Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Review: The Ophelia Prophecy


The Ophelia ProphecyAuthor: Sharon Lynn Fisher
Published: April 1st 2014
Publisher: Tor Books
Format: Paperback, 320 pgs
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

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.
Well then, color me surprised. Romantic science fiction hasn’t been this good since Ann Aguirre’s Sirantha Jax series! With a strong worldbuilding and an even stronger romance, The Ophelia Prophecy is a breath of fresh air in a (sub)genre that desperately needs it.

Asha and Pax were born on opposite sides of a long and bloody conflict. She is one the few remaining humans, raised in the Sanctuary, humanity’s last stand. Pax is Manti, a human-animal genetic hybrid, and a prince of sorts among his kind. When they meet, both their memories have been tampered with, and Asha ends up as a prisoner on Pax’s spaceship, Banshee.

Paradoxically, the romance was both quick and slow to develop. The attraction was instantly there, as well as Pax’s determination to keep Asha safe, no matter the cost. But while strong, attraction wasn’t accompanied by trust, and it took these two a long time to learn how to trust each other. Asha, for her part, didn’t just hide behind the first strong man determined to protect her, not even when a big part of her wanted to start a relationship with him. She insisted on making her own choices, and for the most part, those choices lead to something good.

I was more than a little surprised by the quality of Fisher’s worldbuilding! Sci-fi romances are usually just romances with a few sci-fi elements thrown in as a disguise, but here I felt that the author achieved a perfect balance between the two and took her time to develop the world, the well thought-through plot, and the romantic entanglement(s).

Admittedly, the big finale was somewhat poorly handled. A big and important scene happened mostly away from the reader’s eyes, which I resented. The switching of POV in that particular moment was, I suppose, meant to increase the suspense, but it only managed to irritate me. Luckily, the switch didn’t last long and everything was adequately explained afterwards.

The ending left plenty of room for a sequel, and I do hope we’ll get one in the near future. I’ve grown to care for these characters and I wouldn’t mind another lengthy visit to their exciting world.


A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.

21 comments:

  1. You should read Ghost Planet. She did an excellent job with that one too. I started The Ophelia Prophecy a couple of days ago. I'm not very far in, but I like what I've read so far.

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  2. Sci fi usually isn't my thing but your review has me completely interested!

    Great review Maja!

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  3. I haven't read much sci-fi, and this sounds like an intriguing mix of genres. Glad you liked it!

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  4. I am not a huge sci-fi fan but this sounds fantastic. Great review!

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  5. I do not like when it's just romance and some stuff thrown in, so I am glad to hear this is not the case here :)

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  6. Comparing this to Ann Aguirre's work is just about the highest degree of praise I can expect from you, Maja, so I'll have to add this to my TBR at once. (And, while I'm at it, I'll hopefully finish up Sirantha Jax! It's been too long...)

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  7. This sounds very interesting! The setting reminded me a bit of Battlestar Galactica, with genetically engineered human-insects instead of the Cylon but similar enough...
    I'm glad that the world building and the plot are well developed here since I'm not the biggest fan of purely romantic stuff!
    Thanks for sharing and your very honest review, Maja!

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  8. Awesome! I just got an arc of this the other day, and I cannot wait to read it. I love scifi and I like most of my books to have romance, but not to the detriment of everything else. Finally a balance! B/c yeah, scifi romance that is good scifi is ridiculously hard to find. Yay! Great review :)

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

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  9. While I can see being frustrated with the ending, too, this sounds really good! Weird, with the whole insect-human thing (they still look human, though, right? Because...antennae...multiple legs...a hard carapace...not my idea of hot).

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  10. The world building and slow burning romance sounds great, I haven't heard of this one, I don't think.

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  11. Oooo this sounds GOOD Maja! I of course love the Sirantha Jax series, so I'm always on the lookout for something that can hold it's own when compared to it. The romance sounds absolutely perfect, I can completely believe in instant attraction, but trust definitely takes time to build and I simply can't believe in love without trust. CANNOT WAIT to read this!

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  12. I don't read much sci fi, but this one sounds right up my alley despite the weird insect/human hybrid thing. I'll have to check this one out if I can find it at the library. Thanks for putting it on my radar, Maja!

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  13. Great review Maja, I loved this too! I'm trying to remember the part at the end that you didn't like, but I can't think what you're talking about. (I'll go back and see what it was). And I agree with you on a sequel. Come on Sharon! Give us a sequel!

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  14. Great review, Maja. I love the sound of this futuristic West End Story (somewhat). I'd love to see for myself. :)

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  15. This sounds SO good! I'm all for a slow romance and the worldbuilding sounds top notch! Another to add to the TBR!

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  16. I'm glad it's good, I was so curious about this one. Well I don't like sci-fi so I didn't request it but it's nice to know it's good.

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  17. Oh you are so right... it just seems like they take a romance novel and add technical terms to get the sci-fi part in. :p This sounds so good. You had me worried about the ending... since I'm an ending girl, but so glad that the frustration doesn't last and you get answers. Yeppers... this needs to go on the wishlist!

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  18. sci fi and romance is not something we get much of and this sounds solid, I am not thrilled to hear that the ending was a bit of a fizzle though! Still hoping the next one is even better~

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  19. I like the sound of this one! Really loved Fortune's Pawn by Rachel Bach and have been wanting another sci-fi to jump into. Although admittedly I have the final 3 Sirantha Jax to read still (Terrible, I know) that I should probably get to first. Either way, fabulous review. This is definitely going on my list!

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  20. Hmm. I might have to check this out. I could use a good sci fi romance. :) I love that cover. The model looks so familiar. I'm trying to think of the actress she looks like.

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  21. woohoo this is so exciting to hear! yay for well done sci-fiction with romance that focuses on both at the same time.

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