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Posted July 4, 2011
When intelligent life in the form of pure energy is discovered light years away from Earth by an exploratory mine crew, it is clear that something special has been found. These peaceful beings are pure, distinct from everything else we have ever encountered. Their very existence may in fact provide greater insight into the nature of the human soul. Moreover, these newfound life-forms can give those with whom they come into contact an increased mental capacity. Now, cognition beyond our wildest dreams is made possible through our interaction with this species, and a rogue group of scientists is hellbent on tapping into that dangerous potential to the fullest extent. And it comes at an alarming cost...
The battle lines have been drawn, and only two people can circumvent the genocide of an entire species, but they are willing to risk anything in order to end the violence. The quest for life takes a frightening turn as the line between genius and insanity blurs a little more. What must be lost in order for us to see? Our ability to perceive and to protect the sanctity of life is tested in Spectra, the latest novel from Joanne Elder. Elder, a native of Ontario, worked for several years as a professional engineer in the aeronautical industry. Thereafter, she worked in the field of nuclear research. She has published many technical papers in her time, but now she has a new passion: setting in motion the advent of the new generation of science fiction thrillers. Spectra is the result of Elder's love for both science and thrilling fictional works. The novel is fast-paced and captivating, an excellent book for any fan of classic or contemporary science fiction. If you enjoy thrillers with a strong foundation in science fiction, Spectra comes highly recommended. Finally, it should be noted that, in honor of her father, a World War II veteran, Elder is donating half of all her e-book royalties to Alzheimer's research. Check out Spectra, in bookstores now.
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Posted October 26, 2012
Pacific Book Review
As an avid reader of science fiction and its sub – genres, I personally find that there is nothing quite like coming to the end of a well-written, completely enjoyable science fiction story and wanting for more. Spectra by author Joanne Elder is exactly the type of sci- fi story that I am talking about. This is a completely enthralling science fiction genre novel that not only excels in creating a great science fiction/ adventure /thriller/Romance but the story is so well put together that by the end of the book it leaves the reader wanting for more.
The author Joanne Elder, who is a Professional Engineer turned author, has created a world that aptly combines the elements of an engrossing sci-fi tale, an intriguing thriller, fringe science, romance, and the many theories pertaining to the existence of the soul. The story of the life forms of Spectra continues in Entity the next book in the series.
The story of Spectra creatively delves into the long postulated theories of the existence of man’s soul, especially the cannons of Theosophy (a form of esoteric philosophy). Spectra is not overwhelmingly bogged down in particular theories but does present a very well researched overview into the subject as part of the plot and at the end of the book there are references to the information sources used by the author to research the subject matter.
It is the years 2298, an exploration team of space miners while on a mission on the planet Spectra, make a tremendous discovery that if announced would turn the world of science on its ear. They encounter a life form on the planet that exists without the confines of a body, the existence of which is very similar to the doctrines by many earth cultures and religious/spiritual sects as the human soul as it exists. With the discovery of the entities, the crew also finds that when exposed to the life forms there are changes in their personal energy fields that result in a significant increase in cognitive and physical abilities but at a terrible cost to the alien life forms.
Most members of the crew want to leave the planet alone to help preserve the life form on Spectra except for the leader of the mission - Ivan Campbell. Ivan does not want to leave their incidental discovery alone, his desire to harvest the power of the entities for his selfish desires, drives him to extremely evil actions including murder and false imprisonment.
The diverse casts of characters in this thrilling adventure are well drawn and you will find yourself rooting for the “good guys” as you are pulled into their suddenly erupting world. All the characters are interesting especially, Ivan Campbell. Ivan has a cold and calculating demeanor that makes him a well-suited antagonist who knows how to wield his power. Other characters of note are Dean Weston and Laura Simmons.
Dean Weston is a likable hero who is handsome, macho, sensitive and gallant. Laura Simmons is vivacious and resilient and turns out to be a love match with Dean. The energy that develops between the two throughout the story aids in creating a romantic adventure as they manage to fall in love as their world has erupted into a seemingly hopeless chasm of chaos.
Overall Spectra turned out to be an intelligent, worthwhile read that keeps the reader intrigued and offers food for thought.