Friday, December 23, 2016

Book Review: The Paradise Protocol (Intergalaxia, Book 1) by Anna Zogg

Title:  The Paradise Protocol (Intergalaxia, Book 1)
Author:  Anna Zogg
Genre:  Science Fiction
Publisher: Mountain Brook Ink
Release Date:  October 14, 2016

Alone on a primitive planet light-years from Earth, bio-scientist Aric Lindquist believes she has been abandoned by SARC, the sponsor of her research assignment. In the five months since her assistant disappeared, she has struggled to survive Empusa III’s beautiful but hostile environment. Is SARC punishing her because she accused them of breaking protocol in not safeguarding the indigenous humanoids? After a new assistant finally arrives, Aric’s suspicions escalate.

When Sean Reese agreed to this mission, he expected to find a dangerous and possibly demented woman. Carrying out his orders would have been easy. But Aric is unlike anything he expected. Sean might find a way to save her life if she submits to the powerful director of SARC. If she won’t, the director will use any means to silence them both…including murder.

Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review:

I've always had a deep love for science fiction and was excited about the opportunity to read this book. This was my first experience with this author and the blurb hooked me right away. The description of the world, from the sentient lifeforms to the local flora and fauna were terrific. The technology was enough to give a hint of a futuristic bent, without losing the reader completely in scientific jargon. It allowed more of a focus on character development and the story.

Unfortunately, this was where I found the book to stumble a bit. There were a few inconsistencies in the plot that pulled me right out of the story -- especially in the latter half of the book. I can't go into details without sharing spoilers, but these were pretty big issues that should have been addressed. Then, we have the issue with the main character...

Aric Linquist is the heroine of our story and believes she's been abandoned on this planet. In my opinion, it takes an especially strong-willed woman to leave her family, daughter, and friends behind to go off-planet for years.... to not only survive but thrive in a hostile environment. Kudos to her for shouldering this amount of bravery! As such, I expected her to be a strong and competent woman, but she came across as rather wimpy, meek and mild-mannered. She gave in far too often to her male "assistant's" requests and demands, deferring to him on multiple occasions even though she was supposed to be the Team Leader.

I also had issues with some of the religious undercurrents (and inconsistencies) in the book. This is a personal opinion only, but I felt as though it took away from the science fiction elements of the book. I enjoy religious undertones in other genres, but not usually in this type of science fiction work. I don't believe that this main character did any credit to incorporate faith into the science fiction genre. If anything, it was diminished by the main character's inconsistencies and her fluctuating moral compass (don't preach it if you don't practice it, sister).

When our meek and mild heroine simply threw up her hands and claimed she couldn't get hot and heavy with our sexy hero because they weren't married, I choked on my drink, nearly spraying water out of my nose.

I'm sorry, but if I'm trapped off-planet light years away from home and there's no other human around... and some hunky hottie lands in my lap and offers to warm up my sheets... I'm NOT going to tell him I'm saving myself for marriage -- especially when I've already been married, divorced and had a kid. She's been stuck on that planet for months without supplies! She doesn't even have a freaking uniform to wear! Come on, girl! You're shaming the sisterhood! Grab that hunk of man and wear him like a toga or a hat. Sheesh.

All in all, I enjoyed the story. I'd like to check out more of Ms. Zogg's books, but I might be a bit leery if her other science fiction works share the same religious angle. Maybe if they showed religion as a way of empowerment instead of an obstacle instead? Now there's a twist.

My Rating:

About the Author:

What if Terrans were the first to achieve intergalactic space travel? What would Earths responsibilities be toward less technological advanced humanoids? Dominate or protect? These questions have long intrigued Anna Zogg who has long been fascinated by space travel. Author of numerous articles, short stories and science fantasy novels, she and her husband John reside in Utah. 

Author Links:
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