JUNE 3, 2016

Without a Front – The Producer’s Challenge


Author: Fletcher DeLancey

Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Published by: Ylva

October, 2015; 370 pages

ISBN: 9783955334369, Softcover (also available in e-book format)


As the Lancer of Alsea tries to help her world heal from the brutal attack by the Voloth, a vicious and opportunistic race, Tal tries to integrate the new technology left to them by another alien race in Book One of this series (The Caphenon). Not everyone on Alsea embraces Lancer Tal’s forward thinking, and although she tries to move cautiously, giving each of the guilds time to adjust, she’s meeting opposition at every turn.


One group who oppose the matter printer technology is the producers, the people who live off the land and provide food for everyone. When Tal meets with a group of producers, one particularly acerbic grower takes on the Leader of their world. Challenges are issued, the first of which is accepted by the Lancer to spend a month on Salomen Opah’s farm, living as a farmer.


However, learning to live as a Producer isn’t all Lancer Tal has to contend with. During her stay, she has to juggle political intrigue, betrayal, and teen-age shenanigans gone awry. Tal has a lot on her plate and, added to this, she has to contend with the idol worship of a young boy and growing feelings for the head of the Hol-Opah holdings.


As feelings grow, so do tensions between the Lancer and the Producer, both strong women who must learn to live with each other’s personalities if they are to succeed in their relationship. Just when the Producer’s Challenge is about to end, we are thrust into a shocking ending which skillfully thrusts us into the next book, The Warrior’s Challenge (below).

Anna Furtado
is a book reviewer and author. Her published novels are available from Bella Books and on Amazon and at other bookstores online, as well as at other independent bookstores. To find out more about Anna and her writing, please click here

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Index of Previous Reviews

Without a Front – The Warrior’s Challenge


Author: Fletcher DeLancey

Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Published by: Ylva

November, 2015; 408 pages

ISBN: 9783955334406, Softcover (also available in e-book format)


As the Lancer of Alsea recuperates from an unfortunate event, political intrigue continues to swirl around those charged with her protection and Salomen comes to grips with the fact that betrayal has come from a source too close for comfort. She also must grapple with her approaching new role as Bond-lancer. However, before they get to that happy occasion, there is a convoluted set of problems to be navigated, the least of which is a missing Opah family member, and the worst of which is the corruption, betrayal and treason by an unknown member or members of Tal’s inner circle of advisors.


The familiar characters of Lancer Tal and Micah, as well as more minor characters, feel like old friends. Introduction of new characters in Salomen, her family, the new Lead Guard, Vellamar enhance the plot by their actions and interactions serving to move the story along and keep the reader turning page after page as political intrigue intensifies & continues from Book Two (Producer's Challenge). As action comes to a head in the well-known Capitol we are introduced to more of the inner workings of government and the members of Tal’s Guard and Counsel members in Book Three—and as Salomen struggles to get comfortable in her new role, Tal tries to spar & parry with shadows.


The marvelous world of Alsea written by DeLancey is expanding as each "guild" in introduced and presented to the reader for consideration. The writing is crisp, yet thorough in detail, as the story of Alsea and its hero-leader continues. The culmination of Book Three is a satisfying ending to the story begun in Book Two.


Flight SQA016

Author: A.E. Radley

Genre: Romance

Published by: Ylva Verlag e.Kfr.

March, 2015; 324 pages

ISBN: 9783955334475, Softcover (also available in e-book format)


Emily White has recently taken a job for Crown Airlines as a first class flight attendant for the New York to London run. The route is demanding and leaves little time for her to spend with her 5 year old son, Henry. Emily has suffered losses, the most recent a relationship with someone who lacked commitment for the long haul, but she forges onward.


Olivia Lewis is a brilliant financial mogul who commutes on Emily’s flight. At first, the relationship between first class passenger and flight attendant is all very professional. However, as the two continue to meet on flights, awkward situations begin to surface as Olivia, who lacks social grace and tact, puts a wrong foot forward trying to establish something more with Emily.


The character of Olivia is fascinating, as is her interactions with Emily, Henry, and Olivia’s friends. Olivia’s lack of practical people skills is written with sensitivity, balanced with the almost child-like quality with which she views the world. How Olivia deals with Henry adds insight into Olivia’s childlike practicality in dealing with the world. However, the fragile, almost non-existent romance between the two women can be frustrating.


The bones of the story Radley tells are fascinating; however, technically, the story could have used a heavier hand in editing. The story opens with a minor character, as if the story is about him, and it takes several paragraphs to get on track. The use of passive voice throughout the story slows down an interesting narrative.


The story doesn’t answer the initial romantic question posed by the meeting of the main characters, which is unfortunate. The ending appears to be meant to be a cliff hanger, possibly to sell the next book, but it is misplaced and only serves to leave the reader feeling cheated out of the romantic promise dangled before us. However, technical issues can be corrected and we, as writers, have as a goal to become better at our craft with each new work. Flight SQA016 isn’t a conclusive story, but, hopefully, the next installment will finally bring Emily and Olivia into a truly romantic relationship in spite of their challenges.



Books on Fire by Anna Furtado

Copyright 2015, 2016