When writers write to be published they usually have a specific audience in mind. A contemporary romance author probably isn't thinking of what a reader generally prone to fantasy will think of her novel. However, I feel that one of the greatest compliments an author can receive is when someone outside of their targeted audience picks up their book and loves it.
This is the compliment I give to Gabriel's Redemption (Evan Gabriel) author, Steve Umstead.
I am not a science fiction person, at all. My father loved Star Trek and Star Wars; if it was sci-fi and techy my dad was there and I was in the other room rolling my eyes. Sparky, my husband, has an affinity for it as well. I've resigned myself to the fact that it will be a part of my entertainment selection when my husband or father is involved.
Imagine my surprise when I picked up this novel and couldn't put it down.
From the very beginning Umstead captured my imagination and interest with reachable, likable, yet mysterious characters. I have to admit, since I'm not a regular sci-fi reader that it took my brain several chapters to understand the technology that was being introduced. That's not to say that Umstead was clumsy or sparse with details, far from it.
In fact the way Umstead introduced his readers to the technology in the book was one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much. Instead of stopping the flow of the story to introduce or explain how every new technical device worked, he just incorporated its uses into the dialogue and narration. It was very easy to understand the function and use of a weapon or gadget based on how it was used and the reaction it caused. To me it was smart writing and didn't make me feel like an idiot that had to have every single thing explained to her.
From the first page I was captivated by the former North American Federation Naval Commander Evan Gabriel's story. The flashbacks to his youth were excellent in setting up the character and aided in his growth over the course of the book. The members in his team were made real by their little quirks or habits which added humor to the story.
If you don't normally read science fiction, or if you're like me and never read it, read this book. You'll like it. If you read science fiction you'll most likely love it.
In the end, I think my favorite part was what I noticed on the cover. “Book 1 of the Evan Gabriel Triology.” I'll be anxiously awaiting the other two, Steve!