Artima's Travels

Part I

Fiction - New Adult
368 Pages
Reviewed on 12/17/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite

When a missile misfires at the Strait of Hormuz, some members of the Artificial Intelligence Systems Enterprises (AISE) are requested by the Navy to investigate the situation. As the chief engineer of AISE, Artima delves into the case, using her sharp sense of smell to recall important memories and her keen observational skills to discover some dirty secrets. Artima's Travels Part 1 by Elfriede Dustin is set in a time when different technologies, including serving robots and disinfecting UV-C light, are used to battle the Covid-19 pandemic. Follow Artima as she searches for answers while she deals with different challenges like her dying brother, an ex-husband who is distancing himself from their daughter, and a boss who has sexist opinions about her.

As I picked up Artima's Travels, I felt like I stepped into a beautiful, therapeutic parallel universe. The focus on the use of the olfactory sense and the detailed descriptions of the events and backgrounds gave me a feeling of being present and completely immersed in the story. I was excited to learn many new things about technology, how the mind works, and some random things that I had to research. The innovative technological ideas are quite impressive and may help in real life to battle the pandemic if incorporated by companies around the world. Elfriede Dustin creates a very realistic story as it portrays different relatable problems, like being a single parent and facing sexism in the workplace. Artima's Travels is not a book you rush through but one you relax with as your sense of awareness and other senses are fully awakened. I enjoyed it a lot!

Lesley Jones

In Artima's Travels (Part I) by Elfriede Dustin, Arty Ressols, the chief engineer of AISE (Artificial Intelligence Systems Enterprises) has perfected life-saving technology using an Artificial Intelligence algorithm that will aid in the fight against a deadly pandemic that is fast approaching. Arty is also the single mother to 14-year-old Ella whom she adores. Juggling home life and a highly demanding career is a challenge Arty has become accustomed to. When the Navy accidentally fires a missile at a nearby Russian ship in the Persian Gulf, they retaliate, causing death and injuries. But how could a system's default settings of simulation have been altered to live-fire? Captain Schwartz turns to Arty and Ronnie, her boss and CEO of AISE, to resolve and investigate any system malfunction. As Arty begins to question the key players involved, she is convinced that the truth is deliberately being kept from her. Someone knows the facts behind how a simulated military exercise caused death and possible conflict with Russia. Arty's investigations uncover betrayal, jealousy, and revenge and she suspects the missile was fired deliberately, but why?

I loved this intriguing concept for a novel. Artima's Travels (Part I) by Elfriede Dustin immediately sparked my interest. The main character Arty is not only highly intelligent, intuitive, and caring but extremely vulnerable which made her so endearing. She battles bias and bigotry throughout, not only because she is a single parent but also a female in a male-dominated profession. Arty is a superb parent and sister and I enjoyed how these two relationships developed; there were some poignant scenes highlighting Arty's huge heart and beautiful soul. There are many revelations, twists, and turns to the story, especially around the truth of the live-fire, which were suberbly executed. The scientific references were easy for a non-tech person like myself to follow but the detail surrounding the technology was admirable. The story really gives you an insight into the possible conversations and strategies used by those in power behind the scenes. I thought the psychological manipulation and gaslighting of Arty were chilling and believable because it was a gradual process. The ending was a punch in the air occasion, a real karma moment. I now look forward to Part 2 and learning more about these interesting characters and their relationships with one another.

Grace Masso

Artima's Travels (Part I) by Elfriede Dustin is a great story for young adults with a fascinating setting in the future. The world has been crippled by a pandemic and, while recovering, a misfired missile in the Pacific introduces a new crisis. The Navy wants to discover the culprit behind the missile launch and only one person can help uncover the truth, the Chief Engineer of the Artificial Intelligence Enterprises (AISE): Artima Ressols. Arty is a brilliant woman, intelligent, and passionate about her work. But this time, she is faced not only with a complicated mission but also with odds that are stacked against her and people who will do anything to obstruct her mission.

I love novels that reflect contemporary reality and Elfriede Dustin has written one filled with mystery and plot twists that make the reading enjoyable. The backdrop of a pandemic and a world that is looking forward to healing and hope is a strong one and many readers can relate to it. The author taps into a realistic and relatable setting to create a story that both entertains readers and reminds them of pain. Artima's Travels (Part I) is a spellbinding entry into a series and it introduces a female protagonist that will attract the attention of readers; Arty is well-developed and multidimensional. The author writes the conflict very well and readers can easily see the link between character development and the conflict. The pacing is good, the prose excellent, and the entire story is a piece of delightful entertainment.

Vincent Dublado

Part 1 of E.A. Dustin’s Artima's Travels is a high-tension political thriller about post-pandemic America. Set in the near future, the onslaught of the coronavirus has changed the global landscape through the new normal and how people behave and interact. People keep their distance, no longer shove one another in transport terminals, and avoiding touching their faces. And as the world is still in the stage of recovery, news of a Navy missile on carrier MMK-2000 misfires in the Persian Gulf at the Strait of Hormuz. This causes a nearby Russian ship to activate its anti-missile system and deploy a medium-range surface-to-air missile to return fire. As this accident will cost the Navy millions of dollars, they seek the help of Arty Resol, chief engineer at Artificial Systems Enterprises (AISE) to trace the root of the accident, and what she will discover will lead her to obstacles that involve the people she cares about.

Artima’s Travels is notable for its prediction of what the new normal will look like in the future, and how the government is exhausting all means to prevent it from spreading again. If you are ever going to read a political thriller set in a world reinforcing the new normal, this is the best one to sink your teeth into. The political conflict brought about by a military mishap is relevant considering how cautious and protective our mindset has become from the aftermath of the pandemic. Arty is a big character that has the right blend of charm and smarts to pull off a huge responsibility. E.A. Dustin fascinates us in depicting through fiction how costly errors can disturb the peace and the ramifications it can bring. You have to give this book a chance to experience the reading thrill that the author is offering.

Tammy Ruggles

Artima's Travels (Part I) by Elfriede Dustin is an exciting new adult science fiction novel that will have you on the edge of your seat. Imagine the near future: Life is returning to somewhat normal following the pandemic, but is short-lived due to a reported missile misfiring in the Pacific. This has everyone on edge. The leading expert in an artificial intelligence program called AISE is a software engineer named Artima, known as Arty, who is supposed to hunt for and locate those responsible, but finds that the ones closest to her are her biggest barriers.

With such an intriguing premise, it's easy to get involved in the story from the outset, but it's the character of Arty that compels you to follow her on her quest to get to the truth. She is a well-drawn character--smart, capable, and determined. The author uses plenty of interesting technology, but doesn't try to go over the reader's head--it's thoroughly explained. Dustin grounds the story in real events and locations and a troubled personal life for Arty. The author uses sci-fi devices I never tire of-- robots and gadgets, among others. The plot is entertaining, the characters believable, the dialogue dynamic. Really, I was disappointed that the story had to end, but was still satisfied with how it did. I like the steady pace and even flow of the book. It wasn't stalled by overly long passages of technical information. It was a story unfolding in a world that seemed real and immediate. Two thumbs up for Artima's Travels (Part I) by Elfriede Dustin.