Jen picked this request for Mara’s Awakening, the first novella in a Sci-Fi series, The Mara Files up for a nice breather from fantasy. Thank you to Leo Flynn for the e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
|Series: The Mara Files #1||Genre: Sci-Fi|
|Date of Publishing: March 31, 2021||Trigger Warnings: prison related violence, fighting, death, solitude|
|Page count: 60||Publisher: self-published|
Mara Keres. A trained warrior and former highly respected peacekeeper. Note “former.” Once, she had her life under control. Once, she had the trust of the galaxy.
Now she rots in the same prison she used to sentence people to. Solitary confinement for six years. Would’ve brought anyone else to their knees. Not her. Then an offer resurfaces, almost too good to be true.
Ghosts of her past and demons come back to haunt her.
Will she ever make it out alive?
Sometimes, facing your worst memories is worth the risk
“Whispers filled her ears, catching their excited chatter. Bloody hell, they’d heard about her and about what she’d done. At least… what everyone else said. Wouldn’t it shake them if they knew the truth? The past threatened to creep up on her. She gritted her teeth, forcing it back into the far corners of her mind. Not now.”
Starship – Find Your Way Back. Thought of this song while I was reading.
We meet our main character Mara in prison, her last day in solitary confinement where she has earned a release back into the population for her ‘good behaviour’. (I don’t know what kind of trouble you can get into when you’re in solitary for so many years, but I feel like the ‘good behaviour’ was meant with some heavy sarcasm).
We don’t get a lot of time to really learn about Mara during this story, although, we do feel she is more of a peace-lover until you push her buttons (helping us to believe her when she claims to be falsely accused). Our introduction to her is quick and just as we are getting a feel for her, there is a prison break and it’s fast-paced action right to the end.
The population we get to see in the prison, tells us the world this story is set in, is full of unique life forms. I was reminded of the Star Wars Canteen scene (not that there was anyone singing) or Guardians of the Galaxy for giving us a little highlight of the diversity of lifeforms and cultures we can expect in this series.
Mara’s Awakening is a speedy read, clocking in at around sixty pages. I liked it well enough for what it was and this a rare thing for me to say, but I wished for more padding to the story. It was fun, but it was very bare bones. I would have loved some background on Mara – why she was there (it’s hinted at but not expanded on), what happened between her and the Warden? Why did she have to leave the girl and her mom? The questions abound! Mara also had some sort of robotic upgrade on her arm, which I thought was pretty cool. I’d love to have known more about how she got it.