Callisto 2.0

A novel of the future

Fiction - LGBTQ
332 Pages
Reviewed on 06/20/2021
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Susan English is a born adventurer, a world traveler with an insatiable intellectual curiosity. She holds a master’s degree in physics, once lived on a sailboat in the San Francisco bay, was a Peace Corps volunteer in Namibia, and spent five years on the Big Island of Hawaii, where she owned an off-grid, completely self-sufficient farm in the jungle. Now she is happy to be living with her wife in beautiful Medellin, Colombia, the city of eternal spring.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

In Callisto 2.0 by Susan English, Callisto Collins is a 31-year-old physicist still looking for permanent employment. A mysterious figure named Diana offers her a place onboard Shambhala, a space-based lab orbiting the Moon. She joins the all-female crew who each specializes in a different field of science, finding camaraderie unlike any other, and works diligently to make warp tech possible. But there are outside forces that are determined to stop them, alleging that the group is working on a dangerous project and not the advancement of humanity. What is going on and can the head of the Foundation, the enigmatic Diana, be trusted?

Set in 2097, the concept of Callisto 2.0 seems straightforward at first until the premise is explored as the story progresses. The slow-burn plot gives the opportunity to readers to familiarize themselves with a much-advanced world; the proposed technology and possibility of scientific advancement in every aspect of life is fascinating while highlighting that some old-fashioned ways still work and are preferred by Mother Nature. Yet, it's a world that suffers the same lingering societal issues: some discussion about psychological differences between genders, faith, and repressive societal norms are thought-provoking.

The moderate pace also lets readers get to know the characters, particularly the crew of Shambhala. Callisto, or Calli to her friends, is a shy physicist who thrives as she finds life in the space lab almost utopian. Work and romance go hand in hand, bringing unexpected highs and lows. As important scientific research and experiments achieve significant milestones, the true motive of the Foundation is revealed and so much is at stake. Calli and the crew have an important, irreversible choice to make. Riveting and transformative, Susan English's Callisto 2.0 is a great story about perseverance, hope, and love. I look forward to reading more of the Shambhala Saga.

Susel Dezzani

Callisto 2.0 is the first book in the Shambhala Saga feminist science fiction series, written by physicist, Susan English. You can tell when a book is going to be a great read when you get chills from the first paragraph, and that's exactly where this one sucked me in.
I absolutely love the amazing relationship that Callisto has with other woman, at the women-only research station orbiting Earth’s moon, where she starts to work. It is truly how I think women should treat each other, with respect and understanding and I really hope this is a good omen of what could actually happen in the near future. Callisto is truly an inspiring main character and I emphasize with her from the beginning of the story.
I love that the main character is a female, too. English, represented Callisto very well and that’s coming from a girl who is hard to please in books.
I think that this is truly a remarkable story, that any sci-fi lover should read!

A. Romano

Susan English is the author of “Callisto 2.0” a futuristic novel about a woman who does not toe the line with what she has earned.

Believing she is able to do more, the main character of this story searches for a job and a place where she is deserved.

In her path towards recognition, she is disappointed, she finds love in a wonderful group of people, she is deceived and she starts again.

Although this is a novel set in the future, more exactly in the year 2097, the book mirrors real life in that it is filled with life’s peaks and valleys. The main character struggles, fails and succeeds, as all human beings do.

It is because of the enriching plot that I recommend this novel.

Carol M.

Callisto 2.0 is a captivating futuristic novel about a young lady who is offered a unique work opportunity. In pursuit of personal growth and professional development, she accepts this offer and is sent to work in a research station near the Moon. There, she lives many interesting adventures and experiences that are definitely worth reading. I felt I was accompanying Callisto in all this unexpected journey. Narrated in the first person, Callisto’s character is strong, ambitious and determined. Susan English has written a compelling novel that highlights the important role of women in society. Easy to follow and captivating from the beginning, Callisto 2.0 is a highly recommended novel!

Sol Tyler

Callisto 2.0 is a book that belongs to the genre of science fiction and it is the first one in the Shambhala Saga feminist series.
The narrative is simple and has been penned with easy grammar and vocabulary, the characters have been crafted in such a way the story turns interesting right in the first chapter.
Even though the book is science fiction, there are parts that have made me laugh a lot. Feminism is at play in the tale and all the characters are well-developed. All of them are positive and their vision of the future is encouraging.
I really liked that the story is written in the first person since it made me feel closer to the protagonist. Loved it!

