Monday, August 2, 2010

ROARKE by Frances Pauli

Publisher: Devine Destinies
Date published: March 2010
ISBN: 978-1-55487-519-1
Science Fiction
Reviewed by Tammy
Obtained via: publisher

CLICK TO PURCHASE! Frances Pauli’s ROARKE is a science fiction short that grabs readers’ attention from the very beginning.

Nora awakens with no memory of her past or even who she is. They tell her she was dead. No one will tell her much more than that. She knows her senses are extraordinarily acute. Her supposed fiancé annoys her and she seems drawn to the mysterious Roarke. Is she a prisoner or among friends? To find answers, she will have to play along and hope her wits are sharp enough to find out the truth.

Frances Pauli’s ROARKE is a fairly quick read, at less than 100 pages. It is set on what appears to be a ship in space sometime in the future. As the book moves between present and past without a pause, this reader felt at times just as confused as Nora, the well-trained and cautious heroine out for answers. Our hero, Roarke, is under orders to let Nora’s memory come back on its own and is therefore quite mysterious throughout the book. The minor characters appear somewhat one-dimensional. The doctor is what he appears, professional and pleasant. The supposed fiancĂ© is likewise what he appears, annoying and secretive; with the rest only having brief appearances.

Pauli creates a real sense of mystery and anxiety building tension as Nora desperately tries to regain her memory. The problem with this story is that just when Nora starts to piece together her life, the book ends and readers are left with feeling somewhat let down and baffled at the abrupt ending. The story moves between present, past and dreaming in a confusing manner that quite frankly left this reader wondering at times which was which.

And yet, this reader has to say that she enjoyed this story. Pauli has an interesting writing style that keeps readers on edge. Perhaps if there was more in the end than run away paranoia, like a conspiracy or danger lurking, this story would have left readers feeling more satisfied. Still, this reader is interested to see if Frances Pauli comes out with a longer science fiction offering any time soon. This writer has definite potential.

"This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book."

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