The Far Reaches, Session One: A Feeling Like Fear by W.R. Bailey

The Far Reaches, Session One: A Feeling Like Fear by W.R. Bailey
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action/Adventure
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Star cruisers, strange creatures, and bounty hunters are all common sight at the fringe of human-colonized space.

The sector known as The Far Reaches has been torn asunder by an ongoing civil war that threatens to dissolve the stability and freedom needed to survive in the cosmic wilds. A seasoned Naval Officer and her most trusted Marine Captain search for a mysterious sympathizer of the enemy while two desperate scoundrels seek out the same man’s treasure. Both parties buckle under the growing pressure of the conflict as their paths collide and the shadow of a greater threat casts itself across their fractured home. The Far Reaches: A Feeling Like Fear, is the first entry in the Sci-Fi/Adventure novella series by author W.R. Bailey and the first step into a fun world, filled with memorable characters and exciting adventure.

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The action sequences were nicely written and balanced out the science fiction themes well. This was the sort of futuristic world where anything could happen, so it made a great deal of sense that many of the twists involved battles and other types of physical conflicts. It’s always nice to read a story that combines different genres like this so seamlessly.

There were some pacing issues due to the narrator suddenly stopping to give detailed backstories of the characters and adding various interjections. As interesting as these asides were, they slowed down the pace of this novella to the point that it affected my level of interest in the plot. This wouldn’t have been so noticeable in a full-length novel, but given the fairly limited amount of space there was to work with this was something I thought was worth mentioning.

Some of my favorite sections were the ones that described characters I wouldn’t necessarily expect to meet in this sort of setting. Obviously, I have to be careful about what I share here to avoid spoilers, but I liked the way the author played around with the audience’s expectations of who might find themselves tangled up in this sort of adventure. Taking note of my own assumptions about who I’d meet and comparing them to who actually showed up made me chuckle. They also made me wonder what the author is going to do with their characters going forward in this series since they’ve already shown a willingness to include many different types of heroes.

The Far Reaches, Session One: A Feeling Like Fear should be read by anyone who likes militaristic science fiction.

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