Review: Fluency (Confluence #1) – Jennifer Foehner Wells

Long ago, NASA discovered an alien ship caught in Mars’s orbit. Years later, NASA learns of an asteroid on a direct path to destroy the ship. They send a team to investigate and possibly formulate a way to pull the ship out of the orbit. But the small team finds the ship abandoned, and one member claims to be having contact with the last surviving resident of the abandoned ship.


Why this book?: E-book deal. Plus I want some good alien books.

Zero plot and boring characters

Throughout this book, I was waiting for action. I was waiting for something to happen that would get me flipping through the pages, wanting more and more and more. And, even more, I wanted aliens!!! Instead I got a group of annoyingly boring and invasive characters that threw one problem and another AT ME.

It seems that the way that Wells tried cutting an over-arching plot for an entire series into bits, instead of creating a plot for each of her books, and crafting them into a series. For the longest time, nothing happened, setting up for a much longer book rather than one 377 pages long. For some of the time, the crew was wandering the alien ship. Other times, random info dumps by a shockingly boring alien that really wasn’t anything special because it never showed up. Legit, the alien was in the book, but never showed itself. It invaded Jane, the main character’s, mind, and used her to contact everyone. (Or, as the other characters called it: the alien ‘mind-fucked’ her and made her feel special (because she wasn’t actually special, despite knowing basically every language on Earth) to manipulate her to his advantage.)

A lot of people were using Jane, and not actually seeing her for who she was. Not that I could tell who exactly she was, because the only time you get to know her is through her male love-interest’s point of view, which, in all honesty, was uncomfortable to read.

Objectification?? Is gross and dehumanizing?????

For the rest of the time, Jane was objectified by her love-interest (as in; forced to take a shower with him, groped by said love interest while unconscious, as well as being called weak because of being a woman and forced to cover for love interest when he gets into the oh-so-awkward situation of having in erection while in the shower (forced, by the way) with her.) Not only that, but as I mentioned above, she was constantly being used by other characters–not just her love-interest and the alien! The only other female character, whom I don’t even remember the name of because she was mentioned so little, was treated as ‘one of the guys’ and basically didn’t even stand up for what was said about Jane while she was still unconscious.

If you haven’t noticed, Jane spends a lot of the book unconscious. That forced you into Bergen’s head more often then I would have liked, or the boring-ass alien that doesn’t even know how to alien.

I guess the worst part of all of this is how the abuse of Jane was basically said to be love, and that Bergen did this because he loved her. Ah, yes, I’m sure Jane loves being stared at as she undresses and groped while naked and unconscious.

Final Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

 Overall?

I went in looking for a new sci-fi favorite. Instead I found a new addition to my “wtf-did-i-just-read” & “problematic-asf” shelf on Goodreads. I never want that going into a book, but with this one? I was just shocked. Disappointed.

Would I Recommend?

Let me be truthful. I normally write my reviews directly after or a day after finishing the book. This one took me a good month to figure out how to write. I would so uncomfortable with this book, that I had to put both the review and the book away for a full month. I deleted my kindle copy. I do not want to see this book again, nor the sequels.

So, no. I would not recommend this novel. The amount of disrespect that it had for the female gender was disgusting. I’m sincerely hoping that these don’t reflect completely on Wells’s beliefs, but one can only think–if you wrote this, as a woman, and didn’t realize it? What then?

Edit: I was contacted by the author because of this review, and wanted to clarify a few things. First off, nothing was changed from before the author contacted me. Still the original review above. However, I did fail to mention that I only read 50%, which is because I was so bothered because of what I read. My opinion didn’t change because of whatever she said, in fact, it only solidified it.


Additional Information:

Published: June 18, 2014

Publisher: Blue Bedlam Science Fiction

Page Count: 377

Genre: Science Fiction

Synopsis: via Goodreads

NASA discovered the alien ship lurking in the asteroid belt in the 1960s. They kept the Target under intense surveillance for decades, letting the public believe they were exploring the solar system, while they worked feverishly to refine the technology needed to reach it.

The ship itself remained silent, drifting.

Dr. Jane Holloway is content documenting nearly-extinct languages and had never contemplated becoming an astronaut. But when NASA recruits her to join a team of military scientists for an expedition to the Target, it’s an adventure she can’t refuse.

The ship isn’t vacant, as they presumed.

A disembodied voice rumbles inside Jane’s head, “You are home.”

Jane fights the growing doubts of her colleagues as she attempts to decipher what the alien wants from her. As the derelict ship devolves into chaos and the crew gets cut off from their escape route, Jane must decide if she can trust the alien’s help to survive.

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