Release date: December 18, 2013
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Most of the novels which we come to read and review are found through critics, other reviewing websites, online stores and their customer reviews…etc…etc… Recently though, for the first time ever, an author has requested that we write a review for her book. That author is Sally Ember, and the work in question is This Changes Everything.
Before getting on with the actual thing, I need to make this absolutely clear; this review was written with total and complete honesty, no punches pulled or special treatments given. This is not merely a promotional stunt; it is just an honest review of a book that was recommended to us… it just so happens that said recommendation was provided by the other. In any case, on with the show!
Just to give you a brief idea of what the story is about, the journey begins in our protagonist’s room. We meet a young-at-heart middle-aged woman named Clara Branon who is having a rather unusual experience, but one she isn’t entirely unfamiliar with; there are several voices chanting her name in a chorus, right in her room, though she cannot see them. As we find out soon enough, what we witness there is the first contact… the first time aliens directly interact with human beings. What’s more, as Clara learns, there is a whole intergalactic society where different species of aliens live together for each other’s betterment… and they want the humans to become a part of it. However, before our species can join in on the interstellar fun, we must be prepared, pushed and helped by these aliens, something not everyone is willing to let happen.
From the moment I opened the book I felt that it was indeed a pure science-fiction novel; the author hits the nail on the head with the atmosphere she created, blending elements of comedy, mystery and surrealism together to give you, the reader, an unshakeable desire to learn more about the aliens and the worlds they come from. There are plenty of descriptions to be found in the book, but thankfully none of them (that I remember at least) overstay their welcome and stretch on for too long.
The language is rather simple, meaning that the descriptions are always concise, all while remaining vivid, captivating and detailed. The narrative structure may confuse some readers for a short while as we jump from one timeline to the next, once you get used to the characters and the style itself, the discomfort will disappear. All in all, the book is a real technical accomplishment, probably made possible by the simply style which fits the story like a glove.
As far as the actual content goes, most of the attention is placed on the aliens and their relationship towards Earth as well as Clara herself. In other words, I found the character development for some of the story’s actors to be a bit underwhelming, though in the end this is the kind of flaw that is bound to happen when dealing with such a vast and expansive topic. Speaking of which, I found the story itself to be one of the most immersive and original ones I have read recently. Amongst the sea of science fiction novel clones, there is This Changes Everything, a book in which old ideas are taken in completely new directions (such as the whole intergalactic committee actually trying to help the humans), and new ideas are spawned by the dozens.
All in all, This Changes Everything is certainly much more than what I expected from it, presenting us an enthralling and original storyline set in a majestic and extremely-detailed world, populated by many characters that will stay with you once the last pages are closed. I wholeheartedly recommend the book to science-fiction fans, especially the ones who prefer their literature to explore ideas and concepts through words rather than actions.
Sally Ember, Ed.D.
Sally Ember, Ed.D., is an accomplished playwright and author who seems to have a liking for writing children’s stories as well as science-fiction romances. She spent a part of her career working as an educator and non-profit manager, only really making a big splash in the world of literature with the publishing of The Spanners, an adult/young adult/new adult series.