Chimera by N.J. Tanger: A Review

It's been a few week's since my last book review but I have so many in the queue right now that you'll probably see several in the next two months. First up is Chimera by N.J. Tanger. It's a sci-fi novel written by three co-authors, one who was actually my college professor at one point. It was fun reconnecting and getting a chance to be one of the first to read his debut novel. Chimera is a really great book and I liked it a whole lot more than I thought I would to be honest. This just proves that sometimes you need to take a step outside of your norm. Check it out!


What Goodreads SaysOn the verge of extinction, the Stephen’s Point colony must take desperate measures to save themselves. Without communication or resupply from Earth for the last fifteen years, the colony has but one chance to survive: restore the ancient starship Chimera and train a young crew to pilot her. The fate of the entire colony rests on the shoulders of a pair of misfits: Theo Puck, a sixteen-year-old hacker with a gift for speaking to machines, and fifteen-year-old Selena Samuelson, a brash but talented pilot with a dark secret in her past.

To Theo, the Mandate to crew the Chimera seems like a game—one he isn’t invited to play. A brutal murder changes everything. Left with no choice, Theo has to complete the Selection training and make it aboard the Chimera or face terrible consequences.

Selena wants to do what she does best—fly. Piloting her father’s ore trawler is the only life she’s known before a horrifying accident strands her aboard the Hydra, the station responsible for rebuilding the Chimera. Forced into the Mandate testing against her will, Selena encounters an unexpected ally, forever changing the way she sees the Chimera and herself.

Forced to make brutal choices in order to survive, Theo and Selena’s fates intertwine. But behind the scenes, someone else sets into motion events that could destroy everything they’re fighting to protect.

What I Say Let me be honest, when I started reading Chimera, I had no idea what was going on. I didn't look into what the book was about and just kind of dove in head first. Let me tell you, not a good idea for a sci-fi novel fixed in another world. Once I caught on, I couldn't stop reading though. The novel centers around several characters: Theo, Meghan, Selena, Marcus and the Chimera. It's set in the distant future when people don't know what A Tale of Two Cities is anymore. That will be a sad, sad day. Theo is the underachiever who doesn't care enough about anything. Meghan is the overachiever who works hard to be a perfectionist at everything. Selena is the bad ass who's been dealt a rough hand at life. Marcus is the psycho who you think might have more to his story then he lets on and the Chimera is the ship that brought their people to the colony away from Earth. In the first book of what I hope will be a series, these four teenagers find themselves on a path to save their people, a path that will ultimately bring them together whether they like it or not. They will need to learn to work together in order to survive and save their families.

I don't voluntarily read sci-fi normally. Fantasy, every once in a while but not usually sci-fi. I'm glad that this book was brought to my attention because I really enjoyed the story. It's enough out of reality to provide an escape but it also brings up issues that we really need to address today. For example, overuse and the impending decline of resources. The people on the colony are coming close to starvation because they haven't received any resources from Earth in fifteen years. They're on the verge of running out. Earth might be in trouble as well though. The colony was built after The Great War, something that we're still not really sure how it happened. It all rings true to what we're dealing with today. Civil wars, war in general, the potential of fresh water and natural resources running dry. Whether it was a point the co-authors wanted to make or not, they did a great job of inserting real world problems into an other-worldly book.

Chimera is though-provoking, thrilling, suspenseful and full of action. You want to know what's going to happen, especially with pretty unpredictable characters like Theo, Marcus and Selena. I can't wait for the next book to start getting inside the Chimera's head more. We got a taste of it in this debut novel but I want more. If you're looking for a good read that is pretty far from reality, check this one out. The details are incredible and the relationships of the characters really bring you in.

*Disclaimer: This book was provided in exchange for an honest review. No compensation was received. All opinions belong to the owner of Life With A Side Of Coffee.