Zunaira

This is a happy fun book and an easy read. No part is too difficult. The sci-fi parts are fun. There are also parts that made me smile and chuckle.
It is a very optimistic view of our future. And while I had to suspend my disbelief at all the optimism, it was still fun to read!
It is about a female utopia and has plenty of lesbian characters.
Our society is used to seeing and reading about pain, anger, violence, punishment, hatred, vengeance and many "bestsellers" even end at horrible endings these days. It's a form of mental abuse in my opinion and it's time for women to change that and create completely new types of stories that don't follow the age old "conflict! drama! resolution!" pattern.
The author is obviously a highly educated intelligent woman. And the way her characters behave in this book is exactly how highly evolved, intelligent women do behave with one another. With kindness, respect, and forgiveness.
There is a lot of focus on female bonding. The sci-fi part was enough for me.

PS: I have no idea why one reviewer said age should be a 17+ for sexual content.
This novel has NO sexual content!
In fact it has great ideas, wonderful discussions for younger readers.

Mia C.

“Callisto 2.0: A novel of the future” written by Susan English, is a middle length futuristic novel that I really enjoyed reading.
Set in a space station in the year 2097, it tells the story of Calli and the discovery she made after she starts working with faster-than-light technology. The futuristic plot was really interesting and well portrayed. Characters are also well portrayed but most importantly, they are clearly and fully developed.
I believe that the story could be a bit shorter – there were some dialogues and parts that I would omit. All in all, this is an enjoyable read that distracted me from my daily routine. I recommend it.

Joan M. Shafer

Susan English has stepped out of the conventional sci-fi zone in creating Callisto 2.0. The story follows an all-female, highly intelligent and compassionate crew looking to make huge strides in technology and community-based existence on their ship. The setting is amazing and will enrapture anyone even remotely open to the idea of living in space. Each crew member that readers come across has a compassionate soul, but such different personalities – it’s equally as interesting to listen to their personal stories as their areas of expertise. If you’re a lover of sci-fi and the advancement of the human race, this book is definitely one you should pick up.

Ivana S.

“Callisto 2.0” was quite long and at a point the narrative slow down for me, but once I got past a certain slow point I was back in and absolutely liked the rest of the story. This book is set in the year 2095 and it tells the story of Callisto who, after a love disappointment, agrees to work at the research station. In this new life, she discovers a new part of herself that will fight against all those who want to harm her.

Something I surely liked about this novel is that the characters are completely described and the plot is well developed so I really enjoyed the story. I recommend reading this book because it was a very good read.

Happydancermom

If you’ve ever wondered what a utopia might look like, Callisto 2.0 sets up a great example. Susan English has created a world centered on women living their best lives, having their best relationships, and supporting one another. The support system alone in this book makes me ache for something similar in day-to-day life. Despite such an intense focus on women-centered living, the book also does a great job approaching the subject of gender and violence.

Every story needs something to overcome, but English paints a bright future for us if we’re willing to push ourselves and focus on being selfless and caring to those around us. This book is a great representation of what can happen when intelligence, ambition, and compassion come together.

Kindle Customer

I really enjoyed reading this book. Much different than most books I have read recently. Definitely a lesbian feminist ideology. Reminds me of books I've read in the 70's. I miss those days! ; )

Beeulee

Callisto 2.0 is a book that makes you think. At first glance, it seems like just a unique sci-fi adventure, which it definitely is – readers get to tag along with Calli as she embarks on a journey with the Shambhala crew. This part alone is exciting for those who love sci-fi! Susan English sets up an incredible future for us, and spares nothing of the imagination when it comes to where humans might be (in space) in the future.

But outside of the excitement of the journey and impending hardships, Callisto 2.0 deals with a lot of current and past social and personal issues. It does so indirectly, in a conversational way that gets readers thinking about gender, relationships, and morals. Susan English has created a great read for adults and a great way to get kids to start thinking about the world and how they interact in it.

sweetgrass

I enjoyed this so much. The science was fun and well handled, and the women on Shambhala are obviously having a great time. I wouldn't have minded a little more internal conflict between them, but maybe that's just me. Can't wait for the next one!

Kindle Customer

I was captivated from page one. Well-written, with a compelling storyline, totally believable world-building and authentic characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!

DR

Effective building of late 21st century Earth and the women of Foundation. Women scientists working towards a better way to live life individually and within community. Space travel is not new, just expanding, and I enjoyed reading each character's science projects. I didn't understand all of it and appreciated character questions about the work being done. A woman-only work environment worked for the story and the expected push back by the male dominated government was expected. If a first in a series, it was an effective foundation.

