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Apr 07

The Ophelia Prophecy – Sharon Lynn Fisher

About the Book

Our world is no longer our own. We engineered a race of superior fighters — the Manti, mutant humans with insect-like abilities. Twenty-five years ago they all but destroyed us. In Sanctuary, some of us survive. Eking out our existence. Clinging to the past.

Some of us intend to do more than survive.
* * *
Asha and Pax — strangers and enemies — find themselves stranded together on the border of the last human city, neither with a memory of how they got there.

Asha is an archivist working to preserve humanity’s most valuable resource — information — viewed as the only means of resurrecting their society.

Pax is Manti, his Scarab ship a menacing presence in the skies over Sanctuary, keeping the last dregs of humanity in check.

Neither of them is really what they seem, and what humanity believes about the Manti is a lie.

With their hearts and fates on a collision course, they must unlock each other’s secrets and forge a bond of trust before a rekindled conflict pushes their two races into repeating the mistakes of the past.

320 pages (paperback)
Published on April 1, 2014
Published by Tor
Author’s webpage

This book was sent for me to review by the publisher.

“Sarah, this book is a romance and you hate romance. What the hell? Are you sick?”

No, I’m not sick. Yes, this is a romance, and yes, I read this book and willingly did so. You see, I really enjoyed Fisher’s first book Ghost Planet. Yes, that was romance as well, but it was the first SciFi romance I ever read, and I liked it in a sort of interesting-and-different-flavored-popcorn sort of way. You know what? Everyone needs to eat some popcorn every now and again. When I hit my popcorn mood, I want my snack to be tasty and easy to eat.

The Ophelia Prophecy doesn’t disappoint.

The thing that Fisher really excels at is making a realistic and interesting futuristic, SciFi world, and keeping it easy enough for readers to understand and absorb with very little effort. That’s truly a skill, because science fiction can be so intimidating to so many people. The concepts and, well, science can easily be too much. The Ophelia Prophecy had plenty of SciFi in it – the ships they use to travel, the genetic modifications, much of the technology that is used in daily life by many. However, there are a lot of fantasy elements, too. The city that they end up at has a very fantasy feel to it. A lot of the politics are reminiscent of many secondary fantasy worlds I’ve read. The nice merging of all of this might make The Ophelia Prophecy a nice gateway into SciFi for those interested in giving the genre a shot.

Ash and Pax are both easy characters to like, Ash especially. She’s young and her ignorance has a rather charming quality to it. Pax is, unfortunately, rather stereotypical in this sort of world. While Ash is a human, Pax is a manti. Manti are a sort of insect hybrid species that humans genetically engineered who are now in control of the planet. Pax falls into the alpha male role. He’s powerful and has a long history behind him. That’s fine, despite all of that, I found myself really liking Pax even though he felt a little stale to me.

The book started kind of slow, but the plot built up pretty quickly and started moving very fast in almost no time. It’s easy to sit back and just enjoy the way things are unfolding. That’s a fantastic quality for a book like this to have. That being said, there are some plot elements that just felt too cliché for the incredibly unique world that Fisher created. For example, the alpha-male quality of Pax. While I know that many romance readers like the troubled but alpha male love story thing, I think Fisher could have jazzed him up a bit and made him just as unique as the world he inhabited. Furthermore, the memory loss thing, and the “ah ha” moment behind that important plot point, felt way too forced and convenient for me to believe. Furthermore, the ending felt very rushed, with elements of the story being tied up too neatly, too quickly.

Yes, all of this did impact my level of enjoyment.

But all of that aside, The Ophelia Prophecy still maintained a level of fun that I really needed when I picked it up. The romance is rather heartwarming, and despite my character qualms, I really was rooting for the couple. That’s weird, because typically I really don’t enjoy romance. The Ophelia Prophecy, and Ghost Planet, are both teaching me that it might not be romance I dislike, but how it is used in many of the books the romance is put in – if that makes any sense at all. Fisher makes it easy to sit back and just enjoy the romance that is unfolding. Coupled to the interesting character relationships is a futuristic world that I really want to know more about.

That might be my biggest complaint about this book, and it really is more of a compliment to the author. I really wanted to know more. I really wanted Fisher to immerse me in the world and the politics behind it more than she did. There seems to be so much more she could have showed the reader about the evolution of societies and the conflicts that have fueled the various situations they are now in. In truth, The Ophelia Prophecy felt like more of a short story in a much larger picture than anything else, and I sincerely hope that Fisher grows on it and takes her readers back to the world she’s created and evolves it even more.

So here’s where it sits. I have enjoyed both of Fisher’s books, and I will honestly probably read everything she puts out. Her books, so far, are the exact kind of high-quality-popcorn that I’m looking for when I need a mental vacation. I truly enjoy how she merges science fiction and fantasy into something unique and interesting, but mostly, I want more.

 

3.5/5 stars

m4s0n501

8 comments

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  1. Paul Weimer (@princejvstin)

    I had not heard of this book, until your review, and a guest post Ophelia did on the Tor blog this morning.

    Have you read Adrian Tchaikovsky shadows of the apt series, Sarah?

    1. BookwormBlues

      No, I haven’t seen that guest post yet.

      Yes, I have read some of Shadows of the Apt but not all of it. I keep meaning to go back to it.

  2. Anya

    I just started this one last night (*is late on arcs again*) so I didn’t read more than the first paragraph, but I’m glad that it fulfilled your flavored popcorn needs ;-). I’ve been reading way too much middle-grade fantasy all in a row, so this seems like the perfect thing for me to read next since it kind of opposite in every way :D

    1. BookwormBlues

      Haha… yeah, I hope you enjoy it!

  3. Tabitha (@Pabkins)

    Muwuwhaha – yes yes romance. I know right? I really liked her Ghost Planet book (I think I liked it better?) But seriously I love the way she writes. Its a scifi romance and just how often do you see that? I for one don’t think I fun across them often. It’s all cowboy romance, vampire romance, contemp romance.

    I had some qualms but mostly I just seriously enjoyed this. I don’t normally go in for romance but I found it so refreshing to find it done in a genre that I love and I really found the concept fascinating with the DNA tampering.

    1. BookwormBlues

      Refreshing. Yes, it was very refreshing, and I agree.. how often do you see a SciFi romance book? Never. That alone gets me curious enough to read it.

      Also, yes, I liked Ghost Planet a little more than this one.

  4. Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    I’m sorry that this wasn’t quite as deep a read as you were wanting, but I’m glad that you still liked it. I’ve got this near the top of my TBR list myself ;)

    1. BookwormBlues

      I really enjoyed it, I just felt like the world was so sprawling and complex, she could easily elaborate on it for a few more books.

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