Hello, readers! I apologize this review is tardy; I’ve been so busy catching up with everything after being sick! I’ll take being busy over bronchitis any day, though, that’s for sure! 😉
Today, I am happy to share my review with you of Jeremy Lee’s sci-fi space novel, New Frontier, as part of Novel Publicity’s blog tour. Read on for more info about the book, my review, and prizes! 🙂
[Disclaimer: As with all my book reviews for Novel Publicity Blog Tours, I was provided with a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.]
About the book: As a new era dons for humanity with all the attendant celebrations and riots, finally breaking the bonds which left us tied to the Solar System is reported as being the moment which unites all the disparate parts of the world and brings us into an era of peace and discovery, and yet this giant leap is almost instantly marred by greed erupting into violence. The Argos, the ship sent out on this historic mission, is left adrift and crippled far from home, survivors of this mysterious attack struggle to hold their ship together and come to the rescue of homesteaders and compatriots relying on them to not only survive but retaliate, and rescue a world where the Solar System has become a rugged frontier ripe for colonization and opportunity filled with the honest and ruthless carving out lives past the veil of civilization.
Several rival corporations, monopolies delving into every industry imaginable, have all but supplanted nation-states, keeping governments around only as a necessary fiction to pacify populations, and the realm of business now reaches into politics, military, religion, and all other aspects of human life. The frontier regions of space are a place filled with new homesteaders, miners, merchants, bandits, and scientific minds that is barely able to keep from slipping into total anarchy, a frontier region where people can disappear from their lives and head off into the unknown. New Frontier is an adventure which stretches from the furthest reaches of space, to slums in backwater cities, to the lunar capitol, and ultimately onto the wreckage of the great ship. The gallant and the selfish alike are forced to face the best and worst of human civilization far from home and decide what they truly believe in.
Get New Frontier through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
My review guidelines: As you know from my first Novel Publicity review, I HATE spoilers as a reader, so as a reviewer, I avoid them as best as possible. As a writer and an editor, I put a lot of value on the language itself used to tell a tale. A 10/10 review for me will be one with an amazing plot, characters I love, and enchanting writing. I can’t get lost in a book without falling under the spell of its words–and the spell will be ineffectual without a great plot to fall into.
With that said, please enjoy my review.
This novel fit pretty easily into my usual genre preference, and I could have seen myself picking it up on my own, although I’m glad Novel Publicity introduced me to it, making sure I did see it, after all. 🙂
I would classify this as an adult sci-fi space adventure. I think this book would appeal to anyone who likes futuristic novels about space travel.
The universe: I had to change the usual title of this category from “world” to “universe,” for this book. 🙂 The universe was massive, and I was impressed with how well fleshed-out and detailed it was. It was slightly hard to keep track of everything, at times, but not too bad. The author created a good sense of fear and awe at the scale of the universe right away with an almost cinematic camera shift from a cocoon of a ship to the deadly emptiness of the sky–symbolic to the shift humanity has made in this book from expanding from Earth into the universe. I appreciated how every scene was grounded in an environment that was well-described but not distracting. The environment was always relevant to the story itself.
The characters: I liked these characters. I enjoyed learning their back stories early on, which revealed motivations earlier than some books may–I always find it frustrating when I can’t figure out what is driving a character. I would actually have liked to be a little “closer” to the characters’ thoughts; sometimes, the zoom-out of large, sweeping observations about the universe in general could be a little jarring, without characters to attach the thoughts to. It took me out of the story, when I just wanted to hang out in the minds of these cool characters. I liked the diverse cast of widely ranging personalities and strong characters from both genders. The villains were vicious and scary, and I felt like they weren’t quite as developed as the protagonists, but that worked OK for the book’s purposes.
The plot: The plot was very interesting, both in terms of structure and events. It was told in a layering of time jumps, which kept the reader’s attention because of the constant shifting. It was also illustrative in a relevant way that I really appreciated, because you didn’t have to lose focus by waiting to find out important background details–you often found out what you wanted to know in the very next chapter, even though it wasn’t chronological. At times, this was slightly disorienting, but I think it was the right choice, structurally. The stakes were clearly high from the beginning, which made the reader invested. Also, the action got my blood pumping, and I lost track of real time while I was reading, since I was so engaged with the story.
The language: The language was my least favorite aspect of this novel. It felt a bit clunky at times with unnecessary adverbs (something I, as a writer, also have to remind myself of–it’s tempting to do!), and the punctuation was a bit off, not giving room to pause in the dense prose. Also, sometimes the pronouns could be confusing in scenes with multiple characters. In a book this packed with detail, imprecise language can really trip me up from being able to get into a story. The universal observations came across as a bit stilted, but the character dialogue was accessible and easily distinguishable from other characters. For future books, I would suggest to Lee that he add even more of this great dialogue and cut back on the unattributed broad observations.
Review: 6/10. An action-packed adventure–an interesting ride with a little turbulence.
About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of New Frontier! Here’s what you need to do…
- Enter the Rafflecopter contest here
- Leave a comment on my blog
That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official New Frontier tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!
About the author: Born in Odessa, Texas Jeremy grew up mostly in southern New Mexico. Strongly influenced by his grandmother’s adoration of history and his mother’s love of reading, both of which he adopted early in life. Inheriting a work ethic from his father, which served him well in the manic world of theater, Jeremy Lee started out writing for the stage, first in Denver and then in small New York venues while attending the New York School for Film and Television.
With 2011’s Where I’m Bound I Can’t Tell he began working in novels with a deeply personal look at growing up without growing old, which simultaneously expanded into a worldwide adventure through the 20th century.
Kings of New York began a long and rewarding relationship with Neverland Publishing, which continues even today. This gangster tale played in the wonderland of 20’s New York, and painted a picture of cons just trying to survive and make a dishonest living the ruthless world they inhabit.
With New Frontier his career took an abrupt turn, looking not into the past but into the possibilities of the future. Exploring themes of strife, political corruption, greed, adventure, and religion, the book touched off a storm from reviewers.
Jeremy Lee currently lives in Denver with his family, writing ferociously when he can’t find and excuse to be in the middle of nowhere fishing, getting blissfully lost in a museum, or occasionally just watching old Bogart movies and eating pizza on the couch.
I hope you enjoyed the review, readers! Join me later this week for a new Top 10 installment. 🙂