The Other Side of Life (Book #1, Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy)

Rated 4.00/5 based on 8 reviews
Summary: A thieving duo’s world turns upside down when an Elven rogue uncovers the heinous dealings of a megacorporation. * * * Genre: Urban Fantasy / Cyberpunk / YA with adult crossover appeal * * * Recommended for adults or young adults seeking cyberpunk themes (not hardcore sci-fi), and a love story (not fluffy romance). * * * By author/artist/non-conformist, Jess C Scott. More

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About Jess C Scott

Jess is an author / artist / non-conformist who loves original stories and seeking the truth.

She is the founder of jessINK, a publishing company dedicated towards creating “meaningful entertainment.”

Jess was a participating author in the 2012 Singapore Writers Festival, and has been called “bold, daring, and always original” by The Arts House.

Psychological thrillers are where she explores the dark side of human nature.

“I find psychopaths intriguing and disturbing,” she says. “I doubt the nature versus nurture debate will go away any time soon.”

[x] Erotic Fiction is where she explores intimacy/passion/intensity, not explicitness ;)

BIO: http://www.jessINK.com/bio.htm
DISCLAIMER: http://www.jessINK.com/erotic_writing.htm

Videos

Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy (Book #1, Urban Fantasy, Series)
The trailer for THE OTHER SIDE OF LIFE [Book.01 in Jess C Scott's "Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy"].

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Melissa SOS Mom on May 22, 2012 :
Before introducing the review of this book, I wanted to let you in on a little something. When I was offered the chance to do a review by Jess C. Scott, author of the book, I didn't fully know what I was getting myself into. I was somewhat aware of the type of book it was... Cyberpunk meets Elves meets fantasy, amongst other things. I pretty much acted on a hunch. I've been an avid and passionate reader for more years than I can count on my fingers and toes. Books are in my blood and I can smell a good one from miles away! My reader-gut-feeling told me to go for it. So I went! And I, must say, much to my surprise and enchantment, I loved the book! Truly, truly enjoyed it. Even though this book isn't my usual type (never really read this genre), I took a genuine pleasure in diving into the story and getting attached to the characters, who were all unique and nicely portrayed. The book is written with such poise, intelligence and ingenuity, that you quickly get sucked in. And even though it's a fantasy novel with a futuristic taste and a touch of romance, nothing feels out of place, over-the-top or far-fetched. Jess C. Scott juggled with all the elements brilliantly and tastefully.... to read my full review on this book, please click http://sosmom.blogspot.com/2012/05/other-side-of-life-book-review-giveaway.html
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Joe Perrone Jr. on Jan. 26, 2012 :
I must preface my review by stating that I am a sixty-six year old man whose preferred genres are detective mysteries and non-fiction. Having said that, I can state categorically that I thoroughly enjoyed The Other Side of Life by Jess C. Scott.
At a time well in the future, two young girls, Anya, and her friend, Leticia, encounter a trio of elves who enlist their help in recovering an artifact and returning it to its rightful owners. In the process, Anya gets more than she bargained for when she develops a love interest in the leader of the trio, an engaging character named Nin.
I really enjoyed the way Miss Scott designed not only an elven world, but also a new language to go along with it. There are touches of “cyberpunk” and even some “Goth” along the way that combine to give the book a delightful, futuristic feel so popular with today’s young people. While the story itself is very futuristic and imaginative, the characters and their relationships are so well drawn as to be totally credible.
I think this book will appeal especially to fans of science fiction and fantasy—particularly those young people with clearly defined senses of self, who yearn for a world that is heavy on acceptance for both offbeat and non-mainstream lifestyles.
The Other Side of Life is a well thought out, beautifully crafted fantasy novel with a great plot and fully-drawn characters that are alive and engaging. It’s a book that will leave readers begging for more from this very talented writer. Congratulations, Jess, on a job well done.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Maria Violante on Nov. 24, 2011 :
If I had to pick a word that summed up my feelings about The Other Side of Life, it would be … ambivalent. Creative and stylish in theory, but lacking in execution, it has been the hardest book to review thus far, and I’ll tell you about why.

First of all, the bad.

There are a number of mistakes (okay, you can call them creative license, I still call them mistakes) the author has made here that made the book hard for me to read. For starters, the POV is all over the place, jumping from character to character, and then into an omniscient state. We’re never fully in one person’s head for long enough to really understand any of the characters, and in sections where multiple people are together and talking, it can actually be hard to know who said what until you’re three or four lines down the passage. I found myself having to constantly go back and reread things and kind of “force” myself into the narrative, especially in the first 25%. This is the opposite of what you want, i.e., a book well written enough that grammar and technique are playing in the shadows while you fall into the story! Additionally, and more minor, Scott throws in a bunch of extra commas, meaning that I’m pausing mentally when I shouldn’t be.

