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Saturday, March 18, 2017

Book Review: Girl of Fire: The Expulsion Project Book One by Norma Hinkens

This is an engaging space adventure with a teen and friends seeking their true identities.
Girl of Fire: The Expulsion Project Book One
(A Science Fiction Dystopian Thriller)
by Norma Hinkens
File Size: 2861 KB
Print Length: 343 pages
Publisher: Dunecadia Publishing; 1 edition (January 10, 2017)
Genre: Dystopian, Sci Fi, Thriller
My Rating 4.0 of 5.0

How far would you go to unravel the truth?
Trattora is the adopted daughter of the Chieftain on a primitive frontier planet. Velkan is an indentured serf who has never known a day of freedom. Forced to flee a terrifying invasion by Galactic Pirates, they find themselves thrown together on a ramshackle mining vessel that harbors more than one dark secret. Fate and chemistry combine when the pair’s matching birth bracelets lead them to a shocking discovery about their true lineage. Stakes rise when they uncover the classified Expulsion Project, and the devastating sacrifice their birth families made to spare their lives. Determined to save them from liquidation, Trattora and Velkan plunge headlong into a frantic race against time and space to take down the genocidal self-actualizing software that now controls large swathes of their home planet.
But will they navigate the treacherous dealings of the seedy Galactic underworld in time to rescue the families who loved them enough to let them go?
Girl of Fire is the first novel in The Expulsion Project, a sci-fi, dystopian thriller trilogy with a whisper of romance, a heavy dose of adventure, and action galore. If you are a Firefly or Dark Matter fan, or still in Hunger Games or Cinder withdrawal, this is the book mashup for you!

Trattora is a teen with red hair which sets her apart from the white-haired people of her clan. She was fortunate to be adopted by the Chieftain but she has always yearned to know her true history. Few vessels visit their ‘rural’ planet so Trattora is thrilled when a damaged mining vessel lands. The community can’t offer much help, but Trattora tries to find something to trade. She shows the miners unique rocks that are part of the clan’s sacred grounds. The captain believes the rocks are valuable and they are discussing a deal until a clan elder uncovers a terrible secret aboard the miner’s ship.

Trattora has become interested in Velkan, a crew member who is an indentured serf who had no choice in the captain’s illegal cargo. Trattora is set on helping the crew to escape when news of a marauder’s attack reaches the village. Trattora, her best friend and a young guard are unable to make it to the cavern shelters so they escape on the mining ship. Trattora thinks she has made a deal with the captain but she will learn that you can’t trust a corrupt trader.

Trattora discovers Velkan has a birth bracelet like her own. This, and their chemistry, draws them closer as Trattora insists they discover the secret of their birth families. They face betrayal and danger, steal a ship – or two -- and find another bracelet owner as they pursue their past. Their new friend helps them to decipher the code of the bracelets which tells them that a powerful AI project was taking over their home planet fifteen years ago. Now they are all determined to try to rescue their families.

The world building in this story is creative and engaging. The characters are developed – some likable and some not. Although I enjoyed the story for the most part, the situations and solutions stretch the realm of believability. Trattora is a naïve girl who has little experience with evil or mechanics. Still, she has read all the books she could find about space flight so when it comes time to snag a ride on her first space ship she not only feels at home, she can take the controls. She manages to negotiate with illegal traders and escapes their betrayals only with the help of her friends. This sort of ‘good fortune’ happens repeatedly as Trattora rushes headlong into dangerous societies. It is fortunate that she gathers other skilled companions around her in addition to Velkan.

The crew does have a diversity that reminded me a little of Firefly (not Hunger Games or Divergent). Although I struggled with the apparent foolish actions, those actions kept the group moving forward and provided surprising twists along the journey. I suppose it is a gift of fantasy and sci fi to be unrealistic and still be fun. There is a conclusion even as the ending leaves an appropriate opening for the next book. Readers who enjoy fast paced, teen adventuring sci fi should give this series a try.

I received this from the author for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. This sounds like an interesting story, I might give it a try. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings about this story with us.


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