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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
The Lost Signal is the first book in the Slaves of Zisaida series by J.S. Fernandez Morales, a tightly-written, engrossing science-fiction story with strong political themes and an intergalactic war that can annihilate humanity. An encoded signal permits Dr. Ethan Fawkes to communicate with a shadowy scientist with whom he creates a space warship, the first of its kind. The intervention of the government in this project leads to startling revelations: an army of aliens is earthbound, and time is running out for proper preparations for any resistance. The only one who carries the hope for humanity is Fiona, who shares DNA with the invaders. But the only problem is that she has been treated as an outcast in her village for a very long time. In a moment of dire need, will she stand with the humans to protect her village or will she join the invaders, and how much time does she have to tap into her real power?
A science-fiction story that is as riveting as it is beguiling, with twists that augment the overall satisfaction of the reading experience, action that is intense and unabated, and characters that are likable. Unlike in most science-fiction, J.S. Fernandez Morales keeps the language simple and captivating, minimizing jargon and creating sentences that are carefully crafted for dramatic effect. The story is fast-paced and intriguing, written with focused scenes and in a style that balances great dialogue with the strength of descriptive prose. The sense of urgency begins the moment the conflict is introduced. I particularly loved the way Fiona is imagined. She is in a dilemma, caught between people who detest her and yet badly need her help and an enemy that shares the same DNA with her. The Lost Signal is cleverly plotted and skillfully written, a must-read.