Fiction - Science Fiction
317 Pages
Reviewed on 05/18/2019
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Author Biography

Olga got her B.A. from Columbia University in Mathematics and Astrophysics and worked at NASA on the Pioneer Venus Project as a programmer. She received her masters from U.C. Berkeley in Education of Math, Science, and Technology and went on to earn a doctorate in education. Together with her husband and business partner, Olga conceives, designs, and creates products, ideas, websites, and exhibits. Along the way, she writes science fiction.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Harvest is a chilling work of science fiction penned by author Olga Werby. A father and daughter team take center stage in a battle for humanity in the far-flung future of planet Earth. Where colonies on other planets exist and Earth has barely survived its own extinction, Dr Varsaad Volhard finds herself tasked with first contact of an alien civilization when strange artifacts are uncovered. Her father Matteo hides secrets for the both of them, and as Vars prepares to journey out into the far reaches of space, Matteo finds that people are dying of strange causes in the human worlds as well. This deadly mystery must be solved near and far before it’s too late for human life as they both know it.

Author Olga Werby writes with excellent pacing to deliver a detailed and engagingly deep science fiction plot as well as a fast and action-fuelled novel that keeps the reader wanting to turn pages. Never too bogged down by the details, gradual exposition and well-crafted character development lead us to the secret origins of both Vars and Matteo as they uncover conspiracies and secrets that humanity would never be able to dream of in their society. I really enjoyed the realism of this far future, where the new tech and alien culture are drawn from our own influences, making them more relatable and often frighteningly realistic and threatening on the page. Overall, Harvest makes compelling reading for its conceptual prowess, strong plot and commitment to character development.

Amanda Rofe

Harvest by Olga Werby is a science fiction novel. It tells the story of Dr. Varsaad Volhard, an evolutionary socio-historian, who has been persuaded to join a team to investigate a strange alien artifact found on Mimas, one of Saturn's moons. Varsaad is appointed Senior Scientist in charge of understanding alien motivation by the Earth Planetary Space Agency (EPSA), an organization she has longed to work for. In the meantime, her father, who has been studying plastic pollution, has discovered nanobots in the environment. The nanobot technology appears to be compatible with Earth's biology. Is there a connection between the artifact and the nanobots? Set against an asteroid impact and nuclear exchange, which nearly wiped out all life on Earth, the human race now faces something equally as challenging.

The first chapter of the book drew me in with an exciting opening sequence of a worker experiencing faulty equipment while working alone on the surface of Mars. This set the scene for an exciting and original sci-fi feast. Olga Werby is well qualified to provide the science behind the story and what an exciting story it is. This novel is a deep and meaningful exploration of the complexities regarding the origins of the human race as well as the intentions of an alien species. I did not guess the outcome and the concluding chapters were thoroughly absorbing. An unusual and welcome choice to illustrate the novel with line drawings enhanced the compelling narrative. Harvest is an engaging and intriguing science fiction novel which I highly recommend.

Rabia Tanveer

Although science fiction is not usually my cup of tea, I thoroughly enjoyed Harvest by Olga Werby. This novel has action, suspense, fiction and the right amount of drama to get me hooked and wanting more and more. Since I am not an avid reader of the genre, I did take some time to get into the rhythm of the story, but once I did, I just never wanted to stop. I loved Varsaad’s development, how she grew more and more confident of herself. I enjoyed reading about Matteo too, as he was not a typical father in the story and actually knew what his daughter was capable of achieving, even when she didn’t even know it.

This is the story of Dr. Varsaad Volhard, an evolutionary socio-historian who is tasked with helping humans understand an alien civilization that left a strange yet very valuable artifact behind thirty thousand years ago. People have high hopes for her and she is all set to live up to their expectations. However, unbeknownst to her, her father, Dr. Matteo Volhard, makes an alarming discovery that confuses and scares him all at once. While she is preparing for her expedition, her father is trying to make sense of everything else. Is something bigger and far more dangerous happening? What is it that Vars and Matteo are missing?

I found the story very believable and that made it a tad bit scary. This could be where we are headed and what our future could hold. The dialogues were amazing, the plot was fast paced and the characters were given enough page space to evolve and develop on their own. Nothing was rushed, everything unfolded as it should, which made me appreciate the story even more. Interesting and very entertaining.