Christabel Simpson

To boldly go where no man is needed… Hopefully I won’t get sued by the makers of Star Trek for that first sentence, but it seemed ideal, as Callisto 2.0 is the story of a physicist called Callisto (or Calli for short), who is recruited by a mysterious foundation to work on a space station crewed entirely by women. When we first meet her, she has just agreed to have lunch with a representative of the foundation called Diana to discuss the job opportunity, which will involve her helping with the development of a warp drive. Diana takes Calli to visit the space station and Calli is so impressed by what she sees that accepting the offer of employment seems like a no brainer. The foundation only employ women, as they feel this creates a more amicable and productive working environment, which suits Calli very well. She quickly makes friends with her colleagues, who are all gifted scientists with different specialisms, and becomes a valued member of the community. Life is not without its setbacks, though. First she finds out that Diana, who she has been growing increasingly attracted to, is actually married to another woman on the space station. Then, after an early breakthrough with the warp technology, her research stagnates. She also has a growing sense of the foundation being under threat in some way.

Many adventures follow, both romantic and space based, but I won’t go into them all as I don’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone reading it. Suffice it to say, it’s a gripping book, which I couldn’t put down and finished in just two days (unusually fast for me). One of the things I especially liked about it was the idea of the utopian society on the space station. The women are like parts of a well-oiled machine, each with her own purpose, yet all working together to produce the desired result. I suppose in reality things might not be quite so harmonious, but it is a really nice vision. It’s the kind of environment I would love to work in… pity I’m so hopeless at science.

One of the book’s biggest strengths is the attention to detail. Little touches like the fact that Calli cuts her own hair and buys second hand clothes really bring the characters to life. The world building is also excellent. The author must have done a lot of research into space technology, as her descriptions of it are very convincing, though she never lets the technical details overwhelm the story. As I said, science isn’t my strongest point, but I had no problem understanding everything, and found myself wanting to know more. This was especially true of the part about parthenogenesis – a form of reproduction where males are not necessary. I wonder if this really will be possible in humans one day. The descriptions of life in space were also very well thought out. I hadn’t really considered what it might be like to take a shower in low gravity, for example, but the author clearly had and paints a vivid picture of it.

There are some nice touches of humor as well, like a food fight between Calli and two of her colleagues and a raucous karaoke session at her first social. This together with the skillfully handled interpersonal relationships made the story seem very authentic. I must confess, I found it a little tricky keeping track of who everyone was at first, as there were a lot of characters introduced in quick succession, but I guess this mirrors Calli’s own experience of arriving in a new place.

I should probably mention for anyone who doesn’t already know that Callisto 2.0 has clearly been written with the LGBTQ community in mind. Many of the women on the space station are queer (perhaps understandable, given that they have chosen to live in a female only community) and there are also a couple of trans characters. As a lesbian myself, this was one of the things that drew me to the book, but I think anyone who is interested in science fiction will enjoy it. The niche aspects are an added bonus, but it is a science fiction book first and foremost and in my opinion it easily stands up against anything the mainstream has to offer. It also poses intriguing questions about all sorts of things, including love, gender, science, religion and family. Definitely a book I would recommend.

Anu

Callisto 2.0, a feminist science fiction novel portrays a multicultural and diverse community of genuine, complex, quirky, brilliant, and powerful women, working towards something larger than themselves.

Shambhala Space Station, 2097. Shy physicist Callisto never accepted conventional wisdom. So when she’s recruited to work on faster-than-light technology, she eagerly accepts the career opportunity at the women-only research station orbiting Earth’s moon.

Will Calli embrace her destiny in an unexplored cosmos?

The space scenes were very well-narrated, lively, and definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat.

Within just the first few pages of the book, it was clear that the author has well-researched in terms of the ‘science’, but also in the ‘fiction’, she has filled with a futuristic vision of our world weaving in the backstory about the characters – as they reflect on their past experiences and their knowledge to be the best they can.

Interesting and perfect timing of twists and turns, and everything about the story – from its characters to the scientific themes, and the events which unfold – feels real enough to pull you into its narrative told in simpler terms.

The chapters are brief and intriguing read gives insights on gender identity, greek mythology, harmonious team, relationships, friendships, and fascinating facts taking us to the world of the future.

Shambhala is a mythical realm where all of the inhabitants are enlightened, where injustice, cruelty, and conflicts don’t exist. If you want to meet the crew, you can visit www.shambhalasaga.com. The author gives the introduction of the characters and the organization of the station in a unique way.

Callisto 2.0 is an exceptional and compelling story about the bonds of a crew and the perils of working in space.

Sol Tyty

Callisto 2.0 is a book that belongs to the genre of science fiction and it is the first one in the Shambhala Saga feminist series.
The narrative is simple and has been penned with easy grammar and vocabulary, the characters have been crafted in such a way the story turns interesting right in the first chapter.
Even though the book is science fiction, there are parts that have made me laugh a lot. Feminism is at play in the tale and all the characters are well-developed. All of them are positive and their vision of the future is encouraging.
I really liked that the story is written in the first person since it made me feel closer to the protagonist. Loved it!