Friday 26 August 2011

Blog Tour: Paradise 21 review and guest blog by Aubrie Dionne

First up is a guest blog by the author of Paradise 21, Aubrie Dionne.

Bad Guys in Sci fi and Why We Love Them

#1. Darth Vader
There are so many reasons to love and hate Darth Vader. At first we think he’s purely evil, but when we learn of the backstory in Episode three, we pity him. He has so much power, but nothing he can do can change Padme’s destiny. In the end, he does a complete one eighty and turns back to the good side. We don’t see this in every villain, and it’s hard to write in a character, but when Luke Skywalker is calling for his father’s help, and Darth Vader decides to turn good, we believe it. He is an excellent, three dimensional bad guy with reasons for his evilness.

#2. The Borg
The Borg in Star Trek the Next Generation really creeped me out. They were relentless, and the idea of losing your identity to join a collective mind is chilling. Not only do you buy into their hive mind philosophy, but you become one physically as well. Jean Luc Picard is taken by the Borg and assimilated. He still has nightmares of his time with them. They aren’t evil, they’re just another species trying to survive. They can’t make their own offspring, so they must assimilate those around them. Very scary, cool bad guys.

#3. Ra in Stargate
The coolest thing about this bad guy is that he’s actually an alien who has taken the form of a young boy. When he’s angry, his true colors shine through and you can see the alien eyes beaming out of his head. He isn’t evil, he’s just greedy and lazy. The last one of his kind, he’s found a way to live forever by mining a particular mineral. Only, he doesn’t want to do it himself, he want to enslave the people on Earth and make them mine the mineral for him.

#4. The Body Snatchers
The scariest thing about the body snatchers is that they look just like the people you love. They come from space and grow into giant pods. When you fall asleep next to one, they steal your body by creating another you, then go about living your life as an emotionless zombie. Pretty scary, and very cool if you ask me.

Who is your favorite sci fi bad guy? Have I left any great ones out? 

About the Author:
Aubrie is an author and flutist in New England. Her stories have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, A Fly in Amber, and several print anthologies including Skulls and Crossbones by Minddancer Press, Rise of the Necromancers, by Pill Hill Press, Nightbird Singing in the Dead of Night by Nightbird Publishing, Dragontales and Mertales by Wyvern Publications, A Yuletide Wish by Nightwolf Publications, and Aurora Rising by Aurora Wolf Publications.  Her epic fantasy is published with Wyvern Publications, and several of her ebooks are published with Lyrical Press and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When she’s not writing, she plays in orchestras and teaches flute at Plymouth State University and a community music school. 

Title: Paradise 21
Author: Aubrie Dionne
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: August 2011
ePub ISBN: 978-1-937044-02-2
Print ISBN: 978-1-937044-03-9

Book Trailer:
Ebook review copies available at 

Aries has lived her entire life aboard mankind’s last hope, the New Dawn, a spaceship traveling toward a planet where humanity can begin anew—a planet that won’t be reached in Aries’ lifetime. As one of the last genetically desirable women in the universe, she must marry her designated genetic match and produce the next generation for this centuries-long voyage.

But Aries has other plans. When her desperate escape from the New Dawn strands her on a desert planet, Aries discovers the rumors about pirates—humans who escaped Earth before its demise—are true. Handsome, genetically imperfect Striker possesses the freedom Aries envies, and the two connect on a level she never thought possible. But pursued by her match from above and hunted by the planet’s native inhabitants, Aries quickly learns her freedom will come at a hefty price. The life of the man she loves.
Review by Lis:

Don’t you just love Sci-Fi? It’s a genre where everything and anything is possible. Romans in space, killer mice which can travel the speed of light, alien invasions and so on. While not quite so drastic, Paradise 21 is interesting in that: ‘what-have-they-gone-and-done-now’ kinda way, cause let me tell you, if you think humans are stupid now, just wait what they are going to do in the nearby future.

With Paradise 21 Aubrey Dionne has created a setting where humans are big on genetic purity. So much so in fact that when they’ve offed earth they gathered the best and brightest – the best genetically predisposed humans (gah, writing this makes me ashamed of being human ;-)) – and put them on Noah’s ark – erh – space ship and set off for a habitable planet. They go a little further.  Aries, and no we’re not talking god of war here, is one of the lovely colonists aboard the ship. She is forced to marry whoever is best genetically compatible to her. Poor girl, especially because her best match is an overbearing, dictatorial and manipulative bastard to put it mildly. However, she doesn’t lie down and thinks of England or Earth or whatever and escapes and that is where the real story starts. 

