The Spiral Arm (episode 1, season 1)

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Wren Harper lives on an overcrowded Earth on the brink of apocalypse. Her life is turned upside down when she is picked to be a cadet on board a vast combat training ship heading to a distant planet. She's not a fighter, so why has she been chosen? Will she survive the journey or will the training kill her first? This is a debut novella-length episode in a series full of cliffhanger endings. More

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About Peter Boland

After studying to be an architect, Pete realised he wasn’t very good at it. He liked designing buildings he just couldn’t make them stand up, which is a bit of a handicap in an industry that likes to keep things upright. So he switched to advertising, writing ads for everything from cruise lines to zombie video games. After meeting his wife Shalini and having two boys, he was amazed when she sat and actually wrote a book. Then another and another. They were good too. Really good. So he thought, I’ll have a go at that. He soon realised there’s no magic formula. You just have to put one word in front of the other (and keep doing that for about a year). It also helps if you can resist the lure of surfing, Taekwondo, playing Lego with the boys and drinking beer in front of the TV.

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Reviews

Review by: Colleen Hickey on June 14, 2013 : star star star star star
This book feels a lot like the futuristic movies I have seen, and is just as good. I really hope I can write as good as this. This book shows that in even the most scared of all lies a true heart of courage.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Tiffany Harkleroad on May 31, 2013 : star star star star star
To say Earth is over crowded is putting it mildly; there is no more space on the planet. A new planet has been located where humans can live, but a battle is being waged there between humans and an alien race. Each year new Marine cadets are sent to the new planet, Kepler, to continue the battle. Wren Harper is about the least likely candidate, yet she finds herself being sent to Kepler, totally unprepared.

I never thought I would be a fan of dystopian fiction, but when it is as well done as this, I really do love it. The problem with many dystopian writers is that the setting can get a little too bleak. In this book, the dystopian society is brought about because of abundance; we solve our energy crises, and population skyrockets. The world is running out of room. This is a scenario I can actually imagine happening, and therefore I am immediately drawn into the story. I can imagine what the story world would be like. I can relate to the characters.

I love that the story focuses on someone most people would consider a loser. Wren is an underdog, which makes me what to see her succeed. I think she is a lot stronger than she realizes, and the readers have insight to Wren's power. I am excited to see where this series will go, and to watch Wren develop as a character.

I liked she short novella format to the book. It is set up in sort of an episode form. I think it really translates well. Young adults will be hooked by the short serial nature, as it mimics many teen dramas on television. I am a fan of serial novellas, and am happy to see more of them being written. I am pretty excited to see where this series will go.

I received a review copy courtesy of the author, in exchange for my honest review.
(reviewed the day of purchase)

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