Alien Worlds: Colonial Scouts [Book 1] Audiobook Review

Would you try another book from Roxanne Smolen and/or Jennifer Fournier?

Let me start off saying this book is more geared toward beginning young adult (YA) readers, however some older reader may enjoy the journey the story takes you on. I enjoy science fiction very much and read to quite a few book in the genre, but this book seemed geared towards a younger group than I enjoy. I was happy to have a more modern science fiction book that that did not contain any vulgar language or even crude jokes. This is another reason I would feel comfortable recommending it to younger teen readers.

Would I recommend this book to others? It depends. I left wanting more, but for a younger reader who wants an exciting journey with action and warp jumps to new worlds, get this book. If you are looking for a deep science fiction story with deep character and storyline, you may not like this book.

The story’s concept and ideas was quite refreshing along with being presented well. The author did a good job of the initial story setup and quickly grabbed my attention and sucked me in at the start; good job. The book for me was more like watching a modern cartoon where there is always action and no real periods where the characters’ pause to reflect or have much internal dialogue. Because I listened to this in one sitting (during a long drive), I felt that in the beginning the action-based events seemed to come too frequently. Monster, jump, monster, jump, etc. Reader of the story will understand what I’m saying here. I would have also liked to have had some more suspenseful moments throughout the story. Often it was something like a character turns a corner and comes head-to-head with a new creature to face. I would have like to have seen a creature stalk the characters more, seen their fear levels rise, etc. The book often went from 5mph to 60mph in a second. Some of this may have been because the author geared the material at younger audiences and they want this constant action; I’m not sure.

I will say that I liked the author’s uniquely constructed worlds, environments and creatures. However, I would have like to have had a much deeper description of most of them. The author would often describe just enough to move to the next part of the story, so at times these items all seemed a bit flat for me. The characters were also somewhat flat. The author does give us a glimpse into the lives of the main characters throughout the storyline, but again I wanted more. I wanted to feel for them as they took this great journey. The romance, yes there is some of what I would call puppy love, also seemed very forced and in some ways unnatural. It reminded me more of those experiencing their first kiss, but these characters are nearly 20 years old. Some of the terms and sayings also seemed either cliché or would not be sayings I would believe to come from this society.

I would have like to have had more information and detail on the technology used and how this was created, tested, evaluated, etc. Maybe these items are coming in future books in the series or even a prequel. We are dropped into this story with a fantastic technology that is never really explained; apart from what it can do. I wanted to know who or how they discovered it, and more. The book provides very little here and again often just enough to carry the story forward or answer a question or resolve an issue in the book. For me, I was looking for more science fiction with my travels and would have enjoyed it more if there was. Tell me how the guns work, what they look like, do they require batteries or ammo?

Did Jennifer Fournier do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

I was a bit concerned with how the narration of the story would be for this book based on the narrator’s previous books listed on Audible. Overall she did a decent job with the book, but for me there were a few inflection and character distinction problems. At times it seemed the narrator was speaking as if the scene was action-filled, yet it contained no action. Sometimes it was difficult to know if these were a problem with the story or the narrator’s interpretation of the material. As of this review, this narrator has mainly performed short children’s books and this may have had some influence on her reading of this book. Often she did a good job of expressing a character’s emotion or emotional state.

There were a few narration issues that would take me out of the story, but they were few and far between. In a few places there were long pauses, swallows, audio interference, or other non-story related event that was on the recording which would pull me out of the story and it would take some time to get back into it.

Any additional comments?

This book was provided to the reviewer by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for a my posting a non-bias review.

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