Edition 30: Book Review: Fate of Perception by K.F. Breene
Reviewed by Mysti Parker
For this edition of SQ Mag, I went in search of the newest releases to kick off 2017. I found the beginning of the new dystopian sci-fi Finding Paradise series from author K.F. Breene. Though I anticipated diving into it, I found it didn’t quite live up to my expectations.
Fate of Perfection introduces us to a dreary futuristic world where humanity is controlled by conglomerates who breed the best of the best to handle their most important workings. The heroine, Millicent, is a physically perfect, exceedingly intelligent woman who is at the top of her game designing weapons systems for her conglomerate, Moxidone. She’s chosen to be bred via artificial insemination, knowing that her offspring will become the property of Moxidone. She soon finds out that the baby’s father is an equally perfect and muscle-bound head of security by the name of Ryker. The two of them grow closer due to his inborn instincts to protect her and the child.
Once the baby, a little girl named Marie, is born, Millicent is surprised to discover how much she loves and bonds with the child. Marie seems to exhibit some powerful psychokinetic abilities, which could make her especially valuable. But Millicent decides that when the time comes for her to leave Marie to the care of the conglomerate, she instead wants to escape with her and flee the planet. Along with Ryker and a rather unwilling child caretaker, Trent, they embark on a perilous journey to escape by whatever means necessary.
What I particularly enjoyed about the story is the theme of human interference in the natural world, one that has been used many times before, but one that’s still relevant in our increasingly tech and science driven world. We are presented with the case of what can happen when humanity loses all respect for life and relies solely on greed and control. While I don’t think fiction is a litmus test for our moral compass, it can remind us to be vigilant and proactive so our society doesn’t devolve into complete chaos.
While the overall storyline is great and held much potential, the execution I found lacking. The dystopian world they were living in was filled with pollution and extreme cold, but there’s virtually no background info about why it came to be so terrible. There were not enough details for me to form clear pictures of the settings either. I couldn’t tell what their airships looked like or what the buildings and outside world truly entailed. The main characters wore suits that produced weapons somehow along with implants in their brains, but how the weapons were stored or where the weapons appeared, I had no idea. There were many fight and action scenes too, but again, the details were lacking so that I couldn’t quite grasp how it was unfolding. Not that we need huge info dumps, but it’s necessary to paint the scene so that we can see in our heads what the author is seeing.
Dialogue was plentiful, which I honestly loved, but there wasn’t enough inner dialogue and internal conflict for me to really connect with the characters. This was particularly disappointing in the reasoning behind Millicent’s escape with her daughter. As a mother myself, I empathized with her in wanting to keep her daughter safe, but I never got a good feel for why she felt Marie was in danger. It seemed like a rather abrupt decision.
I ended up distanced from the story as though I walked into a series midway through. Yet as the first book in a series, it should have firmly set the stage for the rest of it, giving us a detailed roadmap of the how and why these characters must embark on this journey so that we care about them from the start.
For sci-fi and dystopian fans, Fate of Perfection is worth a try. You may find it totally to your liking, even though it didn’t connect with me. Due to some language, violence, and sexual content, I’d recommend it for late teens and beyond.
Slade House, by David Mitchell
Dystopian Science Fiction
Publisher: 47North, 2017
Mysti Parker is a wife, mother, and shameless chocoholic. While her first love is romance, including the Tallenmere fantasy romance series and an award-winning historical with EsKape Press, she enjoys writing flash fiction (the weirder the better) and children’s stories. She resides in Buckner, KY with her husband, three children and too many pets.