The author, Shari Lopatin, of The Apollo Illusion contacted me a few months ago about sending me a Kindle version of her book that will be released on May 19th for me to write up a review about the book! I’ve been asked in the past by authors to do this and am really picky about what I read (many times I decline, but this is the third time I accepted). I don’t want to be bored out of my mind or feel forced to read a book in general. Thankfully, this book actually captivated me quickly.
This is pretty much a Science Fiction story for young adults and older teens, both, which I am not of. I read Young Adult books regularly though and prefer them to a lot of adult books, as a way to unwind and break from human trafficking stories I read constantly. It gives my mind time to escape reality.
Let me give you a synopsis of what is happening early on in the story. It starts out in 2150. I can’t even imagine how life is going to change in that time when so much has changed in the past 25 years alone.
The Apollo Illusion has two main characters who each give us their perspectives throughout the book. Flora is 19 and has been enjoying college life. She studies hard, but she has a fascination with exploring and indulging her curiosities. Andrew is also 19 and has been Flora’s best friend since they were about eight years old. He will go on these explorations with her, but has to keep her reigned in because he really doesn’t want to get into any trouble.
The name of the place where they live is called Apollo. There is a large wall that borders where they live, but no one has actually seen it. Flora wants to see it so badly. That is when she meets Don, another guy her age who smokes and seems mysterious. He might have some of the answers to her questions about the Wall, but Andrew doesn’t seem to like Don at all!
To give you an idea of content within this book, I actually wish that Shari Lopatin had warned me about the sexual content in this. At first I was just annoyed because Andrew is thinking about breasts and doing things with some young women and expresses it early on. I feel like sometimes when those things are mentioned, it was not done well and makes him look really bad and unintelligent. It doesn’t really set his character up for how cool and wonderful he is later. It makes him just look like a womanizer with no actual brains. I feel the book didn’t need that. Also there is an entire sex scene in this book. I don’t want to read about sex scenes at all. If the books about human trafficking I read about can talk about sex without describing it, so can this. That deducted a star rating from me. There is some bad language in the book, though not a lot, yet the ones that are said are pretty much all of the F word. There is violence in the book too. Definitely the parts where it is talked about is not gruesome.
The story as a whole was really well written, but I think towards the end the author wanted to give explanations about things, while not fully explaining other things, which depicts how real life is. Sometimes we don’t know everything and other times we learn too much at once that it is hard to comprehend. I think in a way there could have been a little more balance for how much was shared at once. It was really interesting to learn though!
Some of this story reminds me of Logan’s Run, The Island, 1984 (which is even mentioned in the book), and The Village but with its own unique take on things. Some of the technology explained in it is original and really good. Also, the fact that many times in such stories people try to get out to find a better world, but perhaps something to think about is that the world where we came from isn’t so bad even though it is not perfect. I felt that was unique.
I feel like this book ended strangely, but not necessarily poorly. It was as if you want to say, “But what now? What about that other world? Is there anything more that can be done?” Perhaps the point of this book is that we are to become victim to something regardless and that sometimes we can’t completely overcome every obstacle, but perhaps we have to accept things as they are in order to protect the people we love. It is a little sad to think about. It still didn’t have a bad ending at all though. I am glad I read it. It gave a lot of food for thought. There is a lot I can’t say here since I am not into giving away spoilers.
I give this book 3.5 stars.
www.sharilopatin.com/books to pre-order a copy for just $2.99 (paperback will be available on publication date)!