Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review:
When is Sylvia Wallace
by Brad Anderson
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Her new world began in complete silence and absolute darkness. It wasn’t supposed to happen. It wasn’t even supposed to be possible. All the science and technology said so, but a freak accident changes everything and Deputy U.S. Marshal Sylvia Wallace finds herself sometime in the future when the Janus Project does not exist and most of the people around her are prison escapees. All is not forsaken, however. A note from the past gives her hope. Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Mackie (the Guardians trilogy) and Colonel John Callan (The Janus Project) are coming to take her back to her time. All she has to do is stay alive until they find her, which becomes the most dangerous time of all.
* courtesy of Amazon.com
“When Is Sylvia Wallace? from The Janus Project files,” by Brad Anderson is a roller coaster ride from the time U.S. Marshall Sylvia Wallace wakes up in an abandoned mine. The Earth has undergone a geomagnetic shift and is tilted on her axis, sending most of the planet into an ice-age when, in a Western-style shootout, friends Robert Mackie (from the “Guardians” trilogy) and Colonel John Callan (from “The Janus Project”) attempt a retrieval to take her back to her own time.
Brad Anderson does a wonderful, thorough job at describing this cold, nearly barren world Sylvia now finds herself in. The dystopian society she is surrounded by is so believable and realistic that one shudders to think how easily circumstances could devolve into the very struggle for day-to-day existence he so graphically portrays in this tale. With a style reminiscent of Stephen King, note how he describes one of his protagonist’s actions.
Escaped criminal and self-appointed mayor Rich Witkowski has realized that he must dispose of the bodies of his abducted victims quickly and chooses dismemberment:
The ulna and the radius just above the left wrist were exposed because that was where he had first grasped this corpse. He slipped the joined bones into the cutter opening. “Good. Just wide enough. I can save the hatchet and the hacksaw for the larger bones.” He lay the used shop towel on the concrete near the hand. “But first, the fingers.”
This novel is not just for those who wonder about the possibility of time travel, but also for those who enjoy dystopian tales, psychological thrillers, or high drama. Personally, I’ve always been fascinated with science fiction and time travel in general. But, what I most enjoyed about this story was the minute details concerning survival itself. With both John Callan and Sylvia, Anderson goes into extensive description of just what is necessary to survive in an arctic environment. From the character’s step by step thought processes on deciding how to wrap one’s head for protection against the harsh elements, to the lengthy descriptions of ice walls and submerging into below-freezing water, to the panoramic detail of the physical environments the characters encounter.
Without having read The Janus Project, the connection, the familiarity and loyalty between the main characters nevertheless came through loud and clear. “When Is Sylvia Wallace? from The Janus Project files” works perfectly as a stand-alone novel, and will encourage readers to seek out the original story. However, in my opinion, the author could spin this into a series of its own: “From the Janus Project files, volume XX,” because this is a topic and genre that could garner an increasing fan base. With the blurring of genre lines, Brad Anderson has written an engrossing story that will grab readers of science fiction, action and adventure, and psychological thrillers.
– reviewed by Judy Derby for Reader Views
This is a time travel novel and an adventure.
Sylvia Wallace is a Deputy US Marshall who works with the Janus Project in protecting people who were put in the Witness Protection Program. Unfortunately, she was in her pod when something happened and her pod crashed. She finds herself in the year 2036 in a coal mine. This is one of the areas where the program had a base. She knew the procedures to follow and did. She found her way out of the mine to the headquarters building where she found a number of men who were dead. They had died trying to take another man who had killed most of them. The others died in a blast from a sabotaged metal box. Past them was the entrance to the headquarters emergency base. Here she found food, clothing, shelter, and other equipment. She knows the protocol is to find her way to Alexandria to the main headquarters so they will know where to find her. To do this, she must walk out in the middle of a snow and ice storm.
John Callan is called back into action by Rob Mackie to help find Sylvia. First, they had to search many years from 2015 to find her. Once they found her, John and Rob were taking a risk to go into the future. No one had ever gone into the future. Would they make it in one piece? Would they be in the same year as Sylvia and the same place? If they did find her, could they get home?
This novel was excellent and just as good as the first one. I am not usually a fan of science fiction but with Brad Anderson’s books, I am definitely caught up in this series. I certainly hope there will be more. Be careful or you will find yourself staying up all night to finish it!
– Amazon reviewer P. Blevins
The story, “When is Sylvia Wallace” is engaging. Even the title is intriguing and draws you into wanting to know exactly what that means. Brad’s detailed descriptions of the physical and emotional allows you to become fully immersed into the story. Mr. Anderson helps you feel the cold, smell the natural gas in the tunnel and take part in the action. “When is Sylvia Wallace” is one of those books that is hard to put down and will leave you wanting to know more about these characters and follow them into future or past (in the case of time travel) adventures.
– Amazon reviewer NeoTheOne