Friday, 16 January 2015

Synthetic Illusions By Mary Fan

Hey guys! :D

Joe here with another review for you
Today I’ll be giving an honest review of Mary Fan’s ‘Synthetic Illusions: a Jane Colt Novel’ :)

Here’s a slice of the blurb for you:
Jane’s new career as a composer is a dream come true, but her blossoming relationship with Adam is marred by his terrifying nightmares. When Jane receives a warning that a shadowy agency is targeting Adam’s seminary school, she rescues him in the nick of time, but the only way she can protect him from such a powerful enemy is to run.

The author (Mary Fan) sent me this book after I read and reviewed her first Jane Cole novel.
I also posted the review onto the blog and the book was just amazing!

The only way to describe this book is: ‘An unbelievably amazing sequel’ as that is what it truly, truly was.
I really-really enjoyed this sequel; it was just as enjoyable, as enthralling and as stunning the last.

I found myself thinking ‘She’s done it again… She’s created a beautiful masterpiece of Sci-Fi’ and I am so glad and honoured to have been asked to read this.

The story for Synthetic Illusions picks up a short while after the events of Artificial Absolutes with Jane focussing on her musical dreams, Adam helping out in the Via centres, Riley living with Jim-X and Devin’s vanished on secret missions.
Everything is all hunky-dory until Adam becomes a target for ISARK, a government security body which deals with undercover operations.
Coming after him gives Jane an ultimatum; does she allow Adam to hand himself over to ISARK… or does she convince him to take her hand and run.
(You guessed it! :P)

The actual story and plot itself was really well written, it flowed well and it was very precise.
I generally enjoyed this storyline a far-bit more than AA because it was very realistic outside of the action? In the way that in Action movies/books all we mostly see are shootouts, car chases, high-tense moments and anything other that’s considered macho and rugged, but in this we have a sense of realism, so we would come from Devin’s chapter(s), which are mostly army-based, so alot of guns, badass missions and etc. As we go into Jane’s life, we see how Kyderan people live and how they literally have no idea about what resides outside their protective bubble.
Especially the scene on the train where Jane feels like the drunken man will attempt something, but instead tells her she’s pretty and gets off the train… The paranoia and tension that is built up into that chapter really fills inside us as readers and then is drained out with a sigh and a smile; from this I can see that Mary Fan really has done an amazing job at taking her time to perfect this.
(Don’t get me wrong though; the action was beautifully intense and written well; but there was a necessary amount of which Mary had achieved, maybe a little more aswell)

So; the characters were much much much better than AA as they generally seemed so much more mature!
I’ll do a quick summary of each character for you, as I don’t want to go to over-detailed haha!

So; I’ll begin with Devin.
Devin in this book was much more developed in Synthetic Illusions; My guess is that the happenings of AA made him more stable towards his sister and allowed him a more ‘free-reign’ upon his lifestyle.
I genuinely liked him as a character and I could connect with him, which I couldn’t really achieve in the last book no matter how much I tried.

Jane was way more badass in this book; As soon as her viewpoint in the story came into play you could see that her attitude had toned down a little and she’d become more idealistic and progressive with her life; Though she still seemed to be a little hot-headed, it suited the story to a T.
I really connected with Jane and I was literally saying in my head ‘yeah, go Jane!!’ when everything came to a climax. (If I said it out aloud my mum would’ve stared at me weirdly… her name is Jane…)

Adam really changed in this book; he became really depressive but yet so courageous.
I did like how he went from being the Hero in AA to becoming the victim in Synthetic Illusions. He is also a really interesting and really in-depth character in his own right, mostly during the AI scenes that showed Adam being controlled and forced by Pandora, but then overcoming this sense of entrapment and concealment in his own mind, which made Adam seem like a real Human, which was cool!

Riley; oh I do admire Riley haha!
He’s exactly the same in Synthetic Illusions as he was in AA. Riley is a funny, sarcastic, genius level kid (who I still haven’t figured out an age for yet… I’m guessing around 18/19)
I was a little sad that he wasn’t featured as much in this book, but then he had enough moments that really made up it! Riley will always be my favourite Characters in this Universe Mary Fan has created.

We were also introduced to a couple new characters aswell; but for the sake of wanting people to read the book, I’ll only talk about one of them; no need spoiling it :)
Ines Valentine is a mercenary under the persona ‘Silver’ due to her usual appearance.
I say ‘usual’ because she uses technology which is able to change her hair-colour, make-up, eye-colour and most things genetic, that was a feature I found pretty damn cool honestly.
And not going to lie; she was Badass. The way she carried herself, how she dealt with things and how she fought was just pure awesomeness.
She is tied with Riley as my favourite character because of how awesome she is and how much of a badass she is.
I’m hoping that if there is a third instalment, that Ines appears a lot more because she’s such a wonderfully written character and I could see a definite story-line for her.

As in AA, the world building that Mary fan has done is beautiful; The worlds, space-systems, cities, back-alley-slums, the quadrants are all so well detailed and so beautifully painted that it was so simple and easy to picture this sci-fi/future setting which we may have one day, who knows? I really like the planet Tenebrarum, which is a-sort of back-alley planet. I loved this planet, mostly because I grew up on films such as Star-Wars and games such as Kingdom Hearts, which go from beautiful and technologically advanced cities to black-listed areas which hold the dark, mysterious and wondrous which Tenebrarum was with its bars, pubs, people, etc.

I really enjoyed this book; It took me a-while to read because I wanted to take my time and savour this; I loved the first novel so it was un-doubtable that I would love this one aswell…
Which I did!

Massive thank you to Mary Fan for sending me this book and allowing me to be a part of this awesome space-opera adventure! :)
I definitely recommend both Synthetic Illusion and Artificial Absolutes to anyone who enjoys an in-depth and high tension, page-turning Sci-Fi book.

Have an awesome day guys!

Joe :)


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