A love that transcends the metaphysical realm

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
256 Pages
Reviewed on 02/25/2024
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Author Biography

NG Keng Tiong, an engineer by profession, has taken a bold leap into the literary world with his unique and adventurous writing style. With a background steeped in technical expertise, Keng Tiong blends his knowledge with vivid imaginations, venturing into various genres with a particular fondness for science fiction. His foray into writing is marked by a desire to explore complex themes, intertwining technological advancements with human emotional depth. His latest work, an ambitious science fiction saga, reflects his passion for storytelling and his commitment to challenging the boundaries of conventional narrative. The author's transition from engineer to writer illustrates his belief in the power of stories to connect, inspire, and provoke curiosity and critical thinking, marking him as a distinctive voice in contemporary science fiction literature.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite

The need for a rapid response to global threats leads to the development of the STRATOS team, an elite unit of combat-ready operatives prepared to take on and eliminate hostile targets at short notice. Keen to maintain the upper hand in a changing world, the top brass take it upon themselves to include an artificial intelligence project to assist in STRATOS operations. David Friedman is the mind behind EVE, the artificial intelligence program. With the personnel yet to get fully behind this new initiative, David takes it upon himself to perfect his creation, which leads to unforeseen consequences in Havah by Keng Tiong Ng.

Keng Tiong Ng's science fiction novel focuses on the battle for human supremacy over machines. He establishes the story's context well, explaining the need for an extra edge in the rapidly evolving fight to protect the country from international and domestic terrorism. The character creation is balanced and well thought out, as each STRATOS team member has a unique origin story and motivation for participating in the project. He creates a balanced story, with Captain Wolfson's reaction to being forced to work with EVE reflecting some people's distrust of artificial intelligence. With each chapter, the anticipation grows as David's clandestine upgrades to EVE take shape. While some of the story focuses on how EVE affects the STRATOS team’s output, Keng balances the action with a subplot that follows the unusual developing romantic triangle between David, Amanda, and a rapidly evolving EVE. Keng's storytelling style encourages the reader to think about the effects of the increased use of AI in our daily lives. Havah is a scintillating debut novel that science fiction genre purists will enjoy reading.

Literary Titan

NG Keng Tiong skillfully portrays the combat scenarios, imbuing them with a sense of immediacy and realism that is both thrilling and immersive. These scenes are not just about physical battles but also delve into the tactical use of futuristic technology, setting the stage for a high-octane reading experience. The character of HAVAH is intricately crafted, offering a nuanced look at artificial intelligence. Her evolving understanding of human emotions and experiences is not only central to the plot but also offers thought-provoking insights into what it means to be sentient.

Character development is another strong point of HAVAH. Each one is well-fleshed out, with their backstories and motivations adding layers to the narrative. This depth ensures that readers are invested not just in the outcome of the story but in the journeys of the characters themselves. The conclusion of the novel is both climactic and satisfying, tying together the various plot threads in a manner that is both exciting and emotionally resonant. The inclusion of an epilogue and author’s note adds a personal touch, offering insights into the creative process behind the novel.

HAVAH is a remarkable military fiction novel that is sure to resonate with fans of science fiction and action genres. Its blend of exhilarating action, deep emotional storytelling, and thoughtful exploration of human-AI relationships makes it a standout novel.