To be perfectly honest with you, I haven‘t read many sci-fi books that I liked yet, but this one opened a whole new genre up to me that I wouldn‘t have considered otherwise. So thank you so much to Filles Vertes Publishing who were so kind to forward me a review copy of Abducted Hope (Eliza Stopps especially!) and also of course to the author Tracy Renee Wolfe for this awesome story!
Even though I don’t want to start on a negative note, I have to admit something before I start with my review: After I read the prologue, I fell into a major reading slump because I had conflicting emotions battling inside of me. I knew I had to read this book next in order to get the review up, but the prologue seemed so strange and out of this world to me (maybe because it was about aliens, duh) that I didn‘t continue reading for a while, expecting not to like it. After a couple of days though, I pushed myself to give the book another try, and was thoroughly surprised to find that the first chapter was about Melissa, a college student who felt quite lonely because she had just started at a new university (after a terrible breakup AND bad betrayals by a friend).I was happy to be back to my usual reading territory, you could say.
While I asked myself how the aliens of the previous chapter would come to play in Melissa’s life, everything went down quite quickly. On her way home she gets kidnapped and when she wakes up, she finds herself surrounded by a doctor and in a seemingly medical environment. Though her doctor seems to be quite friendly, that doesn‘t lessen the fact that she is being held there against her will! And what the doctor then tells her makes everything much, much worse. Not only was she abducted by actual aliens (she didn’t even know existed), the doctor also just impregnated her with an alien baby because his species needs to find a cure to their procreation problem – and humans might just be the solution to it.
Boy, was that much to take in (and not just for Melissa, also for me as the reader)!
What I liked a lot was the story as a whole. There happened so many things that surprised me, things I didn’t expect to happen at all and I never knew what would happen next. The two main characters Melissa and Orion are both very likeable and try to do the right thing in every situation they are put into, which I liked a lot, too. Some of the side characters were awesome as well – very likeable, kind, understanding, and friendly. Some of the antagonists will surprise you! Some betray Orion and Melissa badly even though you wouldn’t expect it, while others turn out to be nicer than you thought in the beginning.
The fact that the alien species does not consist of small green men (as we often tend to assume) was a refreshing innovation (though they exist too, just in other galaxies, apparently) – as were the aspects that did distinguish them from humans. The technical advancements and innovations you expect in a sci-fi story were there and were quite intriguing!
What I found a bit strange at first was that Melissa was so understanding. I mean yes, Orion was very nice to her and tried to make the best of her situation (and his, as well, as he was pressured to do what he did by the Ruling Class), but she literally JUST learned that she was abducted by aliens AND that she was to carry an alien baby for their research purposes! And that although she was only 19 (not that this scenario would be any easier for people of another age, but still)! She even fell asleep on her first night on the spaceship, which I couldn’t understand at all. Shouldn’t she rather be screaming, begging, crying, vomiting – anything? It just seems strange how easily she accepts her fate. Also, it was a bit strange to me that Mel accepted that aliens even exist so quickly. In her life, they didn’t play any role before, so I expected that she lives in a world like ours. The same with her parents. They believed her daughter to have died in an accident after she disappeared for several months, but once she returns home and brings a somehow strange looking man with her, they believe the alien story immediately (and aren’t even that much shocked to see their daughter – very much alive, too).
Another thing that struck me as a bit odd was that the Ruling Class officials had put both Orion and Mel under quarantine because they were scared that Mel had some kind of contagious disease, as to them, Melissa was the ‘alien’, but they still went into the lab to meet her – what sense does a quarantine make then?
Lastly, I have to point out that Mel often appears as very passive because she is continuously forced to do things or endure things – the whole story started with her being abducted after all. However, in her helpless stage she is still very active, if that makes sense – she tries to stay as much in control as is possible for her situation, which I liked a lot. However, it sometimes felt a tiny bit overpowering – so many complications, so many intrigues, an intergalactic war – without adding spoilers, unexpected happenings with the baby, let’s just say there is A LOT going on. And sometimes this started to feel a bit too much, Mel was never once given a second to breathe. Even though she has a lot of supporting characters around her, she has to endure so, so much – so much even that I started to feel very bad for Mel.
However, she is a very selfless character. She does everything for her love and family, even though she has to adjust to all these very strange circumstances in no time. She does go through a remarkable development, which I really appreciated. From a lonely, unhappy college girl Mel grows into the mother of two (alien!) children, wife (of an alien!), and fighter in a war against extra-terrestrial beings in a matter of a couple of months. This is what a main character should be like in my opinion, especially a female one. What I also really appreciated about her was that she didn’t trust others easily, especially after it turned out to be a very bad decision once (not going to spoiler whom I mean here).
I loved the romantic aspect of the story. Not only was it a nice counterpart to the science fiction aspects with all their technological advancements that I usually don’t enjoy as much, it still didn’t overpower the story completely; neither were there any descriptive love scenes. It was nice and slow, it made sense for them to fall in love, and didn’t feel forced at all. Oh and I also need to mention the title of the book: watch out for it in the story – it is a very sweet analogy!
If you are anything like me and don’t go for sci-fi stories straight away, I would strongly recommend trying this one out – you might be surprised how much you can like sci-fi (if it’s the right story)! And if you’re a lover of the genre anyway, this is surely the right book for you! So you really can’t go wrong with this one no matter what. I would love to see how the story continues and really hope that Tracy contemplates writing a sequel (because I felt like the ending could suggest one!) – I would surely read it 🙂
4 strong stars from me.