Reader (Daughter of Time)

( 3 )


From the author of THE RAGNARÖK CONSPIRACY comes a science fiction adventure unlike any you have ever known.

She was a VICTIM: enslaved after her parents' murder. She was made a MONSTER: deformed, modified against her will. She became a MESSIAH: opening the Orbs and leading a galactic rebellion.

Share the cosmic quest of seventeen-year-old Ambra Dawn, Reader, and the most ...

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From the author of THE RAGNARÖK CONSPIRACY comes a science fiction adventure unlike any you have ever known.

She was a VICTIM: enslaved after her parents' murder. She was made a MONSTER: deformed, modified against her will. She became a MESSIAH: opening the Orbs and leading a galactic rebellion.

Share the cosmic quest of seventeen-year-old Ambra Dawn, Reader, and the most unbelievable step in the adventure - will be your own.

Praise for author Erec Stebbins:

"Promising newcomer" -Library Journal
"A monster new talent" -Allan Leverone, author of The Lonely Mile
"Engaging characters, great conflicts, profound thoughts" -William Greenleaf, author of Bloodright and The Tartarus Incident
"Outrageously entertaining" -Chris Brookmyre, author of Where The Bodies Are Buried
"Hooked on this author's writing" -BiblioBuffet

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Can 17-year-old Ambra Dawn save the Earth from a malevolent alien emperor in the late 21st century? Stebbins presents a dark vision of humanity in thrall to a merciless but technologically advanced alien race known as the Dram. Kidnapped by these evil aliens for her special gift (as a "reader" she has visions of the past and future), Ambra is subjected to torture that deprives her of her eyesight but expands her powers. She is later sold into slavery but freed by the Xix, a benevolent alien race. With her powers exceeding those of all previous readers, Ambra must travel through space and time to defeat the Dram and save the universe. Stebbins's complex sci-fi novel is well plotted, and the world and alien races he creates are rich, clearly imagined, and full of detail. Readers of thoughtful science fiction that offers myriad allusions to everyday themes will welcome this springboard to a new and imaginative series.
Kirkus Reviews
An original take on various sci-fi motifs that meditates on themes of love and humanity. Traversing time and space, Stebbins' space opera follows the long journey of a singularly gifted Earth girl named Ambra Dawn, who might just be the savior of the entire universe. Even as a young girl among humans, Ambra was different. Odd and strange, she possessed an ability coveted by all alien species: a gift to see the future and the past, the result of a tumor growing in her brain. Unbeknownst to the inhabitants of Earth, an insectlike alien race called the Dram rules from the shadows. Influencing culture and politics, they're here to guide human evolution toward producing Readers--those, like Ambra, who possess the ability to guide Dram ships through the Orbs. With tendrils reaching out, Orbs allow for instantaneous space travel, but what the Orbs truly are is unknown and debated. Ambra's idyllic life in farm country is destroyed when humans working for the Dram come and take her. In an institution, she's tested, beaten and experimented on. Horrific surgeries mutilate and blind her, and her skull is removed to give her tumor room to grow. The only escape Ambra has is to travel through time, back into history on her own to learn and experience life. But, since the Dram don't realize she has surpassed every other Reader in terms of power and ability, Ambra is taken from Earth and sold into slavery. Stebbins does an exceptional job creating unique, detailed alien races, from the dreadful, cruel Dram to the octopuslike Sortax who live in water and the Xix, who rescue Ambra from enslavement. Long, lean, four-armed, intelligent and kind, the Xix work to prevent cruelty against the lesser races. Two Xixians, Waythrel and Thel, are especially strong alien characters who act as guides for Ambra, helping her develop her abilities. Although the first half of the novel suffers from too much telling and too little action, the second half comes alive. Ambra, able to travel through Orbs like no one before, takes on the Dram in a dramatic conflict that leads to her facing the Dram emperor. In order to free the universe of the Dram scourge, Ambra must make a heart-wrenching choice: the universe or Earth. Eventually, the novel takes a slightly odd turn toward metafiction, as Ambra informs the reader that they, too, have a part in saving the Earth. A richly detailed, compelling story about the power of love.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780989000444
  • Publisher: Twice Pi Press
  • Publication date: 5/5/2013
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite Ambra Dawn is a Read

    Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

    Ambra Dawn is a Reader, able to look back into the past as well as get glimpses of the future. Yet her ability is more like a curse than a blessing – she is kidnapped and her parents killed, modified and enslaved. However, Ambra discovers that there are worst things that have and WILL happen; there are more complicated lessons she has to learn and understand. Her most important discovery of all is that humans and other beings of the universe secretly place their hope and fate on her shoulders.

