Review of ‘That Distant Dream’ by Laurel Beckley
This was a really good wlw sci fi book! This is the first novel in ‘The Satura Trilogy’ and what I believe is Beckley’s full-length debut. Earlier this year, I did read a novella by Beckley that I thought was a cute read. I’m not sure if it is due to the full-length, the story subject, or just that Beckley is improving, but I thought this book was a big step forward in both quality and enjoyment. One of my disappointments was not getting to read a lot of sci-fi this year, but out of the sci-fi I have read this is easily one of my favorites.
This is a military sci-fi with a hint of fantasy series. I’m hoping that hint of fantasy will grow much stronger in future books since I love a good fantasy/sci-fi mix. The premise of this book is about a war hero named Melin, who is trying to reinvent herself. After being tortured (this happened before the book starts) and left for dead, Melin is not the same soldier she once was. Besides learning to live with a new disability, she also doesn’t understand these vivid dreams she keeps having. Dreams of Queens, swords, and dragons! Is this leftover from the violence and torture she went through or do these dreams mean something more? Newly assigned to the planet of her Great Grandmother, which is where the dreams seem to resemble, Melin is hoping to find out.
I was really happy with the good mix of a character-driven and plot-driven story. Even when something more mundane was happening, like everyday work for Melin, I was still completely sucked into the book. I knew this story was for me from the first few pages and I was perfectly content even during the slower parts. And in contrast when the exciting parts happened the book just flew by. This does end on a cliffhanger, which I’m never crazy about, but my disappointment was just that I wanted to keep reading. I was really enjoying this story and I didn’t want it to end. I also love where the story is going. It really ended in the perfect place and it makes me excited for book 2. Book 2 will be going on my most anticipated list of 2021.
I loved the character of Melin. She’s very strong, but she’s really human too. She’s smart and doesn’t suffer fools, but she’s lost her true confidence from the war. She’s not always the nicest person, but you would want her to have your back. She’s dealing with PTSD, anxiety, and a new disability that people either take pity on or think less of her. But she’s stronger than she thinks and stronger than what others think of her. I can’t wait to see her blossom into the complete badass she really is. I believe Melin is a lesbian, but there is no romance in this book at all. I don’t think she is at that place emotionally yet to let someone in, but I can’t help but hope she might find someone in future books.
As you can tell I really enjoyed this one. I love reading about strong women especially when they prove others wrong. Melin has a long hill to climb in her personal journey and I’m looking forward to reading all about it. I would easily recommend this to military sci-fi fans. One thing is that Beckley keeps teasing us with the word ‘dragons’. There are no dragons yet, but I hope she’s actually preparing us for them and not really teasing. I can only imagine how great this sci-fi series could be if we find dragons in the next book. 4.25 Stars.
A copy was given to me for an honest review.