Axiom’s End

by Lindsay Ellis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Axiom's End (Noumena, #1)
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I had no idea what to expect when I went into this book, and I was very pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed this book. It was a really interesting alien contact story that spoke a lot about human connections, trust, and the general behavior of the human species as a whole. I really enjoyed Cora, the main character a lot and felt she was very relatable despite the fantastical situation she finds herself in.

I feel like it is worth noting that I knew very little about the author before starting this book. I do not watch her youtube videos and it was my wife’s mentioning that she had a published book that got me curious because I enjoy science fiction. Her status as a public figure had no influence on my enjoyment of the book.

Full Review with Spoilers

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I felt like every expectation I had while reading would go in a different direction in a very pleasing way. I appreciate that the book pulls you along thinking there’s some sort of secret alien invasion covered up by the government, then it blends into the idea of an alien obduction, then moves into lost alien refugees just trying find some place safe to be. And it circles around these ideas sort of blending all of these extra terrestrial themes seamlessly into a very interesting story.

I found the main character Cora to be interesting and very relatable. She’s a bit lost in life and is dealing with the fall out of her father’s decision to expose government secrets to the world. I enjoyed her wit a great deal. The alien Ampersand is also interesting and I enjoyed seeing the progress of his understanding of human nature and emotion. He is an excellent vehicle for us as readers to really get to analyze our own behavior. Seeing the world from his perspective was enlightening and I enjoyed the comical moments of Cora trying to explain things to him. I also really liked seeing the uncomfortable moments like when Cora learns about the human experiments he and his race conducted in order to even establish a form of communication at all that Ampersand could use.

The plot was intriguing as well. I admit at first I was a bit confused and couldn’t quite keep all the facts straight, but once everything became clear I feel like that was more or less the point. The reason they were on our planet is unclear because of the lack of any real ability to communicate with most of the visitors and in some case the refusal to do so. It really speaks to the benefits of trust and open communication. The only part of the book I found predictable was the ending, and to be completely honest, it is exactly how I was hoping it would end. I’m very excited to see how Cora and Ampersand navigate the new bond they find themselves with.

Overall

This is a great science fiction story with alien visitors. While there is some action in the story, combat and thrills really aren’t the focus. It is a great story about stepping back and looking at the world around us, as well as how we view others, with a fresh pair of eyes.

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