    I dare say that “Reader” engaged me with its story quicker than any other sci-fi novels than I have read before. It was as if I was reading a personal diary meant just for me. The novel was narrated from the perspective of only one character, Ambra Dawn, and author Erec Stebbins brilliantly used this focal point to shed new light upon the universe and Earth itself in ways that I could never imagine before. Emotionally, I was deeply connected with the protagonist Ambra. Some of her painful experience was hard to read, but this shows how effortlessly the story engaged me. This is a science fiction novel with stunning originality and is unquestionably a classic, one of the best ever written in the genre. Book 1 from this 'Daughter of Time series' made a loyal fan and a believer out of me, and I can’t wait to 'meet' Ambra again in Book 2.

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  • Posted June 8, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Amazing! Incredible! A MUST Read!

    Erec Stebbins found a sure way to suck me from page one-bring in the men in black, make them ominous looking and have them take a small girl forcefully from her parents’ arms, oh, and make sure to tell it from the child’s perspective. Reader is a brilliant star in the world of Sci-fi! Ambra Dawn is a rare person with a special ‘gift’ to see what others cannot, and she is quite possibly the “ultimate prize” in an intergalactic battle for power and dominance that could destroy not only humanity, but other civilizations, as well. But, as a tortured and abused ‘lab rat,’ she may not even survive at the hands of creatures far advanced in every way from humans. Is she meant to use her growing abilities to satisfy the demands of evil or can she find a way to outwit them, forge new bonds with ‘others’ and lead her own army through time and space to victory and salvation? Ambra is only seventeen, but the future lies in her hands…

    I took a frighteningly realistic and intricately detailed journey through unspeakable horrors alongside Ambra Dawn as she lived her story. I shared her thoughts, her reactions to what was happening, felt her pain, her sorrow, her loss and her triumphs, thanks to the stroke of Erec Stebbins’ gifted pen! His ability to build a world where “no man has ever gone” is fabulous! Through Ambra, I saw the aliens, I felt her bonds, I tasted what she was forced to eat, and, yes, I almost gagged when she found out what it was. This is Sci-fi fantasy at its best, because in Erec Stebbins’world, this became real, my world faded to black as each scene seemed more and more “possible” in the world of “what ifs” and “why nots?” Does Mr. Stebbins know something we don’t? Was he truly the originator of this tale or possibly only the tool Ambra used to record her story?

    I cannot thank the author enough for allowing me to read another of his incredible works!

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

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     This story is very much visionary, speculative and philosophica

     This story is very much visionary, speculative and philosophical science fiction. The writing is all in first person narrative form being an episodic interior monologue. In other words, the mental voice, the mind, of Ambra Dawn talks directly to us through the book.
    I really enjoy this sort of inventive philosophical science fiction. Condemn me, not Stebbins, if I paint too enthusiastically. The stories structure is pure dystopia, but dark though the story is it leaves a strong glimmer of hope for humanity and the victory of good over evil. To be victorious we will come to realize that we need Ambra Dawn to be heroic. We must also learn to trust and follow where ever she guides us.
    Every being in the known galaxy appears to blindly accept a false premise, this being that there are many Orbs, portals, between places in Space and Time. All civilizations in this creation are as seduced by what they observe of the portals as we all once where by the assumption that the Earth must have edges. Ambra comes to see beyond what other beings can fathom. Ambra knows far less about the galaxy than do the cleverest of other races; and yet, she is the first ever to navigate a safe passage through to other remote areas of space. As Ambra starts to gain in learning and intuition she seems to sense that the Orb might be more than a construct of physics, and so raising the prospect that it might be a monolithic physical god like energy. What is more, could she possibly be a sort of messiah for that power?
    There is a deep sense of profound tragedy, a feeling that the destruction of the Earth may well be inevitable, unless the history of the past can be changed, and the future controlled. Humans seem to be an insignificant lot, so weak when compared to the destructive Dram and so morally inferior to the Xix. Yet there is just a glimmer of a chance that the greatest human Reader of the past and present can also be its greatest writer of the future. Can a sick girl, with a cancerous like growth in her brain become the leader of a successful rebellion against the murderous Dram? So early physically blinded by her growth, she seems to be inevitably doomed.
    Some people have a sixth sense, an ability to see, to feel, with a subtlety and depth that the rest of us can't equal. We are then inclined to mock, mainly in an attempt to belittle our fear, what we cannot comprehend. Ridicule tends to be especially high when the individual savant is so clearly very far from the norm. A vastly enlarged and distorted head on a teenage girl might not inspire trust, but the surviving humans had better do so, and if the author is to be believed then so must we. Actually, who is author and who is scribe?
    I won't say any more about the plot as the last thing I wish to do is take away the fun of revealing it through your own read. I have tried to wet an appetite, for this story I so much enjoyed, without romping too deeply into its meat. From the moment Ambra is taken from her parents by men hidden behind dark-glasses her life becomes a terrible ordeal, a life that compels us to read the Reader, in desperate hope that despite the odds she will survive.
    I wasn't entirely sure that all the mathematical formulas, one of which introduces each chapter, added much to the book. That though is a minor criticism. This is a well written and thought provoking story for those that enjoy looking beyond the presently rational. "Don't let us die," because you see "the final step is yours".

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