A Thrilling Sci-Fi Book Written by a Woman Scientist
Book Reviews

A Thrilling Sci-Fi Book Written by a Woman Scientist

This tale’s a thrilling ride through time and space.

A Thrilling Sci-Fi Book Written by a Woman Scientist
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This week’s book is by a woman who is quickly becoming one of my favorite indie authors. Wielding a Ph.D. in Elementary Particle Physics and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction, Lesley L. Smith brings a lot to the literary table. The book I’m reviewing today is the second in a series. As I’ve mentioned time and again, I rarely read book series in order and this time is no exception. I jumped into this book with both feet and absolutely no idea what happened in book one. And I was not disappointed.

Quantum Murder is an action-packed adventure with thrilling highs and lows. I gravitate towards books with catchy first lines, and the opening line of this book definitely hits the mark:

“My morning was going great until I got arrested for murder.” ~Quantum Murder by Lesley L. Smith

The protagonist, Madison Martin, is a physicist and professor who discovered a way to manipulate reality (I’m assuming this occurred in book one). She and a select few others are able to create, destroy, and teleport at will. As you can imagine, this kind of power leads to some dire consequences. But the book is deeper than a typical Sci-Fi or Mystery complete-the-quest or solve-the-murder trope. The narrative touches on romance from the woman’s perspective, which is totally empowering and completely different from the majority of traditional male-gaze narratives in Sci-Fi. Seeing the world through the eyes of a brilliant woman scientist is refreshing. And the plotting isn’t too shabby, either.

Rating: 5 out of 5


You Catch These Book Reviews?

Issola · Reversion · The Dead Room · Naheli’s Sacrifice · The Reviled · After Jessica · Running Out of Time · Wixon’s Day · Little Computer People · The Book of Jhereg · The Adventures of Technicality Man · When the Future Comes Too Soon · Love is Love · The Bear · Dragon God · Balfair’s Confinement · Don Quixote & Candide Seek Truth, Justice, and El Dorado in the Digital Age · Shoebox Funeral · The Plainview Lottery · The Lady Who Loved Lightning · Loreless · Breaking Up Is Hard To Do… But You Could’ve Done Better · I Was Picked: The John Challis Story · The Touch: A Supernatural Story · Jake & The Dragons of Asheville · Kat Cubed · Transgender Manifesto · The Stolen Sky

I love books.
Book Rec, Book Reviews

Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Book Rec

A mysterious calamity, an island of survivors, manipulation, intrigue, and a centuries old secret that could kill them all.


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The Dead Room, by Stephanie Erickson, is a gripping dystopian novel set on an unnamed island in the Northern Pacific 322 years after an apocalypse.

The islanders know little of what happened to wipe out most of the human population, but their leaders, the nine elders, teach that the islanders are the final remnants of humanity.

The elders aren’t just leaders, though, they are also privy to secrets passed down for generations.

And Ashley Wortham doesn’t trust them.

Not one bit.

“No one knows what claimed so many lives over three centuries ago, and no one asks, except Ashley Wortham. She can feel the secrets all around her, begging to be uncovered.”

~excerpt from official Amazon book blurb

Ashley and her best friend, Mason, embark on an adventure that keeps the elders on their toes and poses as many questions as it answers.

  • What do the elders do with bodies after a funeral?
  • Are the islanders really the last people on Earth?
  • What caused the apocalypse?
  • Why is Ashley the only person asking questions?
  • Can any of the elders be trusted?
  • Will Ashley and Mason survive the elders’ wrath?

The Dead Room is the first book in a trilogy, and was published in 2015. It ends with a devastating cliffhanger that will have you immediately lunging for book two. The sequel, The Dead World, was released in 2016. The third book has yet to be released.

Spoiler Free, Guaranteed

Written in deep third person, the narrative opens with Ashley Wortham as she comes to terms with a horrific incident that has changed her status on the island. It is here that we learn the social hierarchy constructed by the first elders to preserve peace (or maintain power) and to ensure the propagation of the human race. Marriages are carefully arranged to avoid inbreeding, duties and partners are assigned at the will of the elders, and rumors abound of the harsh punishment meted out to those who dare defy the status quo.

But as the story presses onward, the POV shifts to highlight Mason and several of the elders on the island. It soon becomes clear that the elders are more nuanced and complex than they initially appear. Perhaps they know more about the apocalypse than they are letting on.

But when Ashley, and her best friend Mason, go down the rabbit hole, no one is prepared for the truths they uncover. What will they do when they discover the downfall of humanity lies within their own island, deep inside the dead room?

~excerpt from official Amazon book blurb

Content Warning Note: If you are triggered by mention of domestic abuse, this may not be the book for you.

The islanders are procreation-focused out of necessity and operate on a cisgender binary, hetero normative, forced marriage system, but Erickson does a beautiful job demonstrating that this often produces disgruntled, unhappy families.