Another thing I had a major issue with was character motivation. While Scott *does* give us insight into why her characters do the things they do, I find the explanation to be thin, hard to believe, and lacking – both for minor actions, like “Why do Anya and Nin initially each other,” all the way to major things, like, “Why is Anya risking her neck to help Nin in the first place?” I would have really liked it if the thought processes that led up to the actions were better explained – either through memories, pieces of backstory, or a more detailed description of feelings.” I also (and this one may just be my fault) didn’t really understand how the rules of this new universe worked, especially in how characters suddenly “knew” incredibly complicated and important pieces of knowledge. Like, how does Julius understand that he can choose between his own welfare and Leticia’s without anybody telling him or giving him a clear sign? Did he sense it from the “tree’s” force? If so, that needed to be better explain. This was a pattern I found repeating itself throughout the course of the novel; I just kept saying – How did they know that?

The final complaint that I had with this book is that at times, it felt like a diatribe with a novel pasted on top of it. I understand that cyberpunk is all about being against commercialism, the machine, and the danger of misusing technology, but there were entire, oddly timed passages, that espoused these viewpoints without really weaving them into the story. It was frustrating; while writing with a meaning is important, it should always (in my opinion) fall second to the flow and development of the narrative itself.

Oh, and minor point. The Mayans were the first with Cocoa as in “chocolate”, coca leaves as the forerunner to cocaine were actually an Incan/Quechua device.

The Good:

Wow, that felt mean. Unfortunately, it also felt honest. Luckily, there are also quite a few good things to say about this work that will help pull the punch.

For starters, it’s pretty imaginative, and it has many of the elements we all look for with a good story. There’s a plucky heroine, a dreamy hero, a loyal sidekick, and an evil but redeemable villain (revealed only after a nice plot twist!) Nobody is invulnerable and everybody is quite human.

There are also passages where the author manages to stay in just one POV for long enough to create some real human meaning; my favorite is where the main character is giving her mom an, um, package at the mother’s place of employment. The mother’s concern and unspoken thoughts were both real and touching, and it was a definite point of light in the work.

And the author should be applauded for weaving her beliefs and a deeper message into her work, even if the execution isn’t always perfect. She’s definitely attempted something that we don’t see everyday, both stylistically and in her intended message, and she gets full points for bravery in that regard.

Finally, there is a lot of creativity in both her descriptions of the near future and in some of the things we see in the Elven domains. I was pretty excited at both the presentation of Nin’s homeland and in the unique method of transport that was discussed, although I felt like these things should have been developed an explained further.

Final Score: 3.2 stars. An interesting read that misses the mark of greatness, but an excellent start for this author. I look forward to see how she might handle these issues in the future.

Reviewed for Maria Violante's review blog, www.mariaviolante.com
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Maria Violante on Nov. 24, 2011 :
If I had to pick a word that summed up my feelings about The Other Side of Life, it would be … ambivalent. Creative and stylish in theory, but lacking in execution, it has been the hardest book to review thus far, and I’ll tell you about why.

First of all, the bad.

There are a number of mistakes (okay, you can call them creative license, I still call them mistakes) the author has made here that made the book hard for me to read. For starters, the POV is all over the place, jumping from character to character, and then into an omniscient state. We’re never fully in one person’s head for long enough to really understand any of the characters, and in sections where multiple people are together and talking, it can actually be hard to know who said what until you’re three or four lines down the passage. I found myself having to constantly go back and reread things and kind of “force” myself into the narrative, especially in the first 25%. This is the opposite of what you want, i.e., a book well written enough that grammar and technique are playing in the shadows while you fall into the story! Additionally, and more minor, Scott throws in a bunch of extra commas, meaning that I’m pausing mentally when I shouldn’t be.

Another thing I had a major issue with was character motivation. While Scott *does* give us insight into why her characters do the things they do, I find the explanation to be thin, hard to believe, and lacking – both for minor actions, like “Why do Anya and Nin initially each other,” all the way to major things, like, “Why is Anya risking her neck to help Nin in the first place?” I would have really liked it if the thought processes that led up to the actions were better explained – either through memories, pieces of backstory, or a more detailed description of feelings.” I also (and this one may just be my fault) didn’t really understand how the rules of this new universe worked, especially in how characters suddenly “knew” incredibly complicated and important pieces of knowledge. Like, how does Julius understand that he can choose between his own welfare and Leticia’s without anybody telling him or giving him a clear sign? Did he sense it from the “tree’s” force? If so, that needed to be better explain. This was a pattern I found repeating itself throughout the course of the novel; I just kept saying – How did they know that?

