Shadow Eclipse

Voyage

Fiction - Science Fiction
953 Pages
Reviewed on 11/27/2019
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

E. M. Gale is a scientist working in the areas of unconventional computing, machine learning and computational chemistry. She has been writing fiction since she was a child, but had no success due to her limiting herself to only ever writing the first few chapters of novels. She did however manage to finish her PhD thesis on molecular machines, although she was disappointed when all the cool sword-fighting scenes were cut. Stressed out from this effort, she left science 'forever' (which turned out to be a year and a half) and decided to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in 2008. She finally figured out how to finish a novel, and did it eight more times just to check it worked. Since then, she's also written a gritty crime novel, and has a gritty, cyberpunk series underway. When she's not writing, she can be found practicing martial arts, encouraging others by volunteering as the local NaNoWriMo municipal liaison, making music with code and playing around with artificial intelligence.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Shadow Eclipse: Voyage by E. M. Gale is the story of a woman trying to make sense of her life and survive at the same time. Florentina Clarke is a Ph.D. student in the 21st century whose biggest problem used to be passing her degree. However, everything changed when she realized that she was turning into a vampire. As if that wasn’t shocking enough, she becomes part of an experiment that ends with her being sent 200 years into the future and becoming trapped there. Far away from home, coming to terms with her life and becoming a mercenary on a ship that is smuggling coffee was not part of her plan, but here she is now. She has to manage with what she has and surviving seems to be at the top of the list. What is she going to do now?

Voyage is the first book in the Shadow Eclipse series and it sets the stage for an epic science fiction adventure. Boy, was this entertaining. Author E. M. Gale used the right amount of tension, action, and intrigue in the story to make me want to stay hooked to the novel and not let go. Florentina Clarke is a refreshing character; she has a very original sense of humor, she is very witty (although she did make some questionable choices) and she just demands your attention from the get-go. The story itself is fantastic; the author brought everything together and made sure that everything merged together well. This is a very intricate story, you need to pay attention to what you are reading or else you will not be able to solve the puzzle that is the life of Florentina. This story is entertaining and exceptionally well-crafted!

Christian Sia

Shadow Eclipse: Voyage by E. M. Gale is a compelling science fiction story with an elaborately developed protagonist and a setting between the present and the future, a story that has elements of the supernatural and romance. General Clarke finds herself 200 years in the future. Now she is no longer a normal woman. She is a vampire. While she struggles to figure out how she got here, she also needs to survive against strong odds. She joins a smuggling vessel as a mercenary — a woman without any identification — and gets caught up in extraordinary adventures involving pirate attacks, a romance with a vampire, Orcish squad-mates that are difficult to trust, and a lot more. Can she find her way back home to herself or will she reconcile to what she's become?

There is so much at stake in this riveting tale. The reader encounters the protagonist right from the beginning. I loved the stream of consciousness that opens the story as the protagonist struggles to define where she is and how she got there. She struggles to remember episodes from her past and the soliloquy allows for a kind of introspection as she searches her memory for answers. It is interesting that from the beginning of the story readers are already aware that something unusual has happened and that General Clarke isn't where she is supposed to be and that she isn't who she is supposed to be.

E. M. Gale is a great storyteller who writes scenes full of clarity and focus. The contrast between Clarke's life in the past and what she's become comes out clearly in the story and this contrast is at the heart of the psychological conflict. The backstory is skillfully handled and not a distraction to readers, so glimpses from the past only help to enrich the story and deepen the conflict. Shadow Eclipse: Voyage is beautifully told in a voice that engages the reader right away. The action is pulsating and the plot reserves manifold surprises for readers. This is a well-crafted science fiction story that will definitely entertain fans.

Lit Amri

In Shadow Eclipse: Voyage by EM Gale, a one-night stand turns Florentina Clarke, a 21st-century Ph.D. student, into a vampire. Then an experiment by an enthusiastic friend sends her and her mates to approximately two hundred years into the future and light-years away from Earth. While her friends are unsuccessfully trying to find a way home, Clarke enjoys her time exploring the alien town and her vampiric side until trouble with the local gangsters causes them to secure jobs on a spaceship with dodgy operations. With her new career as a 23rd-century space mercenary, Clarke keeps her vampiric nature a secret from her friends while fulfilling her fellow mercenaries' expectations as a deadly fighter. It's an epic sci-fi adventure, especially for a vampire in space.

EM Gale's Shadow Eclipse: Voyage deftly combines, or should I say launches, the supernatural off into space and into the future. It gives a solid platform for the story premise to be developed into a whimsical and adventurous plot. I love the Japanese cultural influence in the world-building, and planet Ragnarok IV may or may not be inspired by the famous MMORPG Ragnarok Online. The characterization is good even though I didn't quite gravitate towards Clarke's fellow time travelers; Anna, Rob, Mark, and Jane. However, Clarke herself is easy to connect with despite some of her implausible choices in certain situations. I found some parts of the story could have a faster pace, but the overall story development is good. All in all, an enjoyable read.