“addictive, fast-paced and highly entertaining” – review of Sailor to a Siren on Risingshadow

Artwork: Alison Buck
Artwork: Alison Buck

On Risingshadow.net, Seregil of Rhiminee has just reviewed Zoë Sumra’s debut novel Sailor to a Siren. He describes it as a novel “filled with entertaining action, intriguing characters and good worldbuilding” and adds that Zoë’s successful blending of space opera with elements that are often found in crime and thriller fiction is a “welcome and exciting addition” to the genre that sets it apart from other space opera and gives readers “an adrenaline rush through plot twists and surprises”. He goes on to say that there are a few science fiction novels in which the authors combine different genres but “this novel feels refreshingly different”.

Seregil is impressed by Zoë’s “skillful storytelling with an emphasis on fast-paced action and entertainment”, enjoying the way the story gradually unfolds. He says “To be honest, it’s been a while since I’ve read anything as good and entertaining as this novel when it comes to fast-paced space opera novels”. He commends the depth of the characterisation, as fast-paced space operas tend to emphasis action over character development. Zoë’s main characters are compelling, he says; the Cardwain brothers are “strangely likeable” despite being criminals, and Éloise is fascinating.

He is also very complimentary about Zoë’s worldbuilding which is “excellent”, and goes on to say that he has “a feeling that the author has a lot more in store for her readers and she will continue to write more stories about the same universe, because this novel gives readers a tiny yet fascinating glimpse into the universe she has created. I look forward to reading more novels by her, because she is a talented author who has managed to pack a lot of story into a single novel and she has done it well. (More, please!)”

One of the best things, he says, is that Zoë “has created a satisfyingly complex story” that becomes “increasingly interesting” as it unfolds, adding that “it’s pure entertainment from start to finish”. The story moves forward fast “which is great” and the action scenes are “well written”. But, he says, “there’s much more to this novel than meets the eye”. Although, at first, it may seem to be merely an action-filled novel, it has a “lot of hidden depth” that is revealed through dialogue and how the characters react to events.

Seregil finishes by saying that Sailor to a Siren is “excellent entertainment”. He highly recommends it to fans of space opera and action filled sci-fi. In conclusion he writes: “It offers you action, complex situations and plenty of entertainment in a marvellous all-in-one package. It’s a perfect example of how to write entertaining and fast-paced space opera for adults with compelling characters and gritty scenes.”

You can (and should) read Seregil’s full review here.