Reader by Erec Stebbens

Reader by Erec Stebbens: Ambra Dawn has a brain tumor, but instead of removing it, “doctors” take her away from her parents to become a Reader for alien overlords most people don’t even know exist. After multiple surgeries to expand her cranium to make room for this tumor that provides her with such a powerful sixth sense, Ambra is taken to become a navigator for spaceships using the “Orbs” – a network of hyperspace jump locations. Human beings as a species are largely seen as only useful for their large percentage of Readers. This all sounds terribly complicated (and it is), but it’s not too confusing since we the audience are learning about this universe as Ambra does. Ultimately, Ambra learns to harness her power to the point where she can spearhead a revolution against these galactic oppressors. It’s an interesting piece of science fiction, part Ender’s Game, part something quite new. I liked the very non-human aliens and the attention to small details, like aliens having little understanding of what would be an acceptable atmosphere for human beings. I was less impressed by the “audience involvement” aspect of things near the end, but I am curious to see where the series goes. It is certainly unlike most other science fiction I have read, so if you’re looking for something different from much of the rest of the genre, give this a try.

Also posted on BookCrossing.

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