Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Book Review: "Overload Flux" (Carol van Natta)

Forensic investigator Luka Foxe is working to unravel the ongoing thefts of a critically needed vaccine for a pandemic affecting the entire galaxy. Unfortunately, he's contending with an out-of-control mental ability that he'd rather keep hidden than make known, as well as a rising body count, and not just from the sweeping pandemic.

Mairwen Morganthur hides her own host of life-endangering secrets beneath the guise of a barely literate or intelligent night-shift security guard. When she's roped into Luka's investigation, her secrets are jeopardized and her past threatens to overwhelm any chance of normalcy in the present or hope for the future.

Together, they face a web of corruption, greed, and betrayal that takes them to the outer limits of the galaxy and their ability to trust anyone, let alone admit to one another their growing mutual attraction.

It's a tremendous pleasure to introduce to my readership Overload Flux, the first novel in science fiction author and playwright Carol van Natta's Central Galactic Concordance series. (Information about her newly released second novel in the series, Minder Rising, is available here.)

I'll begin with a disclosure: I'm not generally a fan of the science fiction genre. I find much of it to be too technical for me, or filled with long, dull descriptions of settings.

Let me assure my readers, however, and with absolute certainty, that it's been a very, very long time since I've read such a compelling, unexpected, suspenseful, and well-crafted work of science fiction as Overload Flux.

This spectacular novel delivers not only a unique and fantastical futuristic universe, down to the very last and most minute detail, but also a thriller of a story line that propels the reader through page after page of rising action, danger, intrigue, and even romance to a conclusion so mentally and emotionally satisfying that I immediately wished that the work was longer just so I could keep reading.

I never once felt bored, lectured, or confused.

Enveloped into the world that van Natta has very capably devised, readers will find highly believable characters, easily related to despite their extensive psychological abilities and experience with spacecraft, warfare, and interplanetary relations.

Mairwen, in particular, most fascinated me. She's a mass of juxtapositions, from masterfully adept and even lethal in the tensest situations to thoroughly out of her element when it comes to human interactions or relationships. Think, in some ways, a sci-fi version of Lisbeth Salander.

Meanwhile, Luka is equally complex, at times vulnerable and desperate, and at others every inch the trustworthy leader he's more than capable of being. When the chips are down, as the saying goes, someone with Luka's foresight and stability makes for a very reassuring hero for whom to cheer.

I can't say enough good about this intricately woven novel. If I might have said anything else to convince my readers of its surpassing excellence and worthiness to be read, I hope they will consider it said and not hesitate to obtain a copy. Then, check out the second in the series, which I have no doubt will also exceed every expectation.

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Author: Carol van Natta
Title: Overload Flux
Series: Central Galactic Concordance (#1)
Purchase here: http://amzn.to/1Io18QR

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the author in exchange for an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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