Friday, August 12, 2011

Paradise 21 REVIEW


“Aries regained her feet and staggered until the sand dunes ran together in an endless tide, until she collapsed, disoriented and dehydrated. She opened her mouth to gasp in air, and her lips cracked, letting trickles of blood seep into the sand. As she closed her eyes, precious beads of sweat evaporated instantly from her forehead.

At least I died free.”

- Dionne, Aubrie. Paradise 21 (A New Dawn, #1)


This is a very exciting book review for me. Why, you ask? I read this in rough draft form for Aubrie Dionne last year and I’m in the book acknowledgements for being a beta reader. This is also the first time I’ve seen a book from its beginnings to its publication. I wouldn’t have agreed to write this post if I wasn’t certain I’d love the final version of the book.


Here’s the blurb:


Aries has lived her entire life aboard mankind's last hope, the New Dawn, a spaceship traveling toward a planet where mankind can begin anew- a planet that won't be reached in Aries' lifetime. As one of the last genetically desirable women in the universe, she must marry her designated genetic match and produce the next generation for this centuries long voyage.

But Aries has other plans.

When her desperate escape from the New Dawn strands her on a desert planet, Aries discovers rumors about pirates - humans who have escaped her before its demise - are true. Handsome, genetically imperfect Striker possesses the freedom Aries' envies, and the two connect on a level she never thought possible. But pursued by her match from above and hunted by the planet's native inhabitants, Aries quickly learns freedom will come at a hefty price.

The life of the man she loves.


The book begins with Aries about to crash land on a desert planet, which had me swept in from the beginning. I liked Aries’s combination of independence and vulnerability. From there, we learn more about Aries and why she had to leave through her unattractive intended, Commander Barliss’s point of view. Next we meet Striker, the space pirate who was abandoned on the forsaken planet. His charisma reminded me of Indiana Jones. While Striker is an asset to the desolate planet, the creepy creatures that also live there are not. Soon we’re introduced to Tiff, the petite Goth girl with a bite who abandoned Striker, and whom she still has feelings for. She regrets her decision to stop believing in him, but is she too late?

Aubrie Dionne builds three believable worlds in this book: on the ship Aries left behind, on the planet Aries finds, and on a pirate ship where Tiff subsides.

The author is skilled at getting in the heads of several characters enough that we feel we know them. It’s tricky for authors to pull off multiple points of view, but she does it well. Each character has dimension and a distinct voice. Even if I didn’t agree with or particularly like a character, I related to their perspectives.

While each of these characters travels through space, winds up on Paradise 21, and hurtles through space again, they go on their own inward journeys. The book had a good balance between action and character development. Caring about the characters made me invested that much more in their fates. I found myself pulling for Aries and Tiff, even though I wanted Striker to end up with Aries. Their chemistry was undeniable.

Paradise 21 is filled with interesting plot twists. The author is a master at writing action scenes that make me think, Oh no! They’re never getting out of this one!

Aubrie Dionne pulled off a terrific feat. Before I read her work, I was sure I didn’t read Science Fiction. Space Opera, what’s that? Apparently, if you throw a little romance into the mix in a future with space travel and distant planets, I’m hooked.


Paradise 21 is available on Amazon:

In PAPERBACK

and KINDLE .


It's also available at Barnes and Noble .


Visit her blog HERE.



It’s been exciting to cheer Aubrie on as she queried, found an agent, and received a publishing contract with Entangled Publishing. I wish her success with Paradise 21 and the rest of the A New Dawn series. Congratulations, Aubrie!


45 comments:

  1. GOOD LUCK Aubrie with your book and huge congratulations with your writerly success - how exciting!!! And to pull off multiple povs too - YAY!! I like the Tiff character and makes me wonder how Tiff, Striker and Aries' stories will blend together!

    Thanks for the review too Theresa! Take care
    x

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  2. Wow! How exciting! I just went over to Aubrie's blog for congrats. Great review, Theresa!
    Have a good weekend.

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  3. Thanks for the review~ the book sounds jam-packed with adventure and action...as well as a couple of hotties :) That's so cool that you were mentioned in the acknowledgements!

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  4. Thank you so much for this fantastic review, Theresa! (I blogged about you on my blog today, too! And tweeted about this.)

    So much of this books success is due to you for taking the time to fix it up! :) Thank you!

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  5. Good luck, Aubrie! The review is lovely and the book blurb is definitely intriguing. I will check it out!

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  6. I have been very curious to learn more about this book, and I loved learned that, Theresa, you were a beta reader.

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  7. Great review! Thanks! And congrats to Aubrie.

    --Brooke Moss

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  8. Whoah...this is kinda like Across the Universe combined with Allie Condie's "Matched". How interesting. I'm intrigued.

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  9. What a fun premise for a book! It sounds like one of those edge-of-your-seat reads--I'll have to look for it. Thanks for the review!

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  10. What an amazing journey! I have never seen a book through from draft to publication. I would love for that to happen to someone I know! Including myself :-)
    The premise of the book sounds great--an adventure of its own. I'll have to check it out!

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  11. Congratulations and best wishes to Aubrie! The book sounds fantastic!

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  12. Thanks, everyone. If you decide to buy the book, I think you'll enjoy it. It was great being a beta reader, and even better to see the story in its final form.

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  13. great review! sounds like an exciting book and just what i look for! i will definitely check it out!

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  14. Congrats on your first follow through Theresa. Aubrie a big congrats! It's always good to hear of someone reaching for the stars and grabbing one. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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  15. Very cool! Congrats to you all. What a journey!

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  16. All the best, Aubrie on your book! Congratulations on the release! :) I will definitely check this out, Theresa :)

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  17. Paradise 21 sounds like an amazing novel. I love space operas, so this is right up my alley, and from the way you described it, it sounds like a great read. Definitely going to check Aubrie's writing out.

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  18. Great to read your review Theresa and how exciting to have been involved right from the early stages. My turn to
    host Aubrie on the 12th August.

    Denise

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  19. Great review, Theresa! I like how this book sounds. Must check it out:)

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  20. Wow! Fantastic! How exciting!
    Thanks for the review, Therese! You make my day!

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  21. It does sound like an action-packed read. Wishing Aubrie lots of sales with this one.

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  22. That must be a great feeling to be a beta then see the finished product

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  23. I haven't even read the book and I am pulling for Aries and Striker!

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  24. And she plays the flute! Can she be more talented?

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  25. Sounds like a great read. I love the tease and your review. I'll have to add this book to my TBR list.

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  26. I'm glad everyone sounds interested in the book. You won't be disappointed. As I read it, I thought, "Wow, this was a manuscript. But now I can't tell because it's a polished book!"

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  27. Great review! And hi to Aubrie. Congratulations! I know you're thrilled.

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  28. It's exciting to do a beta read and follow the progress of a book. I currently doing one for a book that is second of a series. I enjoyed the first book immensely and was thrilled when I was offered the opportunity to read.

    Aubrie's book sounds like an exciting read with a great story. I wish her a lot of success with the book.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  29. How exciting! Great review, Theresa!
    Hope you had a good weekend.

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  30. Thanks for the review, Theresa! Love the term Space Opera. :)

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  31. Wow! Aubrie's book sounds terrific - definitely have to check it out since I am hooked by anything well-written with adventure and romance! And how fun for you to have seen the book develop from it's beginnings to the published form - quite a journey!

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  32. It really is exciting that you got to watch this novel "grow" into what it is today :-) And that cover looks pretty cool.

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  33. Hi Aubrie!! Wow, I loved that excerpt-gorgeous!!!

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  34. That's such a cool thing to see a story from the start until publication. I've worked on a few projects like that and it's the best.

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  35. wow. Very cool. I love the whole desert planet thing... and it makes me think of Across the Universe, the next day... :D Good luck to Aubrie!

    Thanks for this awesome heads up, Theresa! :o) <3

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  36. (geez that was typo-laden)

    Wow. Getting thanked in the the acknowledgedments is almost as cool as publishing yourself!

    Thanks for the bday wishes :)

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  37. Thanks for the comments. I hope y'all consider buying the book.

    LTM, I read Aubrie's manuscript before Across the Universe. Reading Aubrie's Space Opera made me more open to reading Beth's book.

    Sophia, I hope you had a great birthday!

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  38. That is one awesome picture. I really like the flute.

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  39. Congratulations, Aubrie.

    Sounds like a fantastic read.

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  40. Teresa, have you framed the acknowledgment page yet? I would. :D

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  41. That's so fun to know someone through the whole writing/agent seeking/publishing process!! Sounds like a really fun book. I too have been wondering what the heck a space opera is :)

    Great review!

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  42. Sounds exciting--congratulations, Aubrie!

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  43. Thanks for commenting, everyone! I'm so happy for Aubrie. I'm sorry I haven't been visiting blogs, but with family obligations since Saturday and Write On Con the last three days, I've gotten a bit behind blogging!

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  44. It sounds terrific!!! Huge congrats to Aubrie :)

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