Book Review: Lakes of Mars by Merritt Graves

Lakes of Mars by Merritt Graves

A Space Opera Science Fiction Novel to be published (09/04/18)


“There was so little I understood about this place. It all felt like I was teetering on the edge of a nightmare.”

“What kind of worlds would there be if people invented monsters and no one tried to stop them?”

Aaron expected to be sent to the rim; he expected to die. Instead, Aaron is assigned to Corinth and some other luckless foot-soldier assigned to the rim as a fatality statistic. Corinth is a training ground for students and home to some of the most elite scientists. The first rule of Corinth is to not break the rules, but Aaron and the other new students don’t even know the first rule yet. The superiors look the other way when certain rules are broken, but come down hard on those in their way and it won’t take long for Aaron to stick his nose out too far.


Science Fiction, Space Opera, Death, Planet, Colonize, Friendship, Fighting, Points, Blood, Classes, Science, Lab

My Review:

I was instantly sympathy with the main character, Aaron. Even though he chose his fate to be a suicide, an act of intervention (that we learn the details about later), gives him a kick in the butt to do otherwise with his life. It’s the camaraderie with the other students at Corinth and the sticking up for Sebastian that helps to show him that he wants to live. That he has something to fight for. Aaron spends a lot of time with his inner thoughts and turmoil regarding the morals in the choices he will make. I was right there with him, analysing the problem, and trying to find a solution where people wouldn’t die. It never felt black and white, I was torn about it as much as Aaron.

The lingo for the fights is above my head, but I could feel the excitement and follow the big picture. The specific tech lingo gave the scenes more authenticity, especially within the science fiction genre. My vocabulary; however, was challenged, in a good way. The writing style was smooth, yet complex. I was only confused by the time jumps with chapters.

The classes and the professors appeared authentic, and the information was delivered scientifically and logically. I felt like those classes truly exist somewhere in a universe somewhere. On that note, the world building was incredible.

The plot was built layer by layer into a flawless stack-up that slowly unraveled. Not everything was easy for the characters. They made mistakes. Wrenches were thrown in their plans. New developments arose. It was like watching a real life catastrophe unfold in slow motion. This book had one of the most suspenseful and well-written climaxes that I’ve read.

This novel will be published on 09/04/2018

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:



Book Review: Architects of Destiny (Cadicle #1): An Epic Space Opera Series by Amy Duboff


Architects of Destiny (Cadicle #1): An Epic Space Opera Series by Amy Duboff

A Space Opera/Science Fiction Novel published by BDL Press (04/17/15)


Cris Sietinen was born into privilege as the only heir to a High Dynasty, but all he wants is to be his own person. He sneaks off in the night and joins cargo ship Exler’s crew as navigator. What he sees opens his eyes and when the Tararian Selective Service invite him to train with them, he accepts. With newly discovered abilities in telekinesis, Cris, is the student with the most potential.


Space, Travel, Ship, Navigation, Technology, Telekinesis, Worlds, Dynasties, Privilege, Power, Learning, Priesthood, Heir, Romance, Love, Friendship, Training

My Review:

The first half of the book reveals very little about the main character or the plot. The book very well could have started when Cris begins his new training with the TSS, but I guess then there’d be no book because this novel is only 168 page to begin with.

There’s hardly any tension and barely any buildup to a climax or an ending. The romance has no tension and the entire relationship between Cris and Kate was fed to the reader in very few words until they were already in love and ready to get married. Where was the romance?

Sometimes the personal thoughts sprinkled throughout are too much and get in the way of the narrative – they pull the reader out of the story. At times, they feel like they are a crutch because the personal thoughts constantly tell us how Cris is feeling without letting the reader come to any of the conclusions for themselves.

When Cris joins the TSS there’s one paragraph that speeds through a description of his training and testing and that’s it. There are more examples of telling where the showing would be powerful and reveal much about the character.

This story should have been labeled a prologue to the series and cut down to a chapter to precede the real story. There is a lot of potential with the world the author pieced together and the political structure she set up, but overall her characters were shallow, the action nonexistent or random, and the romance breezed over.

This novel was published by BDL Press on April 17th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.25

Links for more information:

Amy Duboff’s Website