The final complaint that I had with this book is that at times, it felt like a diatribe with a novel pasted on top of it. I understand that cyberpunk is all about being against commercialism, the machine, and the danger of misusing technology, but there were entire, oddly timed passages, that espoused these viewpoints without really weaving them into the story. It was frustrating; while writing with a meaning is important, it should always (in my opinion) fall second to the flow and development of the narrative itself.

Oh, and minor point. The Mayans were the first with Cocoa as in “chocolate”, coca leaves as the forerunner to cocaine were actually an Incan/Quechua device.

The Good:

Wow, that felt mean. Unfortunately, it also felt honest. Luckily, there are also quite a few good things to say about this work that will help pull the punch.

For starters, it’s pretty imaginative, and it has many of the elements we all look for with a good story. There’s a plucky heroine, a dreamy hero, a loyal sidekick, and an evil but redeemable villain (revealed only after a nice plot twist!) Nobody is invulnerable and everybody is quite human.

There are also passages where the author manages to stay in just one POV for long enough to create some real human meaning; my favorite is where the main character is giving her mom an, um, package at the mother’s place of employment. The mother’s concern and unspoken thoughts were both real and touching, and it was a definite point of light in the work.

And the author should be applauded for weaving her beliefs and a deeper message into her work, even if the execution isn’t always perfect. She’s definitely attempted something that we don’t see everyday, both stylistically and in her intended message, and she gets full points for bravery in that regard.

Finally, there is a lot of creativity in both her descriptions of the near future and in some of the things we see in the Elven domains. I was pretty excited at both the presentation of Nin’s homeland and in the unique method of transport that was discussed, although I felt like these things should have been developed an explained further.

Final Score: 3.2 stars. An interesting read that misses the mark of greatness, but an excellent start for this author. I look forward to see how she might handle these issues in the future.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Bookblogger on Aug. 16, 2011 :
The Other Side of Life (TOSL) by Jess C Scott tells the story about a group of elves that grew tired of their races withdrawal from the world and two human thieves that do not like the direction the world is heading. When the two groups meet they decide to work together to steal something that could be a key to changing the way both of their peoples look at the world.

First off I will say that TOSL shows the views of the author very clearly through the story. Jess does not like the way that a lot of things currently work in the world and you can tell through the book. That being said the book is not just her preaching her views thinly veiled behind a cyber punk story. The book is actually a very good read. It has a lot of different elements that can appeal to a wide variety of people. There are very cool tech toys, lots of thrilling scenes during the theft, action, intrigue, romance, friendship, loyalty, and redemption. Even with all of the different themes the book does not get bogged down and keeps a fairly decent pace.

This is a good read for ages 15 and up with no real loss of appeal to the older audience. If you enjoy a good spy thriller this book could also be a good one to check out as the theft has some excellent action sequences.

Copy provided by author for review.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Lynda Fries on Aug. 10, 2011 :
I read the description of this book and thought, “Cyberpunk elves? That sounds pretty cool.” I was not disappointed. The Other Side of Life is a fun, action-packed, sweet story. Anya and Leticia are two human good-hearted thieves that run into Nin and his elven crew. The whole gang teams up for a big heist. One thing leads to another and they just may save the world while they’re at it.

This book has it all - good writing, lots of action, romance, elves, and even a mad scientist! I highly recommend it to anybody who likes a good fantasy story, or just a good story period. I can’t wait for the next installment!
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Stacey Wallace Benefiel on Aug. 03, 2011 :
Another fantastic, fun and thought-provoking read from Jess C. Scott. She's combined several elements seemlessly in one book - fantasy, social commentary, romance, technology, astrology and action/adventure. Jess has a wild imagination and her writing is clean. Even though I'm not the most tech-savvy or science-minded person, all of those components in the story were easy for me to understand. I recommend everyone take a look at The Other Side of Life and I look foward to book two, The Darkside of Life.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Carrie (Care) on Feb. 14, 2011 :
Wow, The Other Side of Life was such a unique and fun read. I don't know about you, but I find a lot of YA books are just clones with names and places swapped. It was refreshing to read something so well thought out and different. You can tell the author made a point to make her work original.

The theme running through the book was technology and it's impact on our earth and society. I really felt it made an impact. I can see things progressing this way and it scares me. The characters were people I would love to hang out with, especially the elves Nin, Tavia, and Dresan. I hope we learn more about them in future books. One of the characters, Leticia (the protagonists best friend), fell a little flat for me. For some reason I just didn't get her.

The story was fun, exciting, and romantic. I look forward to reading the second in the series.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

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