There is also a clear caste system set in place based on an individual’s ability to contribute to society, but people who overproduce in their assigned duties are labeled show-offs and shunned. Not only that, but at one point Mason calls Ashley out on using ableist language as a way to insult him.

More by Stephanie Erickson

Goodreads: 2 other series

Website: Stephanie Erickson Books

Twitter: @sm_erickson

Facebook: Stephanie Erickson

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed this post! Is there a particular book or genre you think I should review? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time I’m…

Wishing you the best,

Ditrie Marie Bowie


Did You Catch These Book Reviews?

Issola · Reversion


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Book Rec, Book Reviews

Medical Thriller Book Rec

Rabid chimpanzees, a raging drug war, a needle-phobic scientist, and a resort-like hospital with a dangerous secret.


Did you know? Every time you make an Amazon purchase from one of my links, you’re supporting this site.

Reversion, by Amy Rogers, is a science-based medical thriller that is not for the queasy of stomach nor the faint of heart. If you’re searching for a book with cover to cover action by a woman author who’s devoted to including real science into her work, this is the book for you. Set in southwestern Mexico, this novel features a mysterious and deadly illness much like in Michael Crichton’s book, The Andromeda Strain. Except the disease featured in Reversion is based on a real virus (rabies) and an actual biological occurrence: genetic reversion (hence the title of the book). This near-true-to-life aspect of the novel makes the plot even more compelling.

There are several tantalizing questions that drive the suspense.

  • Can the revolutionary treatment devised by the main character, Dr. Tessa Price, save seven-year-old Gunnar’s life or will his genetic disorder win in the end?
  • Trapped in the hospital, will Tessa, Gunnar, and their companions survive the battle between two rival drug cartels?
  • What is causing the rapid spread of the mysterious, rabies-like illness, and can the disease be stopped before it’s too late?

Spoiler Free, Guaranteed

The story revolves around Palacio Centro Medico, a fictitious and profoundly isolated medical facility which caters to wealthy tourists. The hospital is located on a peninsula near Acapulco, but rather than have staff and patients approach the facility by way of gang-infested roads, the hospital requires all visitors to arrive by air.

Dr. Price arrives at Palacio by helicopter, eager to check on the progress of Gunnar’s treatment. (Note: Dr. Price is not introduced until the second chapter. The book opens with Cristo, a member of Palacio’s research staff, on an errand that sets the whole tone for the novel. However, the events of the first chapter aren’t mentioned in the official book blurb, and I’ve opted here to eschew the details.)

Over the course of the book, Rogers reveals Dr. Tessa Price’s motivations to cure Gunnar’s illness: Tessa lost her infant son, Benjamin, to a genetic disorder. It’s this passion and haunting guilt that pushes Tessa to have her new rabies-based treatment smuggled into Mexico when she was denied testing approval in the U.S. The fact that Tessa and her colleagues can treat Gunnar at Palacio Centro Medico says something about the facility’s dubious relationship with ethics– and the law.

When the hospital is taken over by a brutal drug cartel, Tessa hides with a remarkable trio of Palacio clients—rich Texan Lyle Simmons, his much-younger Brazilian girlfriend, and his protection dog, a German shepherd named Dixie—only to learn that the gangsters aren’t the only deadly threat they face. A rabies-like infection that began in the Palacio’s research chimpanzees has spread to humans. Tessa investigates and finds a shocking connection to her gene therapy experiment. In the wake of this discovery, Tessa must weigh the value of one human life against another—including her own.

~excerpt from official Amazon book blurb

Content Warning Note: As stated before, if you can’t handle or dislike graphic violence and clinical details, this is not the book for you. If you are sensitive to ableist words and phrases, particularly in regards to mental illness and nuerodivergence, you may want to skip this book, as well. There is at least one instance of the “c” word (in an ableist context, not the female body part context). As mentioned in an earlier post, there is a lot of harmful, systematic crud that’s baked into our language and idioms. Highlighting the problem is not meant as an attack but as a gentle prod toward awareness for readers and writers alike (myself included).

Amy Rogers has a beautiful, clean writing style with close attention to detail and pacing. There’s a large cast of ethnically diverse characters, and it’s obvious she has put a great deal of research and care into her writing. If you are a science-minded person hankering for a good piece of fiction with scientific details that won’t make you cringe, then this is the book you’ve been waiting for. Better yet? As of this post, you can download it on Kindle absolutely free.

More By Amy Rogers

Amazon: Petroplague Teacher’s Guide 

Goodreads: 2 novels

Website: AmyRogers.com

Twitter: @ScienceThriller

Facebook: @ScienceThrillers

Publishing Company: Science Thrillers Media

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you enjoyed this post! Is there a particular book or genre you think I should review? Let me know in the comments below. Until next time I’m…

Wishing you the best,

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Free to Share, Not to Sell

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.