
- Print Length: 170 pages
- Publication Date: November 15, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B076GHGTJD
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,232,562 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Neutral Space Kindle Edition
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Neutral Space is set in the year 3006, in a world where intergalactic races have intermingled with humans. Technology and territory were shared, but like most trade agreements, alliances were broken causing an unruly war between Kelsairans and humans.
Corrupt governments and evil agendas will mean that the characters may not all be who they seem. Allies will be formed, and friendships will be created, regardless of the race. Through the new found friendships, the authority will be questioned- and betrayed- to save the people they care about the most.
I loved how the novel incorporated futuristic ideas such as new races, advanced technology and ideas while still implementing familiar scenarios such as court scenes, jails and friendship. There’s even cultural food such as Italian and Chinese that are twisted into the plotline, giving the story an almost realistic feel. With human governments still participating in dodgy deals and corrupt politics, you can practically imagine the future in the 3000’s being very similar to what you find in Neutral Space.
Between the battles of war lies a love story that will have you eager to learn how it all ends. Rebecca Tran writes with a momentum that fills the pages with layers of action, romance and intergalactic adventures. The story was easy to read, but the characters were complex, with parts of their past being told as the plot line progressed. Rebecca Tran cleverly transcribes the character progression in a way that makes you feel attached and invested in the outcomes of their lives.
The story switches between past and present and Jackson recounts his encounter with the Kelsairan woman. This builds up the relationship and gives the reader an insight into the minds of both races. There were many parallels to how today’s society may have felt during a time of war with other countries, especially regarding the unspoken political agendas. An element of family is also present in Neutral Space as it hints at the everlasting values of humans and their desire to protect and create a family of their own.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys futuristic style novels with action, friendship and a dash of politics.
Jackson’s in a military prison serving his term for insubordination when a Kelsairan woman whom he rescued long ago arrives in handcuffs, accused of treason and horrific crimes. He hasn’t thought about her in years and never knew her true identity: she’s Kheda, a fierce Kelsairan warrior and the one responsible for many of his comrades’ deaths. Conflict wars within Jackson as he sifts through his morals and his military beliefs.
He concocts a plan of escape and his actions soon reap their own consequences. With nowhere to turn and on the run, will Kheda and Jackson unite the warring races or will they sacrifice themselves to stop the governments they once believed in?
A classic science fiction trope, Neutral Space brings a new spin to the space opera. Rebecca Tran excels at world-building creating a very black and white non-free-thinking society where governments war with each other and people’s lives be damned. War is hell and this point comes across clearly in Neutral Space. A tad slow in spots and could use polishing. I love the whole Star Trek TNG vibe to this book. Realistic characters in a futuristic setting. Excellent for die-hard military science fiction fans.
Favorite Character/Quote: “No, because once they find us, they will kill us.” Kheda’s voice was emotionless.
My Rating: 4 stars
For example, in all the universe the two characters get put in the same single prison. The male lead is already there and anticipates the female lead will be placed there when he hears she's to be jailed. (Is there only one such prison in all the universe?) There was no mention of other women (except for a single staff nurse), so I don't know if this was a co-ed prison. But when she arrived, she seemed able to wander at will and sleep wherever she wanted. She was never actually locked up at any point. That doesn't seem very prison-like to me, but it sure was convenient for the plot.
Most of the book is a romance in space, which I don't mind. I like those. But the plot is basically them running around talking to people that they already knew and somehow, miraculously uncovering, in some small amount of time, a secret that had gone undiscovered for 200 years. One of the clues they find is a copy of the original treaty, the breach of which started the war. You guys, if a war starts because someone is said to have broken a treaty, I really think someone would have thought to look at the darned thing before 200 years passed.
That war is basically just a background prop. You never feel the tension of it. The characters met ON VACATION. Yes, I know it's the space-fairing equivalent of shore leave. But it's hard to be concerned about a war when the main character trots off to go fishing and throughout the whole book they go wherever they want, including to their families, and no one ever stops them, there is never a battle, or a front, or any evidence of war.
While I appreciate that female lead was meant to be the more elite soldier, she spent the whole book being girly—changing clothes, putting on perfume, angsting about her virginity, and eventually marrying and having babies. She could have been a baker or a politician and been far more believable. Her character was too shallow and simple to actually carry what it was supposed to.
Lastly, there's the humans and kelsairans, who were less different from one another than the Americans are from the Chinese. They shared the same mores and values. Their languages must not have even been that different, because the characters learned to speak alien languages in months, in one case without anyone to even teach him. He picked it up from listening to the guards talk to one another. So again, the cultures and universe are simple and not as diverse as they need to be.
I know I sound like I've trashed this book. I was admittedly disappointed to find it as flat as it is. But it is entertaining in it's own ways, has a lovely theme, and I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it. I'd even be willing to read another of Tran's books.
Note: I won a paperback version through Goodreads. I chose to read and review it.