Lying Beneath

The Aura Operation

Fiction - Science Fiction
248 Pages
Reviewed on 04/16/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Lying Beneath is a work of fiction in the science fiction sub-genre, and was penned by author Kevin Moran. The opening novel to The Aura Operation series, this engaging and interesting tale focuses on protagonist Ayla, whose life feels wasted waitressing and trundling along with her boring, non-adventurous boyfriend Derek. Seeking a more exciting existence, Ayla gets much more than she bargained for when she discovers a doorway to a secret society underground during a photography trip. Branded as a spy and captured, Ayla must navigate this strange new world and tackle the adventure that she wished for, no matter how dark and difficult it may become.

Author Kevin Moran tells an enjoyable tale of a parallel world and a secret society operating beneath our feet, and it flows with plenty of different layers throughout his well-constructed plot. The suspense and discovery elements of Ayla finding out about the society are well told, with some great use of dialogue for exposition and a well-balanced narrative that doesn’t give too much away at once. In terms of character development, Ayla is the real star: a wide-eyed dreamer that we can get behind and root for as she begins to react to her rude awakening to the dangers of real adventure. I also enjoyed the atmospheric touches which differentiate the two worlds, with the advanced civilization being very clipped and proud in their presentation. Overall, Lying Beneath is a great concept that is perfectly delivered by a talented writer.

Tammy Ruggles

Lying Beneath by Kevin Moran is a science fiction novel about a young photographer named Ayla who yearns for something better, something different, from the ordinary life she leads with her boyfriend Derek, and dog Bella--something Derek doesn't quite understand. But she gets her wish during a photography excursion when she discovers a secret door bearing "WW8" that leads to another world underground. In this new world, she is injured but treated, poked, prodded, studied, decontaminated, confined, and interrogated in a hospital. And this is only the beginning. Her interactions with these strange, pale doctors could place Derek in danger as well. And, speaking of Derek, will he figure out what happened to her and save her in time, or will he become a captive in this new world as well?

This book is a pleasure to read, and for several reasons. Moran makes science fiction fun instead of fussy. He doesn't bog you down with too many technical passages about portals and teleportations. Rather, he keeps the story on the personal side, and this makes the story move along at a natural pace. You feel like you're in the adventure with Ayla, going through the examinations, emotions, and experiences with her, instead of just reading about it as a bystander. Moran makes the extraordinary seem accessible and realistic, and a lot of science fiction stories fail to do this. Lying Beneath by Kevin Moran is a quick, taut read for die-hard sci-fi fans and casual sci-fi readers alike--a great launchpad for an engaging, entertaining series.

Rabia Tanveer

Lying Beneath is the first book in The Aura Operation series by Kevin Moran. Ayla is trying to find a better life. Although her waitressing job is enough to get by, this is not the job or the life she chose for herself. She wishes for adventure, so she takes her camera and explores abandoned places for something that will give a spark to her boring life. Her boyfriend Derek loves her but doesn’t share her passion, so she is usually alone. One night she finds a trapdoor in an old warehouse and beneath that trapdoor is a secret and strangely advanced society. She is excited to find them and ready to explore, but she gets caught. Now they want to know who she is, where she came from and why she is there in the first place. Ayla has to find a way to get out of this place before it is too late. But can she make it out alive?

Readers who enjoy adventure and science fiction will love this. Ayla is so much more than your usual protagonist. She is spunky, savvy and incredibly well-put-together. Her responses are genuine and exceptionally entertaining. She thinks very quickly and tries to make any situation work. The universe building is excellent; the world under the trapdoor is incredibly well crafted. I wanted to know more about the people down there, where they came from and how they became so advanced. This is such a brilliant start of a really well written and enjoyable series. I cannot wait for the next one to see what other adventures Ayla will enjoy!