Book Review: Paradise 21 by Aubrie Dionne

12225018Title: Paradise 21
Author: Aubrie Dionne
Genre: Science-Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: August 2nd 2011
Rating: 4 stars
Goodreads | Author Website | Author’s Website | Amazon

Aries has lived her entire life aboard mankind’s last hope, the New Dawn, a spaceship traveling toward a planet where humanity can begin anew-a planet that won’t be reached in Aries’ lifetime. As one of the last genetically desirable women in the universe, she must marry her designated genetic match and produce the next generation for this centuries-long voyage.

But Aries has other plans.

When her desperate escape from the New Dawn strands her on a desert planet, Aries discovers the rumors about pirates-humans who escaped Earth before its demise-are true. Handsome, genetically imperfect Striker possesses the freedom Aries envies, and the two connect on a level she never thought possible. But pursued by her match from above and hunted by the planet’s native inhabitants, Aries quickly learns her freedom will come at a hefty price.

The life of the man she loves.

I’m happy to host a giveaway for one of Aubrie’s older books as well. Scroll down to the end of the review to find out more drtails about the giveaway!

Life on the New Dawn is predictable to say the least. Original thoughts are discouraged at all levels, future spouses are selected by a computer and rebellion is certainly out of hte question. Naturally, sooner or later someone is going to try and escape. However, since escape is usually noticed fast, and the properties of some possible refugee-planets aren’t necessarily ideal either. But that doesn’t stop Aries, our heroine, one of the few people aboard the colony ship actually capable of forming a single self-created thought. When she finds herself, to her horror, paired to Lieutenant Barliss, a heartless and sometimes even cruel man whose determination to follow the set system of rules is without boundaries, Aries knows she has to make a run for it. She would rather die than spend her entire life in this prison she is forced to call home.

But her escape backfires at first as she is being held hostage by alien creatures and natural inhabitants of the planet she chose as destination. Luckily for Aries, a marooned space pirate called Striker comes to her rescue. Hurt beyond repair by a former love of his, Striker is reluctant to open up his heart for anyone again. But as his attraction towards Aries grows, and she begins to see him romantically as well, they just can’t deny their feelings any longer. For Striker, Aries presents a long-awaited second chance at love, life and happiness, and for Aries Striker represents freedom, hope and a chance at a future of her own choosing.

Aries and Striker work together to repair the space ship Striker has been using for shelter, their now only hope of leaving this planet. Unfortunately, Aries gets captured and Striker’s old crew pops up out of nowhere with a debt to collect. They want him to interpret a coded map leading straight to Paradise 21, the paradise and salvation man kind has been searching for ever since Earth became uninhabitable by man’s own mistakes.

The main reason why Aries’ life seems so predetermined is because her supposedly only goal in life is to pass on her unique genetic code, so that one day in the future their offspring would be able to reach the New Dawn’s true destination, Paradise 21, hence the title of the book. Choice, and being unable to choose one’s own future, is a major concept in this book, and it’s an interesting one as well. What would you do if your only purpose was to procreate so that one day your ship could reach a Paradise-like Planet? Would you follow the rules as set before you, or would you take a chance at the unknown and try to escape, with possible fatal results? Furthermore, this book talks about Paradise 21, a mythical utopian planet the post-apocalyptic survivors have been looking for since the day they were forced to leave Earth. It’s utopia and its existence is widely debated since no one has ever ventured there before. The thought alone that its properties and climate would be fit to keep humans alive would be a long shot, if such planet existed to begin with. But Paradise 21 is more than just a destination: it’s hope. For the humans aboard the New Dawn and for Striker’s crew of space pirates, it’s their final hope.

As you can see from my last paragraph, Paradise 21 really leaves room for thought. It talks about the freedom of choice and how much one would be willing to sacrifice to gain that freedom, but it also talks about hope at the end of a most catastrophical disaster, and humanity’s unfailing ability to always find said hope, even in the darkest of days. I’m usually not a big fan of science fiction, because I generally see it as a genre filled with cliché books and substandard writing, but Paradise 21 made me reconsider. This book is fast-paced and action-filled with multi-layered and complex characters, interesting villains and some pretty strong thoughts about choosing one’s own destiny and the perseverence of hope, against all odds. Barliss, Aries’ former fiance, was one of the characters I personally found the most interesting, especially as he changes towards the end and shows us the monster he was all along. There is no villain more interesting than one who thinks he is doing the right thing.

If you like science fiction, Paradise 21 definately is an excellent choice. If you don’t like science fiction, you shouldn’t pass by this book either. It reads like a movie script, leaving you barely room to breathe and relax, but at the end it keeps you with some unanswered questions, the desire to read more about these characters and this dystopian, futuristic world they’re living in, and a whole lot of questions in your mind about how much you would be willing to sacrifice to the things we deem as being normal in today’s world. I loved this book, and I recommend it to everyone who’s looking for something different and unique.

Giveaway

Aubrie was kind enough to offer to give an eBook copy of one of her previously released books to one lucky visitor! You can see a list of Aubrie’s books over at Gypsy Shadow Publishing. Want to participate in this contest?

Leave a comment below to participate in the contest! Don’t forget to leave a valid email address so I can contact you.

Comments

  1. Thank you for this fantastic review! I love it!

Trackbacks

  1. […] 21, a book I’ve previously read and reviewed here on my blog and which I enjoyed immensly. You can read my review for Paradise 21 here. I was very excited when I heard there was going to be a sequel to Paradise 21, and even more […]

  2. […] 37 is the sequel to Paradise 21, a book I reviewed a couple of months ago and enjoyed immensely. Although Tundra 37 is the sequel to this book, it can also be read as a […]

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