Hello, everyone! Today I’m participating in the blog tour for the BBNYA finalist, Mercury’s Shadow by PJ Garcin. This was one of my BBNYA reads last year, and I had a lot of fun participating as a panelist.
BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors, ending with 15 finalists and one overall winner. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website http://www.bbnya.com or Twitter @bbnya_official. BBNYA is brought to you in association with the @Foliosociety (if you love beautiful books, you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group @The_WriteReads.
Book Info & Links
One man’s lust for power threatens the future of humanity—can a young girl from the outer system stop it all?
Imogen “Chim” Esper is thrust into the center of an interplanetary conflict when her family is torn apart by the cruel and indifferent Kardashev Corporation. Forced to run, along with her robotic best friend, Chim struggles to find her place in a society that is poised for revolutionary transformation.
The Kardashev Corporation dominates all commerce and politics in the solar system. Its megalomaniac CEO, Alton Neal, is hell-bent on transforming society by capturing the full energy output of the sun through the creation of a Dyson Swarm.
Citizens of Earth and the stations throughout the system must band together to protect access to the lifeblood of the system or risk becoming permanently enslaved to the Kardashev Corporation.
Mercury’s Shadow is a thrilling adventure that blends real science, big ideas, grand adventure and high stakes to introduce a new heroine and a deep universe that will leave readers asking for more.
***Thank you to BBNYA for providing a copy of the book. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***
I really enjoyed this book. The prose was easy to read and engaging. There was a steady pace throughout, and I never felt bored by the story. The overall premise was interesting, and the narrative contained a good balance of systemic and personal stakes that kept me on edge for the characters.
The story was exciting with plenty of action. Although, it also had some really great personal moments, especially with Chim and her father. The plot did require a certain suspension of disbelief in regards to some of the science and the level to which the main character got wrapped up in such important events, but not enough that it completely disrupted my enjoyment of the plot. The world-building was interesting, and I found this take on the future of our solar system to be horribly relatable. I liked the themes regarding the dangers of letting one corporation have too much control, and it definitely highlighted the potential extreme consequences of that really well. I just wish maybe there had been a bit more subtlety. I also would have loved some more background on the different factions and politics of it all, especially the secret scientific consortium poised in the shadows to save the day.
The characters all had big personalities, and I liked the found family vibes the protagonist had with her friends. They made a great team, and their interactions were fun to read. I especially loved the robot! Chim’s journey was relatable and often harrowing. She was thrust into a huge conspiracy when all she wanted to do was save her father. This conflict between her personal motivations and the larger stakes at hand made her an interesting reluctant hero to follow. The villain was a bit cartoonish and over the top, though, but at least it made it easy, and fun, to root for his downfall.
Overall, I liked this book quite a bit and thought it was a good series-opener. I’d be more than happy to return to this world for more adventures. Therefore, I rate it 3.75 out of 5 stars.
About the Author
PJ Garcin has been writing stories, music and games for most of his life. He writes from the beautiful east coast of Canada where he has worked extensively in video games and technology for the past 20 years. Picking up a long running writing thread, he recently completed the first book in the Kardashev Cycle — Mercury’s Shadow.
The Kardashev Cycle follows the rise and expansion of the dominant Kardashev Corporation and its near universal control over the solar system. The first book in the series, Mercury’s Shadow, introduces the young Imogen Esper — a resourceful young girl from a mining station in the asteroid belt who finds herself caught up in an interplanetary conflict when her father is injured during a routine maintenance mission. The second book, Chimera’s Prism, continued the adventure in 2021.
PJ is a regular speaker at technology conferences on topics ranging from interactive narrative to machine learning. He has an undergrad degree in English, Rhetoric and Professional Writing as well as a Master’s degree in Communication.
He worked as Executive Producer in games on titles that sold more than 27 million units in total. He worked on large franchises such as FIFA, Madden, and Guitar Hero while helping to launch successful indie franchises like The Golf Club (now PGA Tour) and Infinite Air. He currently works as Director of Product Management for an open-source-focused SaaS company.