Book Review FLUENCY, The CONFLUENCE Series

by on June 25, 2017

in book reviews, Entertainment

Book Review, Fluency, by Jennifer Foehner Wells

Fluency (Confluence Book 1) & Remanence (Confluence Book 2) are from Jennifer Foehner Wells, and to be honest, I found these first two books to be a refreshingly light read while not skipping on the science in the story, making them fun page turners to sink into.

The Confluence story starts out in Fluency when NASA discovers in the 60’s what looked like an alien ship holding station in the asteroid belt. They dubbed it “The Target,” and kept an eye on it. Over the years, while watching it, NASA led the public to believe they were exploring the universe with their exploratory satellites, but what was really happening was that they were keeping an eye on The Target until they could rally the technology to get out to the ship.

Fluency, on Amazon.

Through the years, the Target never moved, never transmitted any kind of signal, sitting like a dead derelict out there.

It’s the modern day present and we meet linguist Dr. Jane Holloway, as she’s approached by NASA to join and lead a small team of astronauts on an expedition to the Target. Reluctantly, she concurs.

After dozens of months of training and then being cooped up in a small capsule with several other characters, the time is near as they approach this mammoth space-faring vessel. But as they approach, docking lights turn on, bay doors open and a singular, lone voice rumbles inside Jane’s head, saying “You are home.”

The problem with this message is that it is only sent to Jane, and the power of how it hits that dormant psychic link in her brain makes it obvious to the others on her team that something is up, something odd or dangerous.  Once on board, exploring the amazing technology of the ship, things start to happen that cause larger doubts among her team. As the exploration of the ship continues, these events introduces chaos, isolation from their life raft off the ship and a general, all-around feeling of danger, or is it just paranoia, about who is exploring who here.

The rest of the book explores everyone’s attitudes about what’s happening – the characters and the reader.

– – –

Fluency is part sci-fi, part romance, part adventure and a fun, engaging story. The style of writing gives us present-day moments laced with backstory events to explain character motivations or other kinds of details to fill out our perceptions of events and the characters.

It borrows from multiple sci-fi themes and it’s not a bore as the story and the sci-fi are wrapped up into this new realm of a space thriller. There were even times that I LOL’d at things.

I had to wonder, why choose a linguist to lead an expedition to the unknown? Because events in Jane’s past have shown she can lead and make the tough calls when necessary, plus, well, they’ll need someone with Jane’s gift. The gift of having a knack to decipher new languages on the fly, hence, her linguist skills help them decipher markings within the ship that helps them get around and identify various areas of this massive ship.

The team has a commander, but unless military decisions are required, Jane is in charge.

The alien that reached out to Jane, did so in a way that later makes sense, but throughout, you are kept doubting its intentions.

As far as fun, fast, light sci-fi reading, Wells can touch on the science of the moment just enough to not glaze over it without dragging you out of the story to explain it via some mind-numbing jargon. If you like that kind of jargon, you’ll be a bit disappointed.

Aside from Jane, we have the team commander, Walsh, the mechanic/engineer Alan Bergren, and a few others that round out the crew, but the primary story tends to revolve around these three and the entity they encounter on the ship.

And how can the alien bellow IN Jane’s head and no one else’s? It’s explained away nicely as part of the story while the rest of the tech that is presented, from both the human and alien science being easily believable as this technologically advanced ship contains wonders upon wonders. Or horrors upon horrors. It really depends how you look at it.

This first book in the Confluence series, Fluency, has over 2,800 Amazon reviews averaging out at 4.2/5, and it has this amazing ability to pull the mightier-than-though book reviewers out of the woodwork to bitch about the light, easy style Wells approaches her story. It’s hard to explain but some reviews are just written in an “asshole tense,” but hey, we all have our focuses, right?

What I know, is that after reading the first two books in the series, I can’t wait for the third, because Wells takes the first contact premise in book 1 to a whole new level in the second book, but alas, I won’t divulge or spoil that story as it spoils this first book’s ending.

With the third book of the series looming on the horizon, I can’t imagine where Wells is going to take the story, but she hasn’t failed me yet. After I’m done with this series, I can’t wait to explore what other tales and realms that Wells has created for the reader.

Fluency is ranked #74 in Science Fiction & Fantasy/Science Fiction/Metaphysical & Visionary, while #135 in Space Exploration and #139 in Alien Invasion categories on Amazon. If you consider how many thousands upon thousands of books there are on Amazon, that’s pretty amazing and it’s well warranted.

This is Wells Amazon page. Go enjoy some fun reads.

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