A young mother and wife must navigate the harsh dangers of an alien landscape in Soehn’s series opener in The Gatlin series. Alexia Harmon, a mother and wife, is struggling with self-doubts and constant anxiety. An unexpected incident sends Alexia to Gatlin, a foreign planet on the verge of destruction. Alexia must find a way to return to earth but before that she needs to fulfil an ancient prophecy and save Gatlin from looming destruction. The strongest aspect of Soehn’s writing is her worldbuilding, which is full of intriguing details, from massive buildings with thousands of windows, horizontally traveling elevators to double decker spaceships. The prose is straightforward, the plot tightly constructed, and the characters well-developed. Alexia is intriguingly complex, and her journey of self-discovery is profoundly moving. Rickert makes for an endearing protagonist. The villains are thoroughly menacing. And though space action drives the plot, Soehn’s central themes deal with relatable issues such as depression, self-discovery, resilience, courage, and bravery. An absorbing introspective space opera that emphasizes its characters’ inherent humanity.
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