Saturday, 30 June 2012
Suffocate (Breathless Book 1) - S.R. Johannes
Title: Suffocate (Breathless Book 1)
Author: S.R. Johannes
"Suffocate" by S.R. Johannes is a 15,000 word novelette that is the first in a new series of short stories that will explore a dystopian future world. This novel follows Eria who lives within the Biome, a structure that has helped humanity survive over the centuries whilst Earth has grown hostile and barren. Like everyone else, she has never been able to leave the sanctuary of the Biome and longs to visit the world that has long been thought lost. This hope is fuelled by her own father, a brilliant scientist who has been working on a suit that would finally enable people to leave in safety. But, when one of his experiments ends in tragedy, Eria's grief leads her to uncover a secret and dangerous underbelly to the Biome that could threaten her own life.
The short novel length results in an incredibly fast paced read that I found myself rocketing through as I wanted to see what would happen next. Johannes has done a great job in ripping out every piece of filler you could imagine to ensure that she could pack so much into a limited number of pages, there is even a couple of plot twists thrown in for fun, one of which I didn't see coming at all. What I was really impressed with though was that novel also includes a fair amount about Eria and her past which I usually find missing in short novels like this. This ensured that it was possible to actually understand Eria and her actions so she appeared to be a believable and realistic character.
In Summary, this was an enjoyable and entertaining short novel that showcased the great possibilities within this form of literature. It was action packed, fast moving and included enough details to enable the reader to understand the main characters and form a decent image in their head about what was occurring. In all honesty though, there was part of me that actually wished this had been a full length novel as the story contains so many possibilities that could have been further explored. Either way though, I am now looking forward to the sequel and I really do recommend this novelette to any fans of dystopian fiction who are looking for a quick and enjoyable read.