About the Book
Author: Cathy McCrumb
Genre: Science Fiction
Release date: November 15, 2022
Freedom Awaits, but the Consortium is Watching
When rogue drones threaten citizens and the ship’s crew falls ill, the Recorder answers their call for help, once again drawing scrutiny from the Consortium.
With no other option and under an Elder’s overbearing watch, she returns to Pallas Station where she nearly lost her life in the hope of finding something—anything—to save her friends and countless others. Her friends are determined to keep her safe, but for the Recorder, saving others comes first, no matter the cost.
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This novel is a sequel to Recorder and does not read well on its own. There is no synopsis of the first book nor enough back story early on to preclude the necessity of reading Recorder to fully enjoy this one. There are many references to people and events from the first book unexplained as they are mentioned in this one. Even I was a bit confused at the beginning with what was going on as it had been a year since reading the first book.
The focus of this novel seems to be one of character building. We see Recorder develop more and we gather insights into other characters and one of the Elders. We meet more recorders and finally have a confrontation with the villain. There are spurts of action in the novel and just a hint of possible romance.
While much of the action is based on morality, there is not a strong faith message appearing yet, although one character did wear a cross necklace. I loved the reference to Julian of Norwhich when Recorder says, “It will be well. All manner of things will be well.”
This novel is for science fiction readers who like an exploration of characters with the action settled in one location. We are left wondering what the future might have in store so I will be looking for the next in the series.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
You can read my review of the first book in the series, Recorder, here.
About the Author
Cathy McCrumb graduated from Biola University with a degree in English Literature and a love for stories. She and her husband, whom she met while writing letters to soldiers, have five children and currently live within the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. While writing is one of her favorite things to do, she also enjoys reading, long hikes and long naps, gluten-free brownies and raspberries, and crocheting while watching science fiction movies with friends and family.
More from Cathy
After I finished writing Recorder, my main character was stuck.
Or, more precisely, I was.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew where she was, roughly what was going to happen, and what was going on elsewhere. But after the rush of finishing the first book and even having a great opening line for the second, I was at a standstill. Starting there didn’t make sense, didn’t set the scene. I tried again. And again.
It bothered me for months.
Then, on my way into work, a phrase popped into my head. Eyes on the stoplight, I fumbled in my bag, grabbed the first pen I could find, and scrawled the words on my left forearm in large block letters: NEED HELP WITH THE BODIES.
And like that, I knew where to begin.
(Fortunately, my coworkers were more amused than not, though I did wear long sleeves to church the next day, since I figured no one would find my Sharpie-scrawl comforting.)
While some of the story fell into place as I had expected, it turns out anticipation of a few scenes didn’t dull the edge, and I cried for those. My characters didn’t always comply, and aside from the black block letters on my arm, Aberration had other surprises that made me laugh or cringe. Two of those twists shifted the book’s trajectory, and the Recorder still must deal with the repercussions.
Life is like that. Some things trundle along like they should, but when change rears its head, everything can go sideways. A move, a sickness, a loss, a gain, a promotion… The good things—smiles, laughter, friends, song, color—don’t negate the uncomfortable things—failure, disappointment, isolation. But for those who believe in Christ, sorrow doesn’t have the final word. There is a sudden turn of joy, a grace in an unexpected twist that reminds us that there is no universal defeat awaiting us, even when it feels like all hope is lost.
Writing frequently reminds me of a difficult child who doesn’t want to cooperate. Characters show up uninvited to reshape scenes, or the plot goes exactly as I expect, but carries a completely different meaning. Sometimes I have to pause and let the story wash over me.
A lot like life.
The reversal of sorrow to joy, of catastrophe to eucatastrophe, shows us a glimpse of the home that awaits. Light pierces the shadows of story and heart, illuminating the core of who we are as we journey further up and farther in.
When you continue with the Recorder on her search for a name, for meaning, for hope, I hope that in those sudden surprise turns, you, too, hear the silver trumpets calling you home, no matter where or when you might be stuck.
Because, really, you aren’t.
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Inklings and notions, December 3
deb’s Book Review, December 4
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Library Lady’s Kid Lit, December 6
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I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)