Fluency (Confluence #1) by Jennifer Foehner Wells
Science Fiction, ebook, 283 pages
Published June 18, 2014 by Blue Bedlam Books
NASA discovered the alien ship lurking in the asteroid belt in the 1960s. They kept the Target under intense surveillance for decades, letting the public believe they were exploring the solar system, while they worked feverishly to refine the technology needed to reach it.
The ship itself remained silent, drifting.
Dr. Jane Holloway is content documenting nearly-extinct languages and had never contemplated becoming an astronaut. But when NASA recruits her to join a team of military scientists for an expedition to the Target, it’s an adventure she can’t refuse.
The ship isn’t vacant, as they presumed.
A disembodied voice rumbles inside Jane’s head, “You are home.”
Jane fights the growing doubts of her colleagues as she attempts to decipher what the alien wants from her. As the derelict ship devolves into chaos and the crew gets cut off from their escape route, Jane must decide if she can trust the alien’s help to survive.
First Date: It’s been a while since I’ve dated, and Jane wasn’t the easiest of people to get to know, especially for a first date. I mean, the girl needed a couple of drinks as social lubrication before she finally opened up enough to let me get to know her (of course, I totally understand, as I have a hard time with social situations as well). She’s brilliant, but out of her depth out in space. And her crewmates, experienced astronauts, know it.
Second Date: Once the crew arrives at the spaceship, things change and not necessarily for the better. Jane starts to hear a voice, telling her things about the ship, promising she’s home. But her crew thinks she’s losing it and that their mission is a bust, as they can’t hear the voices and it seems like there’s no one alive on the ship. So they don’t listen to her and doubt her at every turn, even when she rescues them. (Grr. Dudes acting like stereotypical macho men who think they know better than the poor little girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing or what she’s talking about. Perhaps I should buy Jane an extra drink so she can throw it in their faces. They’re also stupidly not listening to Jane or willing to accept that “alien” means it might be something beyond their ken or experience. In fact, I think I’ll join Jane in throwing drinks in these characters’ faces.) (However, I do appreciate characters who can make me react strongly to them, no matter whether it’s positive or negative.)
Third Date: There’s a tingle of romance, though that’s dominated by the sense of impending doom (multiplied by these never-ending space bug things that grow up from acidic-like slugs into aggressive slug monsters. Eep!) and Jane’s increasingly odd behavior. A three-and-a-half star read, I’m intrigued enough that I want to know what happens next. (Seriously, what’s up with this possible distant galaxy and various alien species?) With what happens in the last quarter of the book (um…a little spoilery), I’m pretty excited to see Jane finally grow a backbone of titanium, though she has a bit of a personality transplant that I’m not completely comfortable with (more drinks? Might need to get to know her all over again in the next book…which isn’t out yet. *sniffle* Boy, this was certainly a booze-soaked trio of dates. Luckily, book-life Mary doesn’t suffer from hangovers quite like IRL Mary.).
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