This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, R.A. Crawford. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.PULSE: The Trial by R.A. Crawford
Genres: Science Fiction, young adult
Release Date: December 11, 2016
Publisher: Winlock Press
Source: Author, R.A. Crawford
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Kobo
Forty of Earth's most dangerous women compete to become warriors in the interstellar empire known as PULSE. They must endure a Trial on a death-planet filled with monsters and betrayal.
Only three will survive. And the war hasn't even begun.
It's a future like you've never seen before: one populated by amazing (and often unfriendly) aliens and a Humanity that is 100% female. A paradise in some ways, a prison in others, this handful of extraordinary women must fight to stay alive in a brutal universe, enduring an onslaught of deadly challenges, just to join the fight against a star-spanning threat they can scarcely imagine.
THE TRIAL is the first in an action-packed adventure series for all ages, crammed with creatures, combat, courage … and some of the most fascinating new characters you've encountered in years.
Join PULSE! See the universe! You might even survive...
PULSE (Planetary Union of Life-form Salvation and Emancipation) is an intergalactic empire that was created to maintain the PULSE laws and fight for freedom for all female life-forms. The females are trained from all over the galaxy to explore new worlds and rescue any females in need. More pointedly this story surrounds what it takes to become a soldier of PULSE.
Females are brought to train at the tender age of 10. They undergo demanding and harsh training for eight years. When they reach the age of 18 the girls must then spend 72 hours on planet Raxis. This is a scorching planet with high temps on one side and low temps on the other. The girls are given practically no supplies, must somehow navigate multiple terrains and survive alien beast’s hell bent on their destruction. If they are able to make it the rendezvous point in time the girls will become a soldier of PULSE. If they don’t make it they are either dead or stranded, which is as good as dead.
The main protagonist of this story is Stella. She and her best friend Faye are taking the trial with about 40 other girls. I found the interactions between these two girls to be authentic. They really felt like best friends since childhood and it upped the emotional factor as you did not want anything to happen to either character. In this batch of girls, you will find characters that you dislike – immensely, another that is silent but deadly and one whom I would consider anti-hero. Quite a good mix of characters that helped create tension and conflict that keep the pacing and action on high.
I may be the only one to voice this question but why are there no men? I understand that men are “bad” in this world and that the soldiers of PULSE are tasked with rescuing females from other planets and such. Why are men of all species bad? There is also the issue of procreation. There is made mention of girls being raised by their parents. Is that two female parents? A male/female pairing? Are men kept as “studs” or is everything artificial insemination. In case of AI, are the embryo’s selected so that only females are born? What if a male is born, what will happen then?
I am not against an all women cast or that men are villainized but some questions of mine were not answered in the story. I was not able to full engross myself in the story because a part of my mind was always present looking for the answers to those questions. For you, maybe the story itself would be enough but for me those questions are part of the world development that I was looking for.
The story itself was truly novel and well thought out. I enjoyed the characters and had all the emotional pulls that the author intended. The alien species introduced were cool and I want more of that! The world development dilemma that I faced could have been solved with a prologue to introduce us to this fascinating world and explain how it came to be. This is a book that I recommend to all fans of science fiction and strong female leads.
*Thank you to R.A. Crawford for this complimentary copy of Pulse*