She crash-lands on Sahara 354 a planet that rivals its contemporary counterpart where she encounters Strikers and oh so genetically impure but very very yummy human who is everything she shouldn’t want but likes very much. Did I mention he is a pirate? No? Well, he is! From there on out it’s all adventure, challenges and romance.

The above makes this book sounds a bit gloom and doom, but all is not as dire as I make it seem. The story is well written, but has a few of the romance traps. If you think Aries intended let’s her escape just slide, you got that wrong. So be aware the vengeful scorned partner to be. 

Aubrie Dionne created quite the story with Paradise 21. It’s a bit of Star Wars meets Pirates of the Caribbean if you look past the genetic holocaust. The characters are round and interesting, definitely not your stock romance characters. Aries is every bit the stubborn, independent, yet vulnerable woman. Striker is every bit the macho pirate who’s afraid to let a woman get close to him. Add to that some pretty interesting aliens and you got yourself a crew. Well sort of!

Despite me not really connecting to this story it was in no way a bad one. Objectively it’s good and it has everything you need for a fast-paced space romance.  All in all not a bad book to review. 


PS from Blodeuedd. My flash fic for the week ;)


  1. My daughter is fascinated with Darth Vader. You should hear her doing his weird breathing thing when she's playing with her action figures. Hilarious!

  2. Thanks for having me on your blog!

  3. Darth Vader is such a great villain, and I felt so bad for him there at the end! I always like when I'm made to feel a bit of sympathy for the bad guy:) The whole body snatcher concept freaks me out too. *shudders*

  4. Nice review Lis, and thanks for the guestpost Aubrie. I can't think of a bad guy I liked in science fiction. How about Q in Star Trek? You can't call him good. And in Battlestar Galactica, they were also escaping someone/something.

  5. Darth is totally #1! Star Wars meets Pirates of the Caribbean sounds fun!

  6. The Emperor was more evil than Vader. Vader was just a pawn. That one I never felt sympathy. :) However, I like it when you can feel sympathy for the bad guy. Shakes up the senses. :)

    Great post and review!

    @Blodeuedd... what happened to my Beauty and the Beast HEA??? Waaaaaaahh... :'( Actually, I really did enjoy the twist ending. :)

  7. That's a great list of villians. My favotie is Predator...he was so smart and he could go invisible. When I was younger I used to day dream that he was my friend and would protect me from all the other scary monsters. :-P LOL. Great review!

  8. Thank you so much for the guest blog Aubrie :D

    I do love the villains in sci-fi, and SG1 has some great ones, like Bael, ohhh loved him.

    I do like the baddies when there is something sexy or good about them...or just cos they are so wicked

  9. And thank you Lis for another great review! :D

  10. Ha! The Borg. Assimilating his way through life! Brilliant.

    I'm not much into sci-fi, but the mix of a Pirate like theme sounds cool.

  11. Great post! I always enjoy a fun baddie. I must confess, I have a Darth Vader crush :P
    Another great bad sif fi guy was Agent Smith from the Matrix films.

    Paradise 21 sounds like a good read, nice review.

  12. Sounds good! I need to head over to Netgalley!

  13. Too bad you didn't connect with the story; however, it sounds like it's ripe with possibilities.

  14. I've only read a few sci-fi books, but this plot sounds good: romance and sci-fi is a great match!

  15. Oooooh the Borg are creepy! I swear the Borg queen always gave me nightmares haha

  16. @Anna
    Lol, now that would be funny to hear. I do like Vader too

    I agree, he is the best

    I know :/ It's just so sad, poor guy, well at least it does make you like him

    Oh the cylons? Creepy things

    He sure is evil :D

  17. Melissa
    True, he was just an evil pawn.

    Hihi, I know, you know I am evil! But she was happy in the end, but dead..yeah. Lol, glad you liked it still

    Your friend? o_O Damn, me he just have nightmares.

    Ohhhh Smith was excellent

    Oh those assimilating bastards, lol

  18. Yvonne
    Hope you like it


    I do agree with you on that

    Ugh, do not even talk to ne about those freaky borgs